Throughout the lockdown period, which commenced at the end of March 2020, the majority of our audiology services remained ‘Open for care’.
As restrictions begin to ease across Australia, we are now making careful inroads to reopen our broader service and extend the care we are able to provide to our customers and our communities.
In line with government guidelines to monitor the threat of COVID-19, stores will be implementing strict hygiene and social distancing measures and will be introducing three dedicated roles in store to help keep our team members and our customers safe.
These roles include someone to meet and greet customers at the front of the store to help manage the number of people in-store at any one time, someone who will be responsible for cleaning surfaces in the retail space throughout the day, and someone who will be contacting customers with a pre-booked appointment to gather essential information prior to their visit to reduce the amount of time spent in store. We will also be asking all our customers to call ahead or to book an appointment online to further assist us in managing customer flows within each store.
As many of our audiology customers belong to groups that remain at risk and vulnerable, despite the lowering of restrictions, we are also reviewing our regular processes to support our customers through the next few months.
Where possible, our audiology partners will look to implement remote services to limit the requirements for their customers to attend appointments in store.
We will also look to adjust appointment times for screenings and fittings to maximise the time our customers are instore and reduce the number of times they need to visit.
Additional precautions are being implemented in all stores to keep our team members, audiology partners and customers safe, including:
- Hand sanitiser will be available for all team members and customers
- Audiology rooms will be disinfected prior to each customer
- Surfaces in the retail area will be cleaned throughout the day by a dedicated team member
- Social distancing will be adhered to by our teams except at times during consultations when a distance of less than 1m is required, and in these circumstances, audiology professionals will comply with regulatory guidelines for health care professionals
- Anyone with a booked appointment will be contacted by telephone prior to coming into store to collect essential information to minimise time spent in store
- A limited number of people will be allowed in store at one time, depending on the store size
- PPE, including masks, gloves and digital thermometers have been provided to all stores
- Hygiene barriers have been installed at all customer points across our stores.
Our audiology partners will continue to be supported through the period from a customer and business perspective as we work our way towards a ‘new normal’.