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COVID-19 Policy

by | 31 Jul 2021 | News

Updated: 9th August 2021

We are a locally owned and operated Audiology practice. We’re located in a street-side professional centre, not a shopping centre and we’re here to help our community. Please don’t hesitate to make an appointment with the Audiologist.

Background

The SARS-CoV-2 virus (Covid-19) poses a significant risk to the community, including our patients, staff and others. Therefore we must ensure that our practice policies and procedures address this risk.

Yes – We Are Currently Open

Our opening hours are currently unaffected by COVID-19, state health or federal health enforced directives.

Rest assured, we will continue to follow Queensland Health advice and adapt our opening hours according to the government’s current advice which can be found on the Queensland Health website “Latest updates – coronavirus (Covid-19)“.

We will remain available to provide expert advice and assistance, however possible.

Face Masks

Updated: 15th July 2021

Everyone who enters our practice is required to wear a face mask while there is a Queensland Government health directive to do so. It is also important for the health and safety of others inside our practice. We acknowledge that some people may be exempt from wearing a face mask.

In some instances, and when it is safe to do so, we may request that you briefly remove your face mask to allow us to properly complete our work for you. Face masks must then be replaced as soon as practically possible.

Wearing a face mask is a condition of entry to our practice while an enforceable QLD health directive is in place.

During a government enforceable face mask directive:

  • Patients are reminded to wear a mask the day before attending their appointment;
  • Signage is placed throughout the practice to remind people to wear their face mask;
  • Patients, staff and others who enter our practice without a face mask will be asked to wear a face mask by a staff member;
  • People who are exempt from wearing a face mask are encouraged to communicate their exemption with us;
  • Anyone who behaves unreasonably when asked to wear a mask will be asked to leave the practice in order to protect the health and safety of others from Covid-19.

Physical Distancing

The chance of becoming infected by the virus is increased when a person is in close physical contact with an infectious person. It is therefore important for people to physically distance themselves wherever possible and when safe to do so.

Capacity

The maximum number of permitted people per square meter varies based upon the level of restrictions currently in place. Capacity may also be limited by the required physical distance of 1.5 meters between people.

Under the highest level of restriction, it is likely that a maximum of 1 person per 4 square meters must be maintained on our premises. This means we may safely have 8 people in our showroom area at any one time, spaced 1.5 meters apart.

Our appointment system assists us in managing the number of people in our practice at any given time and also helps us to minimise the length of time a client is in our practice.

Given our type of business, which also uses an appointment system, it is unlikely that we will reach the above capacity at any given time.

However, if we do reach capacity we may:

  • Ask people to wait outside and maintain a physical distance of 1.5 meters from others;
  • Ask a client to schedule an appointment at a less busy time;
  • Reduce patient overlap by scheduling appointments at different times;
  • Reducing people in the waiting room by requesting carers, family members and friends to wait outside the practice;
  • Limiting all non-essential persons entering our clinic.

Hygiene

All persons in our practice, including staff, customers and others, must practice good hygiene.

Excellent hygiene has always been a priority in our practice. With Covid-19, we must be extra vigilant in order to maintain high standards of cleanliness and disinfection.

Good hygiene also requires everyone in our practice to, at all times: 

  • cover their coughs and sneezes with their elbow or a clean tissue;
  • avoid touching their face, eyes, nose and mouth;
  • dispose of tissues in supplied, lined bins; 
  • frequently wash and dry their hands completely;  
  • clean and disinfect shared equipment after use;
  • wash body, hair (including facial hair) and clothes thoroughly every day; and 
  • have no intentional physical contact, for example, shaking hands and patting backs.

The risk of infection is also reduced by using the following hygiene measures:

  • Cleaning touch points between every consultation with a 70% alcohol based sanitiser wipes;
  • Sanitising all test equipment between every patient with 70% alcohol based sanitiser wipes;
  • Regular, systematic cleaning and sanitising of all rooms, desks, chairs and test equipment;
  • Screening patients prior to arrival at the practice regarding their health status;
  • Removing all reading material and other non-essential items from the waiting room;
  • Reducing unnecessary handling of stock and cleaning display stock prior to re-display.

Hand Washing

Good hygiene requires everyone to wash their hands regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and dry them completely, preferably with clean, single-use paper towels.

We have 4 dedicated hand washing basins, stocked with soap and paper towels in our practice. Patients are encouraged to use these facilities.

Everyone must wash and dry their hands: 

  • before and after eating;
  • after coughing or sneezing;
  • after going to the toilet; and  
  • when changing tasks and after touching potentially contaminated surfaces.  

Alcohol-based hand sanitiser with at least 70% alcohol (ethanol or isopropanol) is also provided for customer and staff use.

Appointment System

Appointments are required to see the Audiologist. We strongly encourage appointments for all other visitors as this assists in adhering to the physical distancing requirements at all times.

Mandatory Stay-at-home Restrictions

In the event of a mandatory government-imposed stay at home order or shut-down of our region, Audiology is considered a critical or essential service. We are therefore permitted to provide urgent and essential care, face-to-face.

Patients with appointments booked during the restricted period will be contacted to triage their needs. We recommend postponing non-essential appointments until after the restrictions are lifted. Telehealth may be appropriate in some cases but is mostly inadequate as it is impossible to provide a complete and full level of hearing care.

What is Critical & Essential Hearing Care?

If your situation is an emergency and requires immediate medical attention, we recommend you attend your local hospital emergency department.

To book an urgent appointment, please call us directly on 54473711 so that we can ensure you are taken care of.

Urgent and essential hearing care can’t wait and includes the following examples:

Hearing changes:

  • Sudden loss of all / part of hearing
  • Ear infection
  • Loss of hearing is impacting your ability to communicate, relationships or mental health

Sore ears:

  • Ear infection (one ear)
  • Accident or injury to an ear (non-emergency)
  • Something in your ear
  • Wax build up inside ear canal is blocking hearing or causing discomfort

Hearing aid concerns:

  • Broken hearing devices need repair
  • Lost hearing devices need replacement
  • Ordering new hearing devices (to hear better)
  • Collection of hearing devices that have been ordered
  • Supply of consumables necessary for the operation of hearing devices

Other concerns:

  • Your GP referred you
  • You are anxious about your ears and hearing
  • Your ENT specialist referred you

Contact Event Plan

In the event that our location is identified as being a contact site for Covid-19 by the Queensland Government, we will follow all directions provided to us by the Queensland Government to ensure we are able to re-open to our clients in a safe and risk-free way.

Potential Supplier Delays

Production and supplies of all regular hearing devices and hearing health products may be affected by shutdowns and other situations, including in other states of Australia. We are likely to experience some delivery delays, although have been largely unaffected to date.

In order to minimise disruption to our customers and our business we will:

  • Use the fasted possible delivery systems available to us at the time;
  • Stay in contact with our couriers and suppliers;
  • In the event of a delay, find alternative solutions and keep our customers informed.
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1 Lanyana Way (inside Noosa Optical)

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