Coronavirus and Security Officers [Updated 10/2/20]

10/02/202 – See the ‘Novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) health alert’ issued by the Aus Gov here. The overall situation is still similar in the way the virus spreads and rising infection rates. Many countries have now isolated their borders in an attempt to stem the spread. Australia is still ‘at risk’, however, is holding steady in terms of infections and no attributable deaths. The advice below for front line workers is still valid. If someone is showing symptoms, utilise PPE prior to approach and consider escalation to Ambulance as required.

04/02/2020 – As a precaution, people who have been in mainland China (excluding Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan) are advised to self-isolate if they were in mainland China on or after 1 February 2020, when the risk of human to human transmission was identified to have significantly increased. Businesses may consider additional measures to screen for the virus and may opt to follow the same guidance around exclusion or isolation. See DHHS link below.

01/02/2020 – The Australian Govt has updated its travel advice to ‘Do Not Travel‘ to mainland China. Incoming tourists from China are no longer permitted entry.
Security Officers should continue to work with their employers as the cases in Australia are minimal, but heed the information below and have PPE available.

The Coronavirus has now surpassed the SARs virus in terms of infection and death numbers. It is gaining traction and infection rates are still rising.

Security Officers are often on the front line with people from a wide variety of backgrounds and possible exposures to various illnesses, chemicals, drugs, etc.

So, is there a need to panic?

What is it?

The Coronavirus can cause an infection in people and impact their respiratory system. Symptoms include fever, coughing, sore throat or shortness of breath.

It is believed that it is transmitted through human contact and can spread in close proximity. Body fluid (e.g. from coughing) help to spread it.

Don’t Panic

Here in Australia, there have been no deaths yet linked to the virus. Whilst we are looking at several confirmed cases and there will likely be more, the numbers are still relatively small.

Daily life will continue and therefore we should not panic. The authorities are in touch with the right people and will issue updates as required.

This means keep doing the good job that you do out there.

Stay Informed

We all know what the media can be like when we work in this industry…

So, get the news from a more reliable source.

The VIC Department of Health and Human Services has a fantastic resources page outlining what the virus is, posters and information guides for your workplace and details on responding to and containing a possible case of the virus.

See the DHHS page here.

See the World Health Organisations page here.

Security Response

Your employer is hopefully keeping up to date on the information and taking precautions. Also, remember that you are also responsible for your own personal health and safety in the workplace. Some simple but actionable steps:

  1. Discuss any concerns with your employer.
  2. Carry your PPE and utilise it when dealing with any sick persons or potential biological hazards. Gloves, safety glasses and one-use face masks are great to carry along with small bottles of hand sanitizer.
    1. All these items are relatively cheap and available for purchase at places such as hardware stores, supermarkets, etc.
    2. Hand Sanitizers should state they kill 99.9% of germs. Most active ingredients are the same, so you don’t need to shell out for an expensive one.
    3. Disposable face masks should only be used if you are dealing with a biological hazard. There is no advice yet that these need to be worn on a regular basis.
  3. Wash your hands regularly.
  4. Cover your coughs and sneezes.
  5. If you are feeling unwell, stay home and seek medical advice, as you normally would.
    1. Be a bit more mindful of the “it’ll be right” mentality during this as, although it is unlikely you will contract it, you also need to consider the well-being of those around you.
  6. If you believe you are dealing with a person who is symptomatic of the virus, maintain a safe distance and do not touch them. Utilise PPE. An ambulance may need to be called or advice sought from the hotline (1800-675-398).

Employer Response

  1. Monitor for unwell employees, welfare check and consider sick leave.
  2. Provide hand sanitizers that kill 99.9% of germs in both public and private areas for your staff, patrons and customers.
  3. If you operate in a higher risk environment (such as place of mass gathering, medical facility, etc.) have PPE available for your team.
  4. If you have questions, consult the Coronavirus hotline on 1800-675-398.
  5. Provide information for your employees from the links in this blog.
  6. Get in touch with a Consultant if you need additional assistance on security and responding to this in your workplace.


Remember that our industry is often the face many of the public will first see. A strong and united position with the correct tools and resources (such as signage, sanitizer and redirection to the Health Department) will help us and the public be reassured they are as safe as can be.

Yes, that does mean there is no need to act out the Outbreak film martial law scene.

Just yet.

I'd love to hear your thoughts, and it could inspire someone else too!

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