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A student nurse in Melbourne caught the coronavirus after being told that surgical mask protection was sufficient.

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A student nurse infected with COVID-19 while working in a special nursing home in Melbourne says a surgical mask was said to be “enough” to keep her safe.

Nurses who did not want to be appointed were sent to a geriatric care facility in Blue Cross Ruckers Hill in early August after a coronavirus outbreak at home.

She began to show flu-like symptoms two days after working from home in Northcote, northern Melbourne.

She was diagnosed with COVID-19 one day later.

While working from home, she was provided with complete personal protective equipment (PPE), but not an N95 mask.

The N95 mask fits snugly on the face and offers a higher level of protection than surgical masks.

“I had a surgical mask, gown, gloves and goggles, but not an N95. [mask] Or further protection. “

Nurses cannot be confident that they were infected with the virus at BlueCross Ruckers Hill, but they are confident that the lack of an N95 mask was the flickering of the armor that led to the infection.

As of Monday, the house had recorded 130 cases of COVID-19 and 12 deaths from the virus.

Of the 766 deaths from COVID-19 in Victoria, at least 596 are associated with geriatric care facilities.

Elderly caregivers make up a significant proportion of Victorian people infected during the second wave of the state.

Union believes that the rapid adoption of N95 masks may reduce geriatric care infections.

Andrew Hewat, Assistant Secretary of the Victorian Union Health Professionals Association, said nurses would have been wearing N95 masks if the Victorian government had previously updated the PPE guidance for senior care facilities. It was.

The government updated its guidelines on 31 July, recommending that all hospital staff in contact with COVID-positive and suspected COVID cases wear N95 masks.

However, it took nearly two more weeks for the same update for the elderly care facility.

The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) in Victoria did not answer the question as to why the update of advice was delayed.

Instead, spokespersons who point out national advice to older care workers take precautions and use eye protection after the outbreak.

“Victoria has updated its advice to take it further, requiring the use of N95 masks during outbreaks in addition to standard requirements,” said a spokesperson.

Hewat said that if there was no delay in updating the guidance notes, the geriatric care facility could have “significantly reduced infections.”

“The staff room was full of clinical waste.”

The nurse said he was “disordered” when he went to Elderly Housing with Care and “there was no actual training on how to care for people with COVID.”

Some of the caregivers hired by the agency said, “Even though it was the first shift as a personal caregiver in elderly care, they were sent to work in a COVID-positive ward.”

She also saw people misusing PPE.

“They came out of the room, this was the COVID room, with full PPE turned on and infected the hallway,” she said.

“You should take it off in the room and be fresh. They will take it off in the hallway.

The figure shows the difference between a surgical mask and a P2 or N95 mask.
Experts say that the gap between the surgical mask and the face allows in the air, which can infect the wearer.(ABC news)

The nurse said the household manager sent staff guidelines on the amount of PPE available daily.

“They said,” You’re overusing, and this is the amount we think you need, “she said.

“They just had to change their gloves and didn’t say anything else to the staff,” he said.

BlueCross protects PPE training and practice

A BlueCross spokesperson said the company complies with all DHHS infection prevention and control requirements.

“On-site training includes live demonstrations of PPE attachment and detachment, one-on-one observations, coaching at PPE, as well as shift changeovers and on-site refreshments by managers at staff meetings,” said a spokesperson. Said.

“Blue Cross started using N95 masks shortly after being mandated by the government.”

According to a private meeting leaked to ABC, Victoria’s Chief Healthcare Officer Andrew Wilson was reluctant to offer N95 masks to more healthcare professionals. Because “consumables will run out in a week”..

But earlier this week, Professor Wilson Guidance on PPE was based on evidence and expert advice..

“We work with many people in the sector … to produce their guidance documents,” he said.

“Our guidance in Victoria was increased in early August. It is stronger than national guidance, stronger than World Health Organization guidance, and stronger than UK guidance.”

Professor Wilson admitted that some people requested masks in situations where expert advice did not require masks.

He said the guidelines are reviewed weekly.

“I hope people can imagine, if you’re increasing from using 50-1,000 masks a week to 900,000, you’re very much about what it means for your supply in the long run. Must be careful, and we have always been really careful with it. “

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