Clarification of the COVID Exposures in Primary and Community Health Care Settings Risk Matrix
Fit checking vs fit testing
Fit checking of Particulate Filter Respirators (PFRs) is required for exposure assessment. Fit testing is recommended but not required to determine if someone meets the close contact criteria.
Definition of vaccinated and unvaccinated contact
Vaccinated/Unvaccinated contact refers to the person who has been exposed (ie in the primary care matrix this is referring to the staff member or patient who has been exposed to someone with COVID-19). Case refers to the person who has tested positive for COVID-19. The vaccination status of the person who already has COVID-19 is irrelevant to the exposure assessment process and will not impact on quarantine and testing requirement for someone who has had contact with the person with COVID-19.
Length of wear for PFRs: Advice from the SA Health COVID-19 Infection Control Services Team
The current advice as per the Department of Health's Infection Control Expert Group's use of face masks and respirators in the context of COVID-19 fact sheet states that you can use a PFR continuously for a single session of care. If removed (e.g. for a meal break or drink), it should be discarded and replaced with a new one. A correctly fitted PFR (i.e. with adequate face-seal), often becomes uncomfortable with prolonged use. Prolonged use can cause headache, thermal stress, painful pressure on the bridge of the nose and/or adverse respiratory and dermatological effects. If any of these occur the wearer is more likely to unconsciously loosen or adjust it and risk contaminating their hands and face or be noncompliant with its use. A mask/PFR should also be changed it if becomes soiled, moist or damaged.
For more information on infection control and PPE visit the SA Health website.
Clarification on eye protection
Acceptable eye protection includes face shields, closely fitted wrap-around goggles or safety glasses. Prescription glasses that do not provide side protection from droplets are not considered eye protection
For further information, please refer to the COVID Exposures Matrix.