How to volunteer safely

 

Stop the spread of COVID-19

Simple hygiene practices, similar to those used to protect against the flu, can help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other respiratory infections.

Remember to:

  • Clean your hands regularly with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitiser.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or bent elbow when coughing or sneezing, dispose of tissues immediately after use and wash your hands or apply hand sanitiser.
  • Avoid touching your face, nose and mouth and shaking hands.
  • Avoid close contact with anyone who is unwell. Try to stay at least 1.5 metres away from anyone coughing or sneezing.
  • Stay home if you are unwell.

 

I am a volunteer, am I obliged to continue volunteering?

Volunteers are under no obligation to continue to volunteer if they do not feel comfortable doing so. If you do continue in your volunteering role then your volunteer-involving organisation has an obligation under Work Health and Safety Laws to provide protections around health and safety. You may wish to have a conversation with your volunteer-involving organisation about different ways of volunteering, for example continuing to volunteer remotely.

 

When should I not volunteer?

You should not volunteer if you:

  • Have travelled or have been in contact with someone who has travelled overseas or interstate recently.
  • Have been in close contact with someone infected with COVID-19.
  • Are unwell or have an acute respiratory infection (cold/flu, sinus, etc.).

If you have a confirmed case, you need to isolate yourself to prevent it spreading to other people and seek medical assistance. For more information visit the Queensland Health website.

 

What happens if I am unwell when volunteering?

If you think you might have COVID-19 because of recent travel or contact with a confirmed case, contact a doctor or call 13HEALTH (13 43 25 84). If you are feeling unwell but haven’t travelled or had contact with a confirmed case, phone your doctor for advice. Protect others around you by washing your hands and keeping your distance. When seeing your GP, you must call ahead and mention your symptoms and any travel details. If you have serious symptoms, such as difficulty breathing, call Triple Zero (000) and ask for an ambulance and tell the operator your recent travel history.

 

What happens if the person I’m helping is unwell?

If you arrive at your volunteering role and your client appears unwell, first ensure you are following full infection prevention control procedures for your own safety. It is then recommended to follow your organisation’s procedures in notifying of illness and need of medical assistance.

 

Adapted from information provided by Volunteering Tasmania and Queensland Health.