Coronavirus (Covid-19) – Actions to take in the studio

Coronavirus - Reassure your clients that your studio is prepared

As the number of cases of infection in Australia from Coronavirus (COVID-19) increase, the health and safety of PAA members and clients remain an ongoing priority.

We have gathered the following advice and information to help you prepare your studio, clients and staff and lessen the impact. We include steps to take immediately, reassurance for clients and procedures for better studio and equipment hygiene.

This is an evolving situation and members should continue to closely monitor the official websites listed below for the most up to date information.

Department of Health website for daily updates and information on the outbreak in Australia.

The World Health Organisation also provides daily updates, information and guidance about the outbreak worldwide.

Background

COVID-19, an outbreak of respiratory illness caused by a new coronavirus first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China is now affecting Australians. The World Health Organisation has declared the coronavirus a Public Health Emergency of International Concern requiring a global coordinated effort.

There is currently no vaccine available for this new virus and symptoms can include fever, flu-like symptoms such as coughing, sore throat and fatigue and/or shortness of breath.

The World Health Organization has confirmed that the main driver of transmission is from symptomatic patients, through coughing or sneezing. Transmission by people without symptoms is possible, but rare.

It is important to be vigilant for signs of the virus, in particular in clients and staff who have recently traveled 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.

As well as concern for clients, employers also have a duty to provide and maintain a safe working environment for employees. This includes potential exposure to Covid-19.

Steps to take immediately:

  • Discuss a plan of action with your staff/colleagues, considering whether work activities put other people at risk
  • Educate and keep employees up to date with new information
  • Place information posters in your studio or workplace (see resources below)
  • Ensure that all clients and staff have a good understanding of any measures you put in place
  • Know the signs of the Covid-19 and be vigilant
  • Use preventative measures to limit risks of contamination
  • Monitor expert advice as the Covid-19 situation develops (for example, from the Department of Health – link below)
  • Talk to employees who have:
    • traveled or are planning to travel overseas
    • been in contact with confirmed cases of novel coronavirus
  • Have a contingency plan to manage staff absences in case there is a need for self isolation
  • Provide workers with information and links to relevant services should they require support

Workers also have a duty to take reasonable care for their own health and safety and not adversely affect the health and safety of others. Remind them to always practice good hygiene and protect themselves and others against infection.

Reassure your Clients

  • Reach out with a dedicated email to detail the steps you and your staff are taking at the studio or facility
  • Let them know you take their health very seriously and seek their support in keeping all members of the community safe
  • Remind everyone of fundamental studio etiquette – to wipe down all equipment and small props
  • Advise clients to reconsider/delay sessions if they have flu like symptoms or have traveled to internationally known hot spots in recent weeks
  • Invite them to discuss any fears about attending and be understanding/accommodating if they choose to postpone sessions.

How the risk of infection can be reduced

Step up Studio and Equipment hygiene

Scientists have provided some guidance on how the virus may be transmitted: study of other Coronaviruses found they remained on metal, glass and plastic up to nine days.

Dr David Thomas, Professor of Medicine and Director of the Division of Infectious Diseases at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Maryland, USA advised that while sweat cannot transmit the virus, high-contact surfaces such as door handles can pose a problem.

Additional preventative steps to implement around the studio to prevent contamination include

  • Disinfecting all surfaces and door handles with a hospital-grade solution several times a day
  • ProvidING alcohol based sanitiser for hands and appropriate disinfectant/wipes for equipment
  • Limiting contact during hands-on adjustments

The World Health Organisation’s advice to personally reduce the risk of coronavirus infection:

  • Frequently clean hands with soap and water. Scrub for at least 20 seconds (or about the time it takes to sing “Happy Birthday” twice), and dry them with a clean towel or let them air dry
  • Alcohol-based hand sanitizers, which should be rubbed in for about 20 seconds, can also work, but the gel must contain at least 60 percent alcohol
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Avoid close contact with anyone that has fever and cough, try to stay six feet away as the virus seems to spread through droplets in the air from a cough or sneeze
  • Practising good sneeze and cough hygiene – cover mouth and nose with flexed elbow or tissue – throw tissues away immediately and wash your hands
  • Be mindful of what you touch – think door handles, lift buttons
  • Self-isolation – be extra cautious about exposing others (including family and pets) if you are not feeling well

Face Masks

Australian health officials say there is no need for the general public to wear face masks. Dr Abrar Chughtai, an infectious disease epidemiologist from the University of New South Wales states “Sick people should use face masks. For healthy people… at the community level, there is no use for face masks,”

Further guidance on the use of surgical masks can be found on the The Department of Health website.

For the latest news, advice, information and resources

For the latest news and advice please refer to Department of Health:
https://www.health.gov.au/news/health-alerts/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-health-alert

Dept of Health – frequently asked questions about Covid-19:
https://www.health.gov.au/resources/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-frequently-asked-questions

Health Direct Coronavirus hub:
https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/coronavirus

Coronavirus Health Information Line, Department of Health on 1800 020 080 (operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week).

If translation or interpreting services needed, call 131 450.

the Public Health Information Line on 1800 004 599

 

Resources

www.health.gov.au/resources/collections/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-resources. There are resources available for both health professionals and public. There are also resources available in Farsi and Chinese.

For Employers

Posters to display at your studio/workplace

For people with a suspected case