• 12th Mar 2020

College response to coronavirus

College Activities – COVID-19 Response

Members will be aware of the coronavirus (COVID-19) that is currently causing disruptions, illnesses and some deaths in a number of countries. Although COVID-19 has caused mostly minor symptoms for the majority of those who have become infected, for a small percentage infection has led to pneumonia and ICU admission, and for a small subset has resulted in death.

Based on the Australian Government’s assessment of the current status of COVID-19 in Australia, and the raising internationally to pandemic status, the College has decided to proactively manage our activities to minimise the likelihood of COVID-19 spreading from person-to-person at one of our events.

The College will be postponing the Trauma on the Border conference and the Rural, Outback and Remote (ROAR) conference. Our conferences, which have large attendances and involve interstate travel of delegates, present a high risk of COVID-19 transmission to paramedics. These events also have a bigger financial impact on delegates (flights / accommodation) and on the College (loss of substantial deposits) if they are cancelled closer to the event date.

The College is monitoring state level guidance in relation to our local events and will continue to plan and hold these events where appropriate.

Local level events

Event attendance

In line with Australian Government advice; we advise that members, event attendees and staff do not attend College events if, on the day of the event:

  • You are unwell, including exhibiting symptoms ranging from mild to severe illness including pneumonia, and include (but not limited to) fever, cough, sore throat, fatigue and shortness of breath
  • You have been or have any reason to suspect you have been exposed to someone with or suspected to have COVID-19
  • You, or someone you live with, are in self-isolation because you/they have visited or travelled through any Category 1 country within the past 14 days (for business or personal reasons), or
  • You are in self-isolation due to having had contact with someone with suspected or diagnosed COVID-19.

As a further precaution, we also ask members and event attendees to refrain from attending a College event if you have left or transited through, mainland China, Italy, Iran, South Korea or Japan in the 14-day period leading up to the event.

Note: In relation to events with an attendance fee, the College will refund the ticket price to anyone unable to attend due to following the above advice.

Event procedures

The College will be instigating social distancing and good hygiene practices at our events based on WHO advice. We expect attendees to:

  • Not attend if they are unwell or leave the event if they begin feeling unwell
  • Wash their hands regularly / use hand sanitiser (the College will ensure hand sanitiser is available at all events)
  • Minimise touching of their eyes, nose and mouth
  • Minimise physical contact with other event participants
  • Maintain at least one metre distance between someone who is coughing or sneezing, and
  • Practise respiratory hygiene (such as coughing or sneezing into bent elbow or tissue and disposing of that tissue appropriately).

At College events where food or drink is provided, we will be instigating individual drinks, meal or snack packs to reduce the risk of transmission for attendees. For shorter education events (under three hours), if suitable food options are not available or reasonably priced, then no food may be provided.

We will endeavour to live-stream and record as many of our events as possible and make them available online for members.

Changes to this advice

The College acknowledges that the situation with COVID-19 is rapidly changing and we will be following the advice of the Chief Medical Officer and governments. If the official advice changes, our local events may need to be cancelled at short notice. In the case of a cancelled event, the College will refund the ticket price to all registrants.

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