Masks protect first and last lines of defence against coronavirus

July 22, 2020

Victorians are being asked to mask up to help stop the spread of COVID-19, with a continued high level of community transmission and widespread impacts on Victoria’s healthcare system.

From 11.59pm on Wednesday 22 July it will be mandatory for people living in metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire, and recommended across Victoria, to wear a face covering when leaving home for one of the four reasons allowed under ‘Stay at Home’ restrictions.

While face coverings are required when leaving home for one of the four activities, the best way to help stop the spread of COVID-19 is to stay at home.

VHA Chief Executive Tom Symondson says it’s time for every Victorian to put their mask where their mouth and nose are and support our dedicated healthcare workers in hospitals, care facilities, homes and the community.

‘Wearing a mask is a simple action that every Victorian can take to help stop the spread of COVID-19 and reduce the short and long-term impacts on our healthcare system; meaning a faster return to delivering life-saving and life-changing healthcare services,’ Mr Symondson says.

‘By wearing a mask, you are not only helping protect yourself from becoming a COVID statistic, you are helping ensure healthcare workers remain COVID-free meaning they can continue treating Victorians.’

While masks are a familiar workplace tool for healthcare workers, the VHA appreciates that many Victorians will be wearing masks for the first time and encourages everyone to ensure they are following the guidelines set out by the Chief Health Officer, including practicing healthy hand hygiene.

State and commonwealth governments have been working with the healthcare sector to ensure workers have access to a range of personal protective equipment (PPE), including masks, and are continuing to provide additional training and resources in this important area.

Healthcare workers are encouraged to refresh their knowledge of using PPE and infectious control in a range of settings by undertaking the online course from Department of Health here.

For full details on the face covering requirements the general public please click here and for details on PPE requirements for healthcare professionals please click here.