Mask update for health professionals: 14 February

  • On 12 February, the Minister for Health, Greg Hunt, announced that additional surgical masks will be released from the national stockpile and provided to Primary Health Networks across Australia, for community pharmacists, general practitioners and health workers who are 'first responders' (not for the general public).

  • This is in addition to the first lot of surgical and P2 masks which were allocated and delivered to general practices at the start of February.

  • These surgical masks are not intended for sale in pharmacies.

What to do:

  • If your pharmacy or general practice has no/low masks in stock and there is no local supply available, send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we will arrange to deliver a small number to your practice or pharmacy.  

  • Stock of surgical masks in the National Medical Stockpile is limited. We will assess requests on a case-by-case basis, to ensure that masks are released and delivered based on need. Numbers cannot be guaranteed.

Resources for more information about masks and coronavirus

The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) is asking health professionals across the sector to watch out for signs and symptoms of novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) infection in patients who may have travelled to areas affected by an emerging outbreak.

  • The Commonwealth Department of Health has released a fact sheet on the use of surgical masks. It provides information on the use of surgical masks in accordance with the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) national guidelines on the prevention and control of coronavirus outbreak. 
  • Please continue to check the DHHS’ novel coronavirus information page regularly for updates about the novel coronavirus. The Resources section includes the live document 2019 Novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) - guideline for health services and general practitioners – updated 11 February 2020 which includes a checklist of key actions and instructions about mask use.

  • Sign-up to receive health alerts and advisories here 

  • For more information please contact the Communicable Disease Prevention and Control section at the Department of Health and Human Services on 1300 651 160 (24 hours).

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