ATMS Member Update: Coronavirus (COVID-19)
This is a special member update to provide the most current clinical guidance and resources for COVID-19, as published by the Australian government.
These resources are for health professionals, including natural medicine practitioners, to continue to provide treatment for clients. One of the best current sources of advice for all natural medicine practitioners are these Australian government resources. They are updated regularly so all practitioners are encouraged to check these resources regularly.
Natural medicine practitioners should be planning for an escalation of the public health response and should be aware that some of those responses may apply to the practice of natural medicine.
ATMS intends to provide a clinical update each Monday during this time.
Please also watch out for our business support newsletter update, which will follow shortly and cover the Government stimulus package.
The best source for advice remains these official Government resources.
For all the latest updates visit the: Australian Department of Health website: https://www.health.gov.au/news/health-alerts/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-health-alert
Whats the latest ?
There is an immense amount of information of the coronavirus (COVID-19) out there, so the Australian Traditional-Medicine Society (ATMS) have pulled together the sources in the email to try and simplify the resources you need for your you, your colleagues, your clinic and your clients in Australia.
The World Health Organisation (WHO)
The World Health Organisation has declared the coronavirus (COVID-19) a pandemic requiring a global coordinated effort. There is currently no vaccine available for this new virus.
Symptoms can include: fever, flu-like symptoms such as coughing, sore throat and fatigue and/or shortness of breath.
We urge members of the Australian Traditional-Medicine Society to be vigilant for signs of the virus, particularly in patients and staff who have recently travelled to (or transited through) China, Iran, Italy and the Republic of Korea and those in close contact with them, as well as the other listed higher risk countries and countries posing a moderate risk of transition.
If you or someone you know is sick and thinks there is symptoms of COVID-19, seek medical attention by calling the Coronavirus Health Information Line for advice: 1800 020 080. This is accessible 24 hours per day 7 days per week.
For all the latest updates visit the: Australian Department of Health website:
What can I do right now
Steps you can take immediately:
- Discuss and work out your plan of action with your staff/colleagues.
- Ensure that all clinical and non-clinical staff have a good understanding of infection control principles and recommendation for hand hygiene.
- Train everyone to recognise the signs of coronavirus and be vigilant.
- Ensure you have thorough cleaning procedures in place generally, as well as specifically for frequently touched surfaces or equipment.
- Place information posters in your clinic or workplace, preferable at the front door and reception.
- Have antibacterial sanitizer available at reception.
- Consider advising patients to reconsider/delay treatment if they have any flu like symptoms or have travelled to internationally known hot spots in recent weeks.
- Have a supply of masks and antibacterial sanitizer (if you can get them) in your clinic.
- Use preventative measures to limit the spread of coronavirus.
- Request staff to self-isolate if they have any cold or flu symptoms.
The Department of Health has a couple of simple posters that you can put on display in your clinic.
Know the Signs Poster
Stop the Spread Poster
Stop the Spread Government campaign: https://www.health.gov.au/news/launch-of-the-coronavirus-covid-19-campaign
Staff and Clinicians
It is imperative that all clinical and non-clinical staff have a good understanding of Infection Control Policy. Ensure you also take note of important Work (Occupational) Health and Safety (WHS) considerations during this time.
Within practices, there is a WHS obligation to do everything reasonably practicable to ensure the health and safety of anyone who enters the workplace (this includes workers, patients, carers etc.). This includes limiting the spread of illness (including coronavirus) wherever reasonably possible.
Please review the ATMS Infection Control Policy here.
Resources for health professionals, including aged care providers, can be found here.
If you or your staff are a traveller from overseas, or think you may have been in close contact with a confirmed case of coronavirus, special restrictions apply, including isolation:
[Updated 15 March 2020] To help limit the spread of coronavirus, you must isolate yourself in the following circumstances:
All people who arrive in Australia from midnight 15 March 2020, or think may they have been in close contact with a confirmed case of coronavirus, are required to self-isolate for 14 days.
To view the full and latest isolation information, visit: https://www.health.gov.au/resources/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-isolation-guidance
This Federal Government Fact Sheet on environmental and disinfection principles has useful details on the following:
- Routine environmental cleaning
- Hand hygiene
- Information for cleaning staff
- Social contact environments
- Health care settings
- Terminal cleaning
- How we can all help to prevent the further spread of COVID-19.
Further information and a fact sheet on Environmental and Disinfection Principles can be found here: https://www.health.gov.au/resources/publications/environmental-cleaning-and-disinfection-principles-for-covid-19