Epidemic/Pandemic Policy

1.     INTRODUCTION

From time to time infectious diseases develop into epidemics or pandemics, and create increased risks for the community. These occasions require specific policies targeted at the particular disease in question and general efforts at preparedness.

1.1     U3A Warwick Inc wishes as far as possible to protect its members, its volunteers, and the general public from infection or contagion by epidemics and/or pandemics.

1.2     U3A Warwick Inc will facilitate, through its policies and procedures, strategies designed to reduce risks to its members, its volunteers, and the general public.

1.3     U3A Warwick Inc will comply with all directions from authorised public health officers and recognised medical authorities in relation to the epidemic or pandemic.

2.     PURPOSE

2.1     The purpose of this policy is to outline the strategies and actions that U3A Warwick Inc intends to take to prevent the transmission of infectious diseases that are epidemics or pandemics, and control the transmission of infectious diseases when a case/s is identified.

For the purpose of this policy, infectious diseases mean diseases caused by pathogenic microorganisms, such as bacteria, viruses, parasites or fungi; the diseases can be spread, directly or indirectly, from one person to another. This policy is focused on infectious diseases that are declared to be an epidemic or pandemic.

3.     SCOPE

3.1     This policy applies to:

      •    Members
      •    Office Bearers
      •    Volunteers
      •    Tutors

4.     POLICY

4.1     U3A Warwick Inc will as far as possible plan for and make advance preparations for the possibility that its operations will be affected by an epidemic or pandemic.

4.2    In the event of an epidemic or pandemic, U3A Warwick Inc will, as far as possible:
4.2.1 Assist its members, volunteers and others, as relevant, to minimise their exposure to the illness concerned.
4.2.2 Encourage and assist those who have reason to believe that they are at risk of contracting the epidemic or pandemic to obtain a diagnosis.
4.2.3 Support members, volunteers and others, as relevant, to take reasonable precautions to prevent infection or contagion.
4.2.4 Maintain its services and operations, if appropriate, throughout the period of concern.

4.3     In the event of an infectious disease being declared an epidemic or pandemic, U3A Warwick Inc requires people covered by this Policy to take the following precautions:
4.3.1 Regularly and thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water or clean them with an alcohol-based hand rub.
4.3.2 Maintain a distance of at least 1.5 metres (5 feet) between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
4.3.3 Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth, or shaking hands with others.
4.3.4 Make sure you follow good hygiene, and encourage others to do the same. This means covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze, and disposing of used tissues immediately.
4.3.5 Consider staying at home if you feel unwell.
4.3.6 Keep up to date on the latest hotspots (cities or local areas where the pandemic or epidemic is spreading widely). If possible, avoid travelling to places – especially if you are more at risk.
4.3.7 If you are or are likely to be contagious, it might be necessary for you to self-isolate by staying at home until you recover.
4.3.8 Seek medical advice promptly and follow the directions of your local health authority.

5.     NOTES

5.1     U3A Warwick Inc will be guided by the information and directions provided by local health authorities and its occupational health and safety obligations.

5.2     Based on current information, it appears that social distancing is an important tool in restricting the spread of Covid-19 [coronavirus].

6.     Related Documents

6.1     Australian Health Management Plan for Pandemic Influenza (AHMPPI) Qld – Queensland

7.     Legislation & Industrial Instruments

7.1     This policy & procedure is not intended to override any industrial instrument, contract, award or legislation.

        • Biosecurity Act 2015 (Commonwealth)