Discussed: upcoming QRC election strategy, avoiding hot spots in Victoria, Brisbane airport temperature testing, saliva testing in Victoria, Biosecurity areas, voluntary shipping codes still being used, border restrictions and requirements for health plans, DRNME updates on guidance
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Employment in Queensland’s resources sector has defied COVID-19 impacts to local operations and overseas markets with only a 1 percent drop in direct jobs in the May quarter. Queensland Resources Council Chief Executive Ian Macfarlane said the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) labour force data showed direct jobs in mining moved from 66,331 to 65,337 reinforcing the industry’s role in the COVID-19 recovery would be just as important as it has been through the immediate response.
There has been a surge in demand for P2 respirators for use against airborne pollutants during the recent extensive bushfires and more immediately against the transmission of CoV-SARS-2. This has resulted in an increase of non-compliant respirators entering the supply chain, which has been highlighted by several bodies including SafeWork NSW and WorkSafe New Zealand. Identifying non-compliant products presents challenges for businesses purchasing respirators for their workers, as the processes and checkpoints that provide compliance can be complex.
Discussed: Easing of COVID protocols and guidance document, staff return to work, incoming workers to site, seafarer crews arriving from overseas, lift capacity, remote biosecurity areas, charter flight requirements and other transport arrangements, COVID hot spot declarations, Qld Health site inspections, Qantas update on increased capacity on flights and the FlyWell program
The key contacts for Private Pathology providers have been provided by Queensland Health. Please see key contacts for SNP and QML below: QML: Renu Vohra via email: email@example.com; and SNP: Jenny Robson via email: Jenny_Robson@snp.com.au.
On 1 June 2020 Qld Health updated its Restrictions on Businesses, Activities and Undertakings Direction. The new direction clearly states that ‘A business, activity or undertaking that is not listed in this Direction may operate as normal, with social distancing observed and subject to any other applicable Public Health Directions’. As there is no reference in the Direction to mining accommodation or the provision of food in a resources sector facility, these facilities are able to continue to operate as they have been since COVID restrictions have applied including to operate food services, with social distancing observed and subject to any other applicable Public Health Directions.
In response to the shortage of P2 masks experienced by the resources sector throughout the COVID pandemic, a South Australian manufacturer called Detmold has worked with industry to design a P2 mask suitable for open-cut and underground mining operations and certified to Australian standards. Detmold has advised that it expects Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) approval on Friday 12 June 2020. Detmold will be ready to manufacture masks following this approval. Information regarding Detmold and the masks is below. Should you have issues with supply of P2s suitable for open-cut and underground operations, please contact Detmold who can arrange samples for fit testing and inspection.
Please see here for a map of Queensland Health locations for testing SARS-CoV-2 samples across Queensland (current as of 11 June 2020). For further information regarding testing locations see SNP and QML information below.
Discussed: New map of pathology sites across Qld, advice re: temperature testing, Qantas return to more regular intrastate flight schedule and implications on charter flights and FIFO workers, restrictions in Biosecurity Act areas to lift within next 10 days, company COVID protocols, airport protocols, Qld Health inspections at company sites, interstate worker exemptions, recent rallies and potential impacts
As travel restrictions start to ease across the country, Qantas and Jetstar will increase their domestic and regional flying for June and July. The additional services will see capacity increase from 5 percent of pre-Coronavirus levels, to 15 percent by the end of June. This equates to more than 300 more return flights per week. Additional flights will likely operate during July depending on travel demand and further relaxation of state borders, with the ability to increase domestic capacity by the end of July. Nasal sampling should be undertaken by a trained on-site medical officer or qualified trained nurse, and sent to a testing lab for analysis. Companies should consider extra training for their on-site medical staff who conduct the testing, as it is not an easy procedure. Information for Queensland clinicians is available on the Queensland Health website.