Technical guidelines 28 April 2020

Infrastructure activities during a pandemic | Health Technical Advice

The purpose of this Health Technical Advice (HTA-2020-002) is to provide guidance to health services on the types of infrastructure activities that should continue during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The HTA sets out the process for assessing activities so as not to put hospital staff, patients or contractors at risk of catching COVID-19, or spreading it within the broader community. This process should be completed with your nominated VHBA project manager and key hospital stakeholders, such as infection control, engineering staff and capital works teams.

This HTA is not to take the place of any health service specific Infectious Diseases or Pandemic Mode Plans or any facility specific emergency response plans associated with acute infectious disease outbreak.

Final recommendations and proposed solutions should be discussed and agreed as part of a collaborative multidisciplinary team of engineers, building operators, scientists, infection prevention specialists, and epidemiologists.

This Health Technical Advice includes:

  • Preface
  • The issue
  • Asset management
  • Capital projects during a pandemic
    • Step 1 – identify the construction activity
    • Step 2 – identify the patient risk group
    • Step 3 – establish the construction class
    • Prioritising capital works
  • Maintenance activities during a pandemic
    • Preventative maintenance
    • Essential maintenance
    • Reactive maintenance
    • Routine maintenance
  • Appendix 1 – Sample e-mail to contractors


This HTA is to be read in consultation with the government's construction sector coronavirus sector guidance. When prioritising construction and maintenance activities consideration must be given to the stage of the pandemic and the demand for ICU and critical care beds and the risk to health care workers and or patients from undertaking the works.

Please note: This document has been prepared as a guide and for information purposes only. No legal obligation for any loss, damage or expense is incurred by any person relying on the information provided.

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