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MEDIA RELEASE

  18 Mar 2020


COVID-19 Advice No. 2

St John NT places the health and well-being of our staff, volunteers and community as its highest priority.

In what is an unprecedented situation of rapid change and uncertainty we must act proactively to ensure that we can maintain this priority while continuing to respond to the community’s health and emergency needs. The Northern Territory to date has had one known case of COVID-19 in the community and has successfully managed the repatriation of Australian citizens from mainland China and Japan through the Manigurr-Ma Village in Howard Springs. We now have an opportunity to put early measures in place so that we can respond to likely escalation of this situation.

We have been working closely with the Northern Territory Government, emergency services and the national Council of Ambulance Authorities to provide a coordinated and systematic approach to the management of our response to COVID-19.

In order to look after the health and well-being of our staff, volunteers and the patients we care for, maintain our workforce capacity and be able to deliver core functions and services for the community into the future we will implement a suite of changes over the coming week to ensure that we are well prepared for the COVID-19 response. These changes will remain in place until 1 May 2020, at which point they will be reviewed.

These include:

Staff Health and Well-being

  • Transitioning identified staff to work from home as logistics and capacity become available
  • All interstate or international travel for work purposes has been suspended
  • Travel within the NT to be minimised to essential travel only
  • Additional training will be put in place for volunteers and staff to support our response to the community
  • Peer Support Services to be increased and made available for immediate response

Secure our Ambulance Centres

  • No public access or visitors to the Casuarina Centre or any of our ambulance centres throughout the Territory
  • Bill payment and commercial operations to be moved from Casuarina to our retail store in Winnellie

Public First Aid Training

  • Public First Aid Training to be conducted at Farrer, Alice Springs, Tennant Creek and identified off-site training facilities to be organised for classes affected 
  • Continuation of First Aid training to be assessed weekly
  • Additional hygiene process have been introduced to reduce the risk of spreading infection

Restocking & Retail

  • In recognition that many companies are already introducing restricted access to their properties we will be altering the way that we restock businesses
  • First Aid Restocking processes in Alice Springs and Darwin are to be reviewed over the next week to move to online and phone orders and alternate delivery methods. No onsite restocking will occur at the Katherine, Tennant Creek and Nhulunbuy sites. We will be developing a comms plan for our customers in all areas
  • Physical separation of Stores and Retail  in Darwin and Alice Springs will take place

Community Education & Health Services Events

  • Community education to be paused from Monday 23 March in recognition that many schools have already requested to postpone this service
  • Review Volunteers involvement in public events until 1 May 2020 as many events have been cancelled or postponed

Cadets & Volunteers

  • Redirect Volunteers activities to support ambulance service 
  • Cadets training and activities will be suspended, we will explore options for online training

As we move forward, our focus will be directed at our response to COVID-19. This will mean that other business activities may be postponed for the immediate future.  We understand that we have a limited period of time to implement actions which could have a significant impact on our ability to deliver services if the NT is affected by this virus.

We ask that all staff, volunteers, suppliers and clients work with us to address this situation. While there are many uncertainties ahead of us, we need to work together, remain calm and be understanding of our role in providing health care and emergency services to all Territorians.

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