COVID-19 precautions for APLS courses, June 2020
As an organisation we have a legal and moral obligation to provide a safe working/educational environment for our participants, instructors and staff.
The guiding principles for measures to provide a COVID-safe environment include;
- Effective and evidence based
- Match national, local state government and Safe Work Australia guidelines
- Practical and achievable
- Frequently reviewed to ensure they remain consistent with current situation
The modalities of prevention will include:
Minimise risk of COVID-infected participants attending course;
- Screening tool distributed and display poster at course entrance. (See below). Non invasive infrared temperature measurement available if participant requests.
- Plan available to manage unwell attendees at course
- Evidence from the literature[i] and opinion from Deputy CMO Australia[ii] don’t support mass temperature screening.
Social distancing measures including;
- 1 participant per 4 m2 rule
- 1.5 m separation
- Careful planning and surveying of each venue to ensure distancing
Hygiene measures including;
- Hand hygiene, provision of hand sanitizer and hand washing facilities
- Cough etiquette
- Ceasing BLS mouth to mouth training and substituting BVM ventilation
- Regular cleaning of surfaces, furniture, equipment in accordance with recommendations
- Display of advisory posters
- Individual catering with no sharing meals/beverages etc
Implement protective measures where social distancing is impossible, eg during scenario and skills teaching. Strategies include;
- Surgical face masks when <1.5 m distance
- Strict hand hygiene with gloves available before/after contact with equipment
- Cleaning of equipment, mannikins with Clinell wipes (or alternative) between users
Covid 19 health screening questions
1. Do you feel unwell with any cold or flu like symptoms such as cough, sore throat, headache, fatigue or body aches?
2. Do you/have you felt feverish, had night sweats or had a high temperature recorded recently?
3. Have you been on a cruise ship or arrived from overseas or interstate in the last 14 days?
4. Have you been in contact with someone that is a suspected (being tested) or confirmed COVID-19 case in the last 14 days?
If you answer yes to any of these questions please don’t attend the APLS provider course. A thermometer is available to check your temperature at the course should you develop symptoms that are of concern.
Infrared Temperature Screening to Identify Potentially Infected Staff or Visitors Presenting to Healthcare Facilities during Infectious Disease Outbreaks, ECRI, March 2020, Accessed June 2020
Can you just clarify something for me? As places start to open up again, some shops and schools have been taking people's temperatures via their forehead as they enter; is that necessary and is the means by which of taking someone's temperature, is that accurate?
The- taking a temperature as a means of screening for any pandemic virus has always been a little controversial, and it remains so. I guess my personal view as a respiratory and infectious diseases physician is that, if one is unwell enough with a respiratory virus and you have a temperature, you're actually pretty crook, and most people stay at home. So, the number of people that you're likely to detect with a temperature check at a school or as you're going into a shop is very, very small and not likely to have a meaningful impact on detection of COVID-19. Whether an individual business chooses to do that or not or a school is entirely up to them, it's not something that we've necessarily recommended as effective.”