This week is International Infection Prevention Week - a chance for us to put a spotlight on the vital work being done by our Infection Prevention team every day to prevent and control healthcare associated infections, including COVID-19.

This week serves as a timely reminder to ensure we don’t let our guard down. It’s a good opportunity to take a moment to evaluate your own infection prevention practices and make sure we’re still doing everything possible to protect ourselves.

The number one thing on our Infection Prevention team’s agenda on an everyday basis is hand hygiene, as it’s the single most important thing we can do to prevent the spread of infection.

“Washing your hands thoroughly and regularly for at least 20 seconds remains your best defence against COVID-19 and other infections like the flu,” Peter Mac Infection Prevention Manager Elizabeth Gillespie says.

“We want to remind everyone that it’s vital to wash your hands immediately after touching your mask and especially before and after eating or after visiting a public spaces.”

If you or a loved one is living with cancer and/or are undergoing treatment, in addition to DHHS advice there are further precautions you can take to reduce the risk of contracting COVID-19.

These can include:

  • Stay home as much as possible and avoid non-essential travel
  • Maintain a 1.5 metre physical distance between yourself and others
  • Avoid crowds and crowded areas and avoid unnecessary physical contact
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces (tables, benches, light switches, doorknobs, sinks, toilets, remotes, such as your mobile phone or eating surfaces)
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth as this can transfer the virus from surfaces and increase the risk of infection

For more information, Peter Mac has a comprehensive guide to infection prevention and mask wearing.