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EXCLUSIVE | Delivery drivers at risk from COVID-19 samples

Drivers at an NSW company tasked with transporting coronavirus test samples are reportedly not receiving proper training.

A listener has told Deborah Knight that the COVID-19 tests are being put into eskies and the drivers at one courier company aren’t being given any special training or briefing on the tests at all.

They reportedly aren’t even being given gloves or masks.

NSW Health Pathology has said in a comment they have “issued new COVID-19 specific guidance and procedures to all our staff including specific advice for couriers”. (See full statement below)

Third-party carriers are provided information and briefings to give to drivers who are meant to be well trained.

“There’s got to be some training, surely,” Deborah says, “for delivery drivers to ensure that when they are handling these coronavirus tests they do realise it’s a serious safety risk.”

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NSW Health Pathology full statement:

“The safety of all our staff, patients and communities is always our greatest priority.

“Our couriers play a vital role making sure samples are safety transported to our dedicated testing laboratories to help protect the health of our communities right across NSW.

“NSW Health Pathology maintains high infection control standards to prevent transmission of all infectious diseases including COVID-19.

“In recent weeks, we have issued new COVID-19 specific guidance and procedures to all our staff including specific advice for couriers – including Metrostate couriers.

“Our laboratory staff triple pack these samples for safe transport to our dedicated COVID-19 testing labs in line with national standards for biological samples.

“Couriers place the samples in a sealed bag or esky for safe transfer to their vehicle. The sample is then placed in a fridge or chilled esky, which is also in line with standard procedures.

“We have also advised all couriers to sanitise their vehicles with thorough cleaning of hard surfaces and to be extra vigilant with regular hand hygiene.

“We recognise this is an unprecedented and rapidly changing situation and have reminded all our staff to speak with managers with any concerns so we can work through this safely together.”