The Frontline of COVID-19

Wondering what it looks like on the front line of the global fight against COVID-19?

Well, thanks to the Jaymak Tasmania team, led by Tony Mackenzie, we can give you a little glimpse.  Getting an insight into their experiences, you’ll come to realise not all heroes wear capes!

Jaymak received a “call to arms” from the Tasmanian Corporate Director of Health to assist in the aftermath of the COVID-19 contamination event at the North Western Regional Hospital in Burnie.

On Wednesday 15 April, Tasmanian authorities reported four new COVID-19 cases had been detected in the preceding 24 hours — all of the new cases were linked to the disease hotspot of Burnie in the north-west of the State.

The hospital was effectively closed down with all employees including medical staff, administration and operations staff and all cleaning staff quarantined for 14 days.

Tony Mackenzie, the Tasmanian Jaymak franchisee responded to a call from the Tasmanian Corporate Director of Health requesting assistance with the decontamination efforts. They needed a professional cleaning team with experience with infection control and risk mitigation to mobilise immediately and begin a 10 day cleaning procedure for the hospital.  Tony, and his team, didn’t hesitate.

On Friday morning at 5am – less than 24 hours after receiving the call –  Tony and his crew of 3 were geared up and ready for the 5 hour trip to Burnie with an additional team member to meet them onsite the next day.

The Australian Defence Force (ADF) was charged with managing the response to the event including overseeing the deep clean of the hospital.

An incredibly experienced and professional team was assembled including resources from:

  • The Department of Primary Industries (DPI) Tasmania who are organising all logistics for the response
  • Australian Medical Assistance Teams (AUSMAT) who are providing the coordination of the medical response to the event
  • The ADF are also providing highly trained medical personnel for the event.

Before the Emergency Department (ED) can be re-opened to the public, the Jaymak team has been engaged to provide:

  • disinfection cleaning – standard disinfection of all elements of the Emergency Department (ED) area with particular reference to high touchpoints
  • terminal cleaning – decontamination cleaning once a patient has been discharged before another patient is admitted

Tony took a brief time out to share his experiences with us, saying “My crew, Supervisor Jim together with Juan, Carolina, Alex, are all doing a great job.”

“We mobilised quickly and have undertaken training through the AUSMAT personnel, some online training in relation to specific infection control for this work and procedural training through the DPI in order to be able to do the work.”

“We are working split shifts – 7am – 3pm and 3pm – 11pm – although in reality we are working around the clock as we are also on call in case of possible infection breach. We are also responsible for training some of the nursing personnel in regard to terminal cleans when we are not there.”

Tony went on to say “It is an incredibly intense time but one that I am glad to be involved with for the enormous experience and the opportunity to see how some of the most highly trained and experienced disaster response teams in the world function.”

Jaymak Australia CEO Mark Mackenzie said: “Responding the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic has been a very dynamic and challenging time for many industries, not the least of which ours – the professional cleaning and infection control industry.”

“We acknowledge the professional and tireless efforts of all involved in this extremely important project.  We’re incredibly proud of the work the Jaymak Tasmania team are doing in conjunction with the ADF, DPI and AUSMAT teams at the Burnie Hospital.  We know that their experience and expertise place them in great stead to successfully complete this work to safely re-open the hospital.”

Our thanks and admiration to the Jaymak Tasmania team as well as the men and women of the ADF, DPI and AUSMAT Teams.  You’re all heroes to us!

To read more about the status of the COVID-19 situation in Tasmania visit the ABC site here.

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