Poll: What is your COVID safety plan?

A pharmacist that recently found out her pharmacy was visited by someone infected with COVID-19 has urged colleagues to get serious about their safety plans

Caroline Diamantis, proprietor of Balmain Community Pharmacy in Sydney, recently shared her story with AJP about the day she received a call from the NSW Department of Health.

“The woman rang me and said, ‘I’ve got some news’, and she said ‘on [that] particular day it has been determined that you had a customer walk in who was tested positive for COVID,” said Ms Diamantis.

“It’s been an absolute rollercoaster of emotions, it’s every pharmacists’ greatest fear,” she said, advising pharmacists to ensure they have a COVID safety plan in place.

NSW Health interviewed Ms Diamantis for half an hour asking her about her COVID safety plan, and and how they approached people walking in.

“You have to be serious about your COVID safety plan. They will quiz you on what you’ve done,” she said. “They want to hear that you’re doing a major clean every day, which means sanitising all the public spaces.

“Part of our COVID safety plan is to make sure that people don’t wait in the shop and that they’re not in the shop for more than 10 minutes. So we don’t have seats for people to sit down on anymore, we don’t have areas where they can find themselves waiting in the shop, people should come in and go out very quickly because anything under 10 minutes means that you’re pretty much casual contact.”

Her pharmacy also takes and records each staff member’s temperature daily, among other strategies for reducing risk.

Following the experience, Ms Diamantis said she spent even more time finessing the plan for her pharmacy.

We want to know what your pharmacy is doing in terms of COVID safety planning. Both proprietors and employee pharmacists are encouraged to respond. Please choose any of the below options that apply (you can choose more than one).


For more information on pandemic preparedness and emergency planning, see the Pharmacy Guild’s checklist here or advice for community pharmacies on COVID-19 from NSW Health here.

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