The Federal Government will release five million face masks from the national stockpile for use by staff in Victorian residential aged care services as the state battles to control the spread of COVID-19.
Health Minister, Greg Hunt said 500,000 reusable face shields would also be made available to aged care services staff in the embattled state to assist its 770 residential aged care facilities.
“Our Government is committed to supporting aged care workers and residents in Victoria during this difficult period,” said Mr Hunt.
“Both workers and residents are at risk of contracting the virus, with elderly and frail residents highly vulnerable to the disease.”
The new release of face masks from the National Medical Stockpile is in addition to the four million surgical masks made available to Victorian aged care services on July 13.
“The use of personal protective equipment (PPE) such as masks and face shields is vital in preventing the spread of COVID-19,” said Mr Hunt.
He said all aged care workers across Victoria were now required to wear face masks and, as an additional precautionary measure, will be advised to wear face shields.
The Australian Government has to date dispatched more than 52 million masks in response to COVID-19, including 11 million to Victoria.
Since late March, more than 300 million masks, more than eight million gowns, more than 41 million gloves, and more than 10 million goggles and face shields have been received into the stockpile.
Mr Hunt said substantial amounts of PPE, including additional masks and face shields, will continue to arrive over the coming weeks and months.