Professionals Pharmacists Australia has issued an urgent nation-wide call for customers not to enter pharmacies if they have symptoms or suspect they have been exposed to COVID-19.
Professional Pharmacists Australia President Geoff March said that as pharmacies in both New South Wales and Victoria were listed as exposure sites during the most recent outbreaks of the COVID-19 Delta variant, many pharmacies were still operating.
"Pharmacies play an absolutely critical role in supporting community health and it's vital that the health of the pharmacy workforce is not compromised so that these important services can continue to be delivered," he said.
"Additionally, pharmacies are often attended by people who are more vulnerable due to their health issues, so it is particularly important that they are not exposed to the COVID virus.
"We urge every member of the public to think carefully before you enter a pharmacy. Ask yourself if you have even the slightest symptoms and whether you think you have been exposed to the COVID-19 virus.
"If the you think the answer might be yes, do not enter a pharmacy and put others at risk. Instead, head to a testing facility to receive a COVID-19 test.
"In NSW and Victoria, always wear a mask, use the appropriate QR code to check-in and comply with all public health orders when entering pharmacy premises.
"If a customer has respiratory symptoms and is unsure what to do, seek advice by calling the pharmacy instead of visiting."
Dr March said that with the vaccine rollout now being extended to community pharmacies across the country, we all needed to redouble our efforts to keep pharmacists and the community safe.
"The vaccine rollout is now being extended to community pharmacies and that's welcome news, but it does mean an increase in the number of customers visiting their local pharmacy so it's absolutely critical that we get this right," he said.
"To ensure pharmacies can continue to safely administer the vaccine to Australians, we urge customers to think carefully before visiting their local pharmacy, to protect pharmacists and vulnerable members of the community."
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