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Media Releases | St John Ambulance
COVID-19 UPDATE: Indoor masks to remain at St John NT
  07 Mar 2022

As a healthcare provider St John NT is pleased to see that as a community we are moving towards “business as usual” we however require all visitors to our premises to continue to wear masks unless they can maintain a physical distance of 1.5m.

The safety of our people and the community is our highest priority, we trust that you can understand our requirements for this.

For further information please refer to the following questions and answers:

Q - The NT Government has dropped the mask mandate from Monday, 7 March, why do we have to continue wearing them?

A – We understand that there is a risk that the number of positive COVID-19 cases may increase once the mask mandate is lifted, so we wish to protect our staff, volunteers and community by continuing to wear masks indoors and in operational settings unless a distance of 1.5m can be maintained.

Q – I am doing first aid training with St John NT, do I have to wear a mask?

A - First aid students will be required to wear a mask when moving around the facilities or participating in first aid exercises. Students may only remove their masks while seated, maintaining a distance of 1.5m from other students and instructors.

Q - I am visiting a St John NT facility do I need to wear a mask?

A - We require all visitors, who are onsite for more than 15 minutes, to wear a mask. 

Q - What else is St John NT doing to help mitigate the risk of infection?

Health directions advise that personal behaviour remains our best defence against COVID-19 even when wearing a mask and recommends the following: 

  • Maintain a physical distance of 1.5m at all times.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water and use hand sanitiser regularly. Hand santiser has been placed in all our centers.
  • Cough and sneeze into your elbow or a tissue. Put your tissue in the bin straight away.
  • Do not travel, go to work or visit a St John NT location if you are sick.
  • If you have symptoms, stay away from others and get tested for COVID-19.
  • Mask fit testing for operational staff and review of facial hair to ensure an adequate seal.
  • Training on PPE and infection control to all our staff and volunteers.

Q - Will St John NT be providing surgical masks to visitors?

A – Yes, boxes of mask have been placed at all of our locations. As part of our duty to keep you safe, it’s vital we ensure all visitors have access to face masks when visiting our premises. 

Q – If I suffer from Asthma or another medical condition do I need to wear a mask?

A – It is our responsibility under WHS legislation to keep our staff and volunteers safe. If you are unable to wear a mask due to a medical reason you will be required to provide evidence of the medical reason from your medical practitioner, St John NT will then make the reasonable adjustments required. Those people who have a relevant medical or health condition should not wear a mask if it is not safe or appropriate to do so.

Q - Are your staff required to wear mask at all times?

A – Yes, all staff including volunteers and contractors will be required to wear mask where they cannot physical distance for 1.5m apart.

Recommended use of surgical masks: 

Surgical mask (single use)

You can buy single use surgical masks from outlets such as chemists, some supermarkets and other reputable retailers.

Surgical masks are available in various levels of protection. Surgical masks are single use only and cannot be washed or re-used. Make sure you dispose of your surgical mask immediately after wearing in a closed bin.

Don’t use masks with holes or a valve as you will breathe out your germs or the virus onto others. The value of wearing a mask is to protect other people.

Be aware of fake masks. Increased demand for surgical masks has led to some fake masks entering the Australian market. When buying a mask, make sure that it meets Australian Standards (AS/NZS 1716:2012) or the international equivalent:

This includes:

  • Having the manufacturers name, trademark or trade name on the mask
  • Certification by an independent body such as SAI Global, and have their licence number marked on the packaging
  • Certification by the US National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), if from the United States of America.

How do I wear a face mask properly?

Putting on a face mask

  • Before putting on the mask, wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water, or use hand sanitiser.
  • A mask should fit securely around your face, specifically covering the nose and the mouth areas.
  • Cover mouth and nose with mask and make sure there are no gaps between your face and the mask.
  • Secure the mask to your face using the ties at the back of your head or ear loops. If you are using a mask with ear loops, you can use a plastic clip or tie to join the ends together at the back of your head to make sure it fits snugly on your face.
  • Make sure that your mask does not have holes or any unfiltered one-way valves. This can result in breathing out the virus if you have coronavirus (COVID-19).
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth at all times.

Taking off a face mask

  • Remove the mask from behind, making sure you don’t touch the front of mask.
  • If it is a single-use mask, discard it immediately in a closed bin.
  • If it is a cloth mask, store it in a plastic bag until you have an opportunity to wash it.
  • Wash your hands after you take your mask off, for at least 20 seconds with soap and water, or use hand sanitiser.

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