Safety boss warned in opposition to Well being Division recommendation

“My biggest concern as supervisor, had been all our safety guards compromised in contracting the coronavirus from the start of the quarantine program always?” the supervisor wrote.

The inquiry has heard 26 safety guards who labored on the Stamford Plaza resort contracted coronavirus after an outbreak in mid-June.

Rydges on Swanston hotel, a major source of Victoria's second-wave COVID-19 cases.

Rydges on Swanston resort, a significant supply of Victoria’s second-wave COVID-19 circumstances.Credit score:Penny Stephens

The Rydges resort COVID-19 outbreak started on Might 26, spreading from a household of 4 in quarantine to a resort employee, six guards and a nurse.

Outbreaks amongst workers on the Stamford and the Rydges on Swanston drove Victoria’s second lethal wave of COVID-19.

Emails launched on Wednesday present MSS bosses had been advised 5 days earlier than the primary case on the Stamford Plaza that the Well being Division had modified its recommendation on gloves and masks, making them beneficial however not necessary.

In additional proof throughout the inquiry hearings, MSS heads stated the division had directed guards to cease utilizing gloves to stop cross-infection.

“That is nonetheless ‘beneficial’, so we are able to implement carrying of masks/gloves should you suppose it is necessary,” MSS enterprise supervisor Anthony Bandiera wrote to his boss.

“Stick to the present regime is my view,” Mr Adams wrote again, alongside together with his reminder in regards to the Rydges outbreak, which had occurred the month earlier than.

After the outbreak, which compelled resort workers and contractors into isolation, safety personnel raised quite a few claims with the heads of MSS about what may have contributed to transmission between quarantined returned travellers and the guards, together with:

  • One of many contaminated guards advised MSS: “If all guards had been carrying masks always it might have prevented him from getting COVID-19.”
  • COVID-positive company escorted from their rooms by a Well being Division crew chief with out notification, and areas that they had been in weren’t sanitised.
  • Quarantined travellers had been allowed to depart their rooms for contemporary air and cigarette breaks, escorted by safety guards who did not know if the company had been swabbed, had been constructive or not.

In line with the emails, the Well being Division introduced in an infectious illness specialist after the Stamford outbreak to coach the guards face-to-face in PPE after MSS advised them there was a scarcity of formal coaching.

“Looks as if an apparent step you suppose for the DHHS and one thing they perhaps may have dreamt up themselves,” Mr Adams wrote.

The division’s outbreak squad, which investigated how transmission occurred on the Stamford, recognized that resort personnel and safety contractors weren’t adequately educated in hand hygiene and PPE.

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