16 March 2020

COVID-19 update for ADAVB members

Keeping you updated about what the COVID-19 crisis means for you.

This morning the Victorian Premier Dan Andrews declared a State of Emergency for Victoria. We have had a lot of calls from members this morning about what this means for dental practice.

The Premier’s media release says:

'Premier Daniel Andrews and Minister for Health Jenny Mikakos announced that the State of Emergency would begin on Monday, 16 March at midday and be in force for the next four weeks to assist with measures designed to ‘flatten the curve’ of COVID-19 and give our health system the best chance of managing the virus.

'Under a State of Emergency, Authorised Officers, at the direction of the Chief Health Officer, can act to eliminate or reduce a serious risk to public health by detaining people, restricting movement, preventing entry to premises, or providing any other direction an AO considers reasonable to protect public health.

'The first direction from the Chief Health Officer under these new powers will include banning non-essential mass gatherings of over 500 people such as cultural events, sporting events or conferences.

'The powers also allow the Chief Health Officer to do whatever is necessary to contain the spread of the virus and reduce the risk to the health of Victorians.

'While most Victorians are voluntarily complying with requests to isolate, the expanded powers mean that people who don’t comply with a directive could receive a fine of up to $20,000. Fines for body corporates that don’t comply could be up to $100,000.'

These measures are designed to enforce the recent restrictions on meetings of more than 500 people and self-isolation requirements for anyone returning from overseas. Our advice to members is that the State of Emergency does not impact on dental practices, and that at this stage members are able to continue routine dental practice. Maintaining high standards of infection control and keeping up-to-date with the latest advice is critical.

The ADAVB is in constant contact with the Health Minister’s office and the Department of Health and Human Services to ensure we have the most up-to-date information. We will continue to post regular updates to the website, and we have developed a number of resources to help you manage COVID-19 in your practice. View them here (member login required).

Please ensure that you review information on our website prior to calling the office as most of the information is already available online.

Note our changes at the ADAVB offices

The ADAVB office is putting into place our COVID-19 response plan, which includes staff working from home to protect their safety and to help minimise potential disease transmission. These are important public health measures. This will mean that our offices will be open 10am to 4pm with a skeleton staff. Calls outside these times will go to voicemail. Please consider using our contact us online form to get in touch. We are working hard to ensure that this does not impact on our ability to deliver services to members during this difficult time.