The Pharmacists Defence Association (PDA) has stressed that as ‘long Covid’ is turning into an issue for community pharmacists, reporting likely exposure at workplace will be vital for contractors.
The association has reiterated that it is the legal duty of employers to maintain safe and healthy workplaces and to report likely Covid-19 exposure at work resulting in an infection to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to ensure the safety of their teams.
Post-Covid-19 syndrome or long Covid can be a condition where the virus can cause symptoms that last weeks or months even after the patient recovers from the disease.
“More is becoming known about long Covid, but it is already clear that it has the potential to be life changing. An individual will not know at the time of infection if they will subsequently develop long Covid or the future impact it may have on their life,” the PDA pointed out.
“As the country, and world learns from this pandemic to be better prepared for future viruses, accurate information will inform our understanding of this condition. It is of paramount importance that employers report when a likely exposure to Covid-19 in an individual’s workplace resulting in an infection has occurred,” it added.
As the PDA has highlighted throughout the pandemic, reporting such incidents to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is an obligation for pharmacy employers and is mandatory.
The HSE guidance states: “If there is reasonable evidence that someone diagnosed with Covid-19 was likely exposed because of their work, you must report this as an exposure to a biological agent using the case of disease report. An example of a work-related exposure to coronavirus would be a healthcare professional who is diagnosed with Covid-19 after treating patients with Covid-19.”