Two more pharmacists diagnosed with COVID-19


This brings the total in Victoria to 65 cases among pharmacists, with more than 3200 cases among healthcare workers in the state to date

There has been a significant number of COVID-19 cases in healthcare workers notified to the department, according to the latest data from the Victorian government.

However the number of cases has decreased relative to the previous week, “reflect[ing] the downward trend of transmission in the broader Victorian population”.

Between 27 August and 2 September, there were 154 new cases of COVID-19 among healthcare workers.

Two of these were pharmacists, bringing the total among Victorian pharmacists throughout the pandemic to 65. Meanwhile there were 83 new cases among aged care or disability workers; 49 among nurses; five among allied health; and three new cases among doctors.

Of total infections across healthcare workers in Victoria so far (3286), 1398 (42.5%) were aged care or disability workers, 1275 (38.8%) were nurses or midwives, 199 (6.1%) were medical practitioners, and 414 (12.6%) were other healthcare workers.

About 70% of cases were acquired in a healthcare setting, and 12.3% were not acquired in a healthcare setting. Just over 18% of cases are either still under investigation or the source of infection is unable to be determined.

Currently there are 354 active cases among healthcare workers.

 

Any arrangements that are put in place for paid pandemic leave for health professionals of course should include pharmacists.—PSA Victoria

Based on the data, the PSA has criticised submissions to the Fair Work Commission (FWC) that argued pharmacy workers are not at greater risk of COVID-19 infection than other workers. In its decision, the FWC knocked back the application to introduce paid pandemic leave for a range of health workers, including pharmacists and pharmacy assistants, although it eventually made provisions for aged care workers.

“PSA always knew and has stated previously that frontline health professionals including pharmacists have been at significant risk of contracting COVID-19 and this has been borne out in the data in Victoria,” PSA Victoria Branch President John Jackson told AJP.

“There’s no doubt that pharmacists like other health professionals and groups have had issues in accessing PPE, and we commend the work that is being done to look at system improvements in protecting healthcare professionals.

“Any arrangements that are put in place for paid pandemic leave for health professionals of course should include pharmacists.”

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