Case and outbreak response

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Last Updated: 30 Nov 2021 6:44pm

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Public Health response to a confirmed case

When someone is diagnosed with COVID-19, they become a ‘confirmed case’.

Public Health will interview the case and undertake rapid contact tracing to work out who may have been in close contact with the case while they were infectious.

The main purpose of contract tracing is to identify contacts (people who have had contact with the case) and exposure sites, and to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Contact will be identified as either low-risk, casual or close, and the testing and quarantine requirements will be determined by Public Health.

Read about contact tracing and the types of contacts and testing and quarantine requirements.

Key steps taken to manage a case or outbreak of COVID-19 include:

  • isolating the case (even if they are vaccinated) and organising appropriate, safe medical care
  • identifying and quarantining close contacts of the case – the quarantine time will depend on whether the contact is vaccinated, whether personal protective equipment (PPE) was used, and how long the contact was exposed to the case. Read more about contacts and testing and quarantine requirements
  • continuing widespread testing within the community to identify further cases
  • encouraging Public Health social measures such as social distancing, hand hygiene, mask wearing, optimising ventilation and staying at home when unwell.

Important: if a case is identified as having spent time at your business while they were infectious, you will be notified by Public Health.

Responding to a case or outbreak in your workplace or business

If Public Health notifies you that a confirmed COVID-19 case is linked to your workplace, they will work with you to identify what you need to do to protect other people and continue normal activities within your business as soon and as safely as possible.

The initial steps Public Health may ask you to take are to:

  1. Review and activate your COVID-19 Safety Plan and/or Outbreak Management Plan.
  2. Instruct people in your setting to wear face masks.
  3. Support Public Health contact tracing by collecting and providing any additional staffing and visitor information that has not been collected via the Check in TAS app. This may include staffing rosters, manual check in/visitor log sheets or spreadsheets.
  4. Advise any contacts you may identify to quarantine at home and follow the quarantine instructions. Public Health will provide additional instructions in the following days.
  5. Liaise with Public Health to coordinate appropriate communications about the case or outbreak to other people who are associated with your workplace, such as staff, visitors, contractors and customers.
  6. Organise cleaning and disinfection of frequently touched areas, as outlined in your COVID-19 Safety Plan. Read about cleaning and disinfection after a case
  7. Continue to encourage COVID-safe behaviours including physical distancing, hand hygiene, advising staff and visitors to stay at home if unwell, and covering coughs and sneezes.

*Important: depending on the circumstances, if the confirmed case is an employee, you may also be required by law to notify WorkSafe Tasmania of the case.

Planning and preparedness are important for all businesses and organisations, and your COVID-19 Safety Plan will help you work through this process. Read more about Preparing your business for COVID-19 cases and outbreaks.

Care for people with COVID-19

The Department of Health will contact people who test positive for COVID-19 to work out a care plan. This plan will be based on the person’s symptoms, any medical conditions, their home situation and the support they have available. Read more about the care available to people with COVID-19.

Resources

Checklist: Preparing for case and outbreak management

Checklist: Response to COVID-19 case or outbreak

Checklist: Stand down from case or outbreak

Cleaning and disinfection after a case

View all the latest templates and fact sheets