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Covid has not gone away

With over five and a half thousand active cases of COVID-19 in Canberra, the ParkCare team would like to send a timely reminder on COVID-19 safe practices within ACT Parks and Conservation Service.

This advice is currently being  followed across all ACT Government sectors, and is intended to ensure as much as possible the safety of volunteers and the wider community.

As part of the ACT Parks and Conservation Service, ParkCare Volunteers are required to act in accordance with the latest public health orders, as well as in line with the ACT Government Sector COVID-19 safe planning. This includes wearing the appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) where applicable, maintaining good hygiene practices and getting tested and isolating when showing signs/symptoms of the virus.

Please see below the current advice for COVID-19 safe practices for ParkCare Volunteers.

Personal hygiene

  • All volunteers must take personal responsibility to maintain adequate personal hygiene throughout the duration of their activities.
  • Making sure to clean your hands thoroughly for at least 20 seconds with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand rub before and after volunteer activities.
  • Prevent the spread of germs: Cover your nose and mouth when coughing and sneezing with tissue or a flexed elbow. Tissues must be placed in a bin and wash hands immediately. Empty bin regularly.
  • Wearing of gloves and avoiding touching the nose and mouth will help prevent the spread of germs.

Face Masks:

Consistent with EPSDD directions, staff, contractors and visitors are required to wear face masks when indoors and:

  • moving through the workplace
  • within 1.5 metres of team members
  • travelling with others in a vehicle

Masks are not required:

  • when working outdoors
  • when eating, drinking or ingesting medication
  • when communicating with someone who is deaf or hard of hearing
  • when undertaking vigorous exercise
  • because of an emergency
  • when, due to the nature of work, wearing a mask would create a risk to health and safety
  • due to medical, disability or health conditions which make mask wearing detrimental
  • when required to confirm identity

Onset of Illness:

  • Emergency warning signs for COVID-19 include trouble breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, confusion, and/or bluish lips or face. If these or other symptoms that are severe or concerning present, get medical attention immediately.
  • General symptoms include fever, cough, and/or shortness of breath, but may also include fatigue, chills, aches, sore throat, loss of taste and/or smell, or otherwise unexplained gastrointestinal issues.
  • If a person experiences flu or cold like symptoms during operations, the person should immediately notify their supervisor and be removed from the operation and isolated as much as possible.
  • Report any health concerns – for themselves or for colleagues – to their supervisor.
  • When using public facilities, be reminded that there is nothing to indicate the health of those there before you.

Interactions with Members of the Public

It’s acknowledged that incidental face to face interactions with the public may be inevitable for some work areas.

  • Masks are no longer required to be worn in accordance with ACT Health Directions as well as NSW Health Directions where appropriate, however, may be voluntarily worn by volunteers,
  • Physical distancing must be maintained,
  • Interactions should be kept as brief as possible,
  • Online meetings remain the preferred platform where possible.

Use of Equipment:

  • Volunteers are advised to not share tools, if additional tools are required, please inform ParkCare management at parkcare@act.gov.au
  • All tools are to be sanitised at the end of each activity.
  • ParkCare Rangers will provide hand sanitiser, requested PPE (including for weed control), chemicals, tools and equipment (within reason) to ensure there are enough for all active volunteers. This will include delivery of mulch for planting activities.
  • Volunteers are encouraged to not share their personal vehicles with people other than family members. Where personal vehicles are shared:
  • The driver and all passengers must wear a mask
  • Windows should be open and the airflow must be on “external” to allow fresh air to circulate within the vehicle. It is understood in dusty and/or smoky environments internal airflow is required; however, the airflow must be set to external where possible.

For more information on the ACT Health Directives, please visit: https://www.covid19.act.gov.au/