The vast majority of masks we are distributing are surgical masks to general practices, Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations, pharmacies and allied health practices, based on guidelines from the Australian Government Department of Health.
We are also distributing N95 masks to a very small number of general practices in regional areas, who meet strict criteria. This means they are expected to undertake detailed assessments because there is no suitable facility for assessment nearby, for example an Emergency Department, COVID clinic or GP Respiratory Clinic.
These surgical masks are intended for use by health professionals and patients, only when dealing with patients presenting with symptoms suggestive of COVID-19.
Due to the aforementioned shortage, they are not intended for wider use, such as in waiting rooms, or to be given to other patients, or sold to pharmacy customers.
Please read WA Department of Health’s Conservation of PPE Fact Sheet.
Surgical masks are suitable for routine patient consultations with patients whose symptoms and epidemiological history are suggestive of COVID-19.
According to Australian Government Department of Health guidelines, distribution of N95 respirators is limited to general practices, including Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations, who need to assess suspected COVID-19 cases because of the unavailability of nearby dedicated respiratory clinics or emergency departments (e.g. in some rural and remote communities).
Such practices need to have isolation facilities and other appropriate infrastructure, staff competent in use of PPE, and a pandemic plan. Additionally, N95 respirators should only be used with other PPE (gowns, gloves and eye protection).
Aged care providers that require Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) must email email@example.com for all requests.
All requests will be triaged by the Australian Government Department of Health with priority given to facilities, programs and workers where there has been a confirmed case of COVID-19.
The following information must be provided in your email request to the Australian Government Department of Health:
If your facility, program or service is experiencing an outbreak of influenza the above process also applies. The Department of Health will triage your request to determine priority and may be in contact with you for further information. Once approved the request for supplies will be shared with the National Incident Room who will work with your State or Territory Government to distribute the supplies.
It is important to remember that if you do not have a confirmed case of COVID-19 within your facility, program or service you should expect delays in receiving your PPE due to the increase in demand.