Guide Dogs' response to COVID 19: An adaptation of CEO Dale Cleaver's message to staff

Guide Dogs' response to COVID 19: An adaptation of CEO Dale Cleaver's message to staff

Hi team,

The global novel coronavirus or COVID-19 outbreak is a dynamic situation that is constantly changing. We are doing a lot of thinking and planning. While the World Health Organisation (WHO) has now recognised COVID-19 as a pandemic, for most people, the likelihood of being infected is low. At Guide Dogs, our first priority is the health and wellbeing of our staff, clients and volunteers and so we are monitoring this situation very closely and following the advice of the Australian and NSW Governments.

****Please note we understand there is no risk to our dogs****

I want to reassure you that as an organisation, we are continually reviewing our business activities, assessing the risks presented by the changing COVID-19 situation, and putting in place measures to protect the health of our people in line with the latest advice. Below are more details about the actions we are taking and the answers to some of the frequently asked questions about this disease.


The best way to protect yourself against COVID-19 is the same as you would against any respiratory infection. Practice good hygiene by:

  • making sure to clean your hands thoroughly for at least 20 seconds with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand rub
  • cover your nose and mouth when coughing and sneezing with tissue or a flexed elbow
  • avoid close contact with anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms. Please act responsibly and with common sense, and as you would do normally, stay home if you are sick.

What to do if you develop any symptoms or think you might have been exposed to COVID-19

Early symptoms of COVID-19 include fever and dry cough. Some people also experience fatigue, headaches and, less frequently, diarrhoea. Shortness of breath can develop about 5 days in. If you develop any of these symptoms, you should seek medical attention.

  • If you have had contact with a person with suspected COVID-19, you must immediately isolate yourself at home for 14 days. You may return to normal activities if at the end of 14 days self-isolation you are showing no symptoms, or earlier if the suspected case has been confirmed as having tested negative for COVID-19.
  • If you have contact with a person with confirmed COVID-19, you must immediately isolate yourself at home for 14 days. Please do not return to puppy classes until you are declared medically fit and can provide a medical clearance certifying you are free of COVID-19.

In any of these situations, you should not attend puppy classes, the Guide Dogs Centre or any other business location until you are cleared to do so.

More Information

Please follow the latest updates from the Australian and NSW Governments via the links below:

NSW Health COVID-19 information and updates

Australian Government COVID-19 information and updates

Finally, we will continue monitoring the situation and provide staff and volunteers with updates as new advice from the Australian and NSW Government is released. If you have any questions or concerns, please speak to your Puppy Development Advisor.  

Thanks for your cooperation at this time.

Cheers, Dale