Advice to obstetricians and gynaecologists, and GP obstetricians, regarding isolation and COVID-19

16 March 2020

RANZCOG advises that health care workers follow the recommendations outlined in the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) coronavirus (COVID-19) statement.

Key points are:
  • Health care workers with direct contact with patients are more likely to be exposed to COVID-19.
  • All healthcare workers should observe usual infection prevention and control practices in the workplace.
  • Any health care worker who provides direct care AND who has a fever (≥37.5) AND an acute respiratory infection (e.g. shortness of breath, cough, coryza, and/or sore throat), are classified as a suspect case and should be tested for COVID-19.
Recommendations for exclusion from work
  • Health care workers who are close contacts of confirmed cases of COVID-19 either in the community or at work should self-quarantine at home AND must not work for 14 days after the last possible contact with the confirmed case.
  • Healthcare workers with an influenza-like illness should not work while they are symptomatic. They should undergo isolation and additionally be tested for SARS-CoV-2 if they meet the suspect case definition (fever AND acute respiratory illness).
  • Health care workers, along with all other people who return from overseas must enter self-isolation and should not return to work for 14 days.
  • Health care workers who are a suspect case (as above) must self-isolate until they receive a negative test result for COVID-19.

If you are unable to attend your practice, due to self-isolation (either because you have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or advised to self-isolate in accordance with AHPPC), but are not a patient of a hospital, you can continue providing services to your patients by telehealth or telephone as long as you have the capacity to provide “… the full service through this means safely and in accordance with professional standards.”

Recommendations on casual contacts

  • The Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) states that there is no work restriction on Health Care Workers who are casual contacts of COVID-19 cases and are well. In this instance, Health Care Workers are advised to self-monitor for symptoms and self-isolate if they become unwell until COVID-19 is excluded.

As the situation is rapidly evolving please continue to check for updates from reliable sources including:



Dr Pieter Mourik (AM)

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