Preparing your business for COVID-19 cases and outbreaks

Last Updated: 02 May 2022 12:00am

Preparing for a case or outbreak in your workplace or organisation

Planning and being prepared for cases or an outbreak of COVID-19 will help you respond well and quickly, and minimise disruption to normal services and activities. Your COVID-19 Safety Plan will help you work through this process.

Preparedness activities should include:

  • updating your COVID-19 Safety Plan and/or Outbreak Management Plan
  • encouraging all staff to be vaccinated against COVID-19
  • undertaking the mandatory risk assessment to determine if the risks of COVID-19 are significant and what measures you may need to take to protect your staff and business. This may include requiring staff to be vaccinated or requiring mask wearing in the workplace.
  • ensuring your workplace has an adequate supply of facemasks available for staff if required
  • maintaining adequate cleaning supplies
  • optimising ventilation in your workplace
  • identifying the person who will lead your response and be the main contact person for Public Health
  • planning how you will communicate with your staff and clients if there is an outbreak associated with your workplace
  • considering how you will safely continue business if you experience high level of staff absenteeism - this includes knowing if your workplace meets the criteria to register for essential staff to be exempt from close contact quarantine requirements to attend work, under the framework for critical industries
  • having a plan for staff to work from home (if possible/appropriate) and how this will be enacted
  • having appropriate accommodation identified to isolate cases and contacts. If your business provides or supports accommodation for your staff and customers, identifying appropriate premises where cases and contacts can isolate or quarantine is important to stop the spread of illness. Industries are expected to provide their own appropriate accommodation for cases and contacts.
  • reviewing existing health screening processes (if appropriate).

These actions should be captured in your COVID-19 Safety Plan and/or Case and Outbreak Management Plan.

Safety and outbreak plans

COVID-19 Safety Plans capture how your business or organisation complies with the minimum standards for managing the risks of COVID-19, to keep staff and other people within the setting safe.

Outbreak Management Plans capture how your business or organisation will prepare for and respond to outbreaks of COVID-19 affecting your workplace or setting.

If your workplace or setting is small and not high-risk, it may be sufficient to document your planned case and outbreak activities in the Responding to an incident of COVID-19 in the workplace section of your COVID-19 Safety Plan, and not have a separate Case and Outbreak Management Plan. Work through the Case and Outbreak Management Plan template to determine if you need both plans.

If you only have a COVID-19 Safety Plan, the actions your business/organisation will take if there is a case linked to your premises should be outlined in the section Responding to an incident of COVID-19 in the workplace. Your COVID-19 Safety Plan captures how your business or organisation is meeting the minimum standards to be safe.

Developing a COVID-19 Safety Plan

Developing an Outbreak Management Plan


Checklist: Preparing for COVID-19 case and outbreak management

Preparing your business for COVID-19 cases and outbreaks

View all the latest templates and fact sheets