The MSIR’S critical role during COVID-19

Aug 28, 2020Coronavirus (COVID-19), Latest News, Media releases

The North Richmond Community Health Medically Supervised Injecting Room (MSIR) is an essential health service that remains open during COVID-19 so that it can continue to save lives and reduce the pressure on Victoria’s public health system.

The MSIR also plays a critical role in helping limit the spread of COVID-19 by helping identify and support vulnerable members of our community who test positive to the virus.

As with all of the community services North Richmond Community Health provides, the MSIR operates in accordance with the directions of the Chief Health Officer and works closely with the City of Yarra, DHHS and Victoria Police to help keep our community safe.

How we respond to a positive COVID-19 test result

Responding to a positive COVID-19 test result of a client who has visited the MSIR is something that we have planned and prepared for.

On receiving notification of a positive test result, we immediately enact our COVID-19 response procedures. This includes alerting DHHS, reviewing the potential close contacts, notifying and supporting affected staff members and clients, and organising a deep clean of the facility.

MSIR staff use extensive Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and clients are temperature checked and assessed before using the facility. All staff and clients have regular access to COVID-19 testing, important health information, and protective masks. The MSIR is also cleaned thoroughly inside and outside of its operating hours.

Medically supervised injecting room staff in PPE

Our COVID-19 safety measures

In following the guidance of the Chief Health Officer, North Richmond Community Health has also taken proactive steps to help reduce the spread of COVID-19, these include:

  • displaying physical distance guidance markings
  • screening and assessing every client on entrance to the MSIR via temperature checking and a series of questions
  • ensuring every MSIR client wears a face covering
  • providing face masks to clients who do not already have them
  • assisting clients to properly and safely wear a face mask
  • limiting the number of people entering the MSIR to keep with physical distancing space limits
  • ensuring all MSIR staff are wearing extensive and appropriate PPE
  • informing and supporting our clients on how to keep safe during COVID-19
  • offering COVID-19 testing to all MSIR clients

Alongside DHHS, the City of Yarra, Victoria Police and local community groups, we believe we can facilitate a critical health service that supports our community’s most vulnerable while contributing to a safer and healthier community on the whole.

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