Coronavirus

Last updated 8:25pm, 29 March 2020

Contents

Current situation

NSW coronavirus information:  NSW Health webpage

Health professionals latest advice: Click here

Coronavirus testing advice: Click here

Are you a healthcare worker with fever and respiratory symptoms? Isolate and seek medical attention ASAP

Guide for vulnerable healthcare workers: Click here

 

NOTE: Important webinar on Coronavirus - RACGP (NSW&ACT) with NSW Health

When?  This Tuesday evening, 31 March 2020

Time?    7.00pm-8.00pm      Register HERE for webinar now

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Masks and PPE

Surgical and P2/N95 masks have been supplied in limited numbers to PHNs for general practice and pharmacy staff who are exposed to at risk customers.  CESPHN has already delivered masks to all general practices and pharmacies who have requested them. 

To register your request for surgical masks please complete this form: CESPHN Mask Request Form – COVID-19

The Department of Health has advised that stocks from the National Medical Stockpile are limited and masks should only be used in accordance with the guidance provided by The Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC).

 Aged Care

If Commonwealth funded aged care providers are experiencing shortages and are unable to obtain masks, you may request supply from the Stockpile by emailing AgedCareCOVIDPPE@health.gov.au.

NDIS and disability providers

Access to masks for these sets of care workers is being kept under review and may be considered as more stocks become available and if risks increase

Allied Health

Access to masks for allied health workers is also being kept under review and may be considered as more stocks become available and if risks increase. If they were to be made available, they would be prioritised first to those allied health workers whose work entails close physical contact with their patients and only when the intervention is strictly necessary and urgent. If PPE is not available for interventions requiring close physical contact, allied health workers should reconsider the need for the intervention.

Non-hospital based specialists

High priority consideration will be given to providing masks to support necessary and urgent interventions for community/non-hospital based specialists whose assessments of, and interventions with, patients require close contact with patients, and particularly where aerosol generating procedures are involved. Masks are not routinely being made available to this group at this time

All other groups

People in other groups should continue to follow other infection prevention and control protocols, including social distancing, respiratory hygiene, frequent handwashing and regular cleaning of surfaces, including between patients if they are working in a health or other care field.

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Triage in general practice

 See here for current COVID-19 suspect case definition https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/diseases/Pages/2019-ncov-case-definition.aspx

Phone calls

If a patient calls you and they meet the suspect case definition:

  • Arrange further assessment and testing, either at your practice (noting the infection control requirements) a pathology collection centre or refer to your local emergency department
  • If you need further information, phone your public health unit on 1300 066 055.

Walk in patients

If a patient who meets the suspect case definition attends your practice:

  • Ask the patient to wear a surgical mask and move them to a separate room.
  • Either:
    • refer the patient to your local emergency department for testing
    • phone your local pathology collection centre to arrange for specimen collection or
    • take the specimens at the practice yourself (noting that there are additional infection control requirements for this)
  • For detail on recommended testing and infection control measures see the latest Advice from NSW Dept Health
     https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/diseases/Pages/coronavirus-update.aspx 

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Testing

Please note:

  • People without symptoms should not be tested
  •  Patients being sent for testing should wear a surgical mask

and

            if waiting to attend an appointment, they should self-isolate

Then

After testing:

    • Continue to self-isolate until results are received

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Covid-19 Testing Centres 

Please note that laboratories are dealing with a large volume of samples and are processing these as fast as possible.

Clinicians please do not call the laboratories to chase up a result.  All results will be reported as soon as they are available.

The following pathology centres are conducting coronavirus testing in this region, however we are aware that many have long waiting periods for appointments: 

Eastern Sydney

Laverty Pathology Ground Floor, 164 Belmore Rd Randwick Ph: 9314 6571 Fax: 9314 6571
Between 2.00 pm - 4.00 pm (must have GP referral)

Inner West Sydney

Australian Clinical Labs Suite 101, 1st Floor, 308-312 Beamish St Campsie Ph: 02 9789 6220 Fax: 97877 1082
Monday to Friday 8.00 am - 1.00 pm (patient must wear mask and have referral from GP)

Laverty Pathology, 293 Homer Street, Earlwood Ph: 9558 1568 Fax: 9559 4287
Between 1.00 pm - 4.00 pm (must have GP referral)

Douglas Hanly Moir Pathology, Hudson House, 131 Macquarie Street, Sydney Ph: 9844 8300
Between 7.45am - 3.00 pm

South Eastern Sydney

Douglas Hanly Moir Pathology, 111 Mulga Road Oatley Ph: 8650 1370 Fax: 9586 2420
8.00 am - 4.00 pm (by appointment only)

Testing centres in other regions can be found on the NSW Health website: 

https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/infectious/diseases/Pages/coronavirus-testing.aspx

Coronavirus screening clinics:

Coronavirus (COVID-19) screening clinics are also in operation at several hospitals across the region: Most do not have contact details so call the Coronavirus Help Line on 1800 020 080 to get instructions on exact location, hours and in some cases reference numbers to confirm eligibility for testing. Try to arrive at least half an hour before closing.

Royal Prince Alfred Hospital 8.00 am - 10.00 pm daily (last arrival time is 9pm) Access via Gloucester Drive and follow signs

Concord Hospital, 8.00 am - 6.00 pm daily - across road from ED in Sports Institute Building

Canterbury Hospital, 8.00 am - 10.00 pm daily - access via the After Hours GP entrance

St Vincent’s Hospital 10.30am - 6.00pm daily. Enter via main hospital entrance and follow the green line to the Flu Assessment Clinic.(*All non-emergency presentations for testing of children should go to Sydney Children's Hospital or Royal Prince Alfred Hospital)

Sydney Eye Hospital 8 Macquarie St, Sydney, 10.00am - 6.00pm Monday to Friday in the quadrangle 'bicentennial clinic'. Outside of these hours, you can attend the Emergency Department

Prince of Wales Hospital 10.00am - 8.00pm daily - access via Building 14B Avoca St, Randwick

Redfern Health Centre, 103 – 105 Redfern St  9.00am – 4.00pm Monday - Friday

St George Hospital  8.00am - 6.00pm daily - Gray Street Kogarah  

Sutherland Hospital  8.00am - 8.00pm daily,  Ground Floor, old Emergency Department, Kareena Road entrance, then follow signs from ED.

Sydney Children’s Hospital, Randwick - clinic available - 5.00pm – 9.00pm Monday – Friday, 1.30pm – 9.00pm Saturday, Sunday

The services are staffed by Emergency Department clinicians for patients suspected of COVID-19 infection. Patients should meet testing criteria as specified under triage. Reference number may be required from Coronavirus Help Line 1800 020 080

More clinics are being established across the region and we will update you when this happens. Note that once a patient has been tested at ED or an associated coronavirus screening clinic the clinic will contact the patient regarding their results.

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Infection control advice

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Home isolation

All people who have travelled in or transited through mainland China, Iran, Italy or South Korea should be isolated at home for 14 days after leaving the country. As of 16 March 2020 any people arriving in Australia from any country must self isolate for 14 days.   

Healthcare workers who develop fever and respiratory symptoms must isolate themselves immediately and seek medical attention as soon as possible.

https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/diseases/Pages/coronavirus-healthcare-staff.aspx

Returned travellers who returned prior to 16 March 2020 should self-monitor for symptoms, practice social distancing and immediately isolate themselves if they become unwell. 

Isolated at home means no activities outside the home, except for seeking medical care.

People who are isolated at home should not go to work, should not go to school, should not use public areas, and they should not use public transportation or taxis. Should a person isolated at home require medical care, wherever possible they should call first. Appropriate contacts are their GP, local emergency department, coronavirus helpline 1800 020 080 or the Healthdirect helpline on 1800 022 222.

There are links to home isolation fact sheets for patients in both English and Mandarin on the NSW Health coronavirus web page:

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Telehealth MBS Items

 29 March Update

At a press conference on 29 March the Prime Minister, the Hon. Scott Morrison MP, announced a $1.1 billion package to boost mental health services, domestic violence support, Medicare assistance for people at home and emergency food relief. Here is an update on Telehealth services that will come into effect from 30 March 2020.

Medicare support at home – whole of population telehealth

General Practices

  • From 13 March 2020 to 30 September 2020 (inclusive) Medicare-subsidised telehealth services will be expanded for all Australians
  • The GP bulk billing incentive will double for GPs to look after pensioners, under-16s and concession card holders
  • The Quality Improvement Practice Incentive Payments (PIP QI) will also be doubled to ensure practices stay open to provide face to face services where they are essential for patients with conditions that can’t be treated through telehealth. 
  • Bulk-billed-mbs-telehealth-services-gps-and-omps

Mental Health Services

  • From 13 March 2020 to 30 September 2020 (inclusive) Medicare-subsidised telehealth services will be expanded for all Australians
  • New MBS items: Group A40, sub-group 3 and Group M18, sub-groups 1-4:
  • 4 new psychological therapy items for clinical psychologist services; and
  • 20 new Focussed Psychological Strategies items for services provided by a psychologist, GP, non-specialist medical practitioner, occupational therapist or social worker. 
  • Bulk-billed-mbs-telehealth-services-mental-health

Fact sheets explaining all the changes can be found here on MBS Online

Central and Eastern Sydney PHN will provide further updates and resources when more information is released by the Australian Government. 

For any enquiries please email us at telehealth@cesphn.com.au and our Telehealth Support team will quickly respond. We are here to assist you with expert practical advice. 

Telehealth resources

 

See our Education: Videos and Webinars section for any Telehealth webinars                                                                                                                                                 

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Resources for General Practice 

RACGP resources (Click here)

 Please see links below to resources from the RACGP to support general practice in managing a pandemic influenza.

HPOS and documents for patients' schools, employers, Centrelink

How to create and submit Medical Certificate forms using HPOS

https://www.cesphn.org.au/documents/ehealth-1/digital-health/3032-guide-to-create-and-submit-medical-certificate-form-in-hpos/file

Medical Certificate in HPOS to help reduce Centrelink queues

https://www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/organisations/health-professionals/services/medicare/hpos/log

Medical clearance template from RACGP to assist GPs issuing letters to employers/school principals/day care managers

https://www1.racgp.org.au/getmedia/b5d5ab8c-4177-4e3e-a11f-9b42efaa9bbd/Medical-clearance-letter-template.docx.aspx

Checklist - guide for General Practice preparedness for pandemic
Supporting women

Pregnancy Support Services
https://www.cesphn.org.au/preview/antenatal-shared-care-1/gp-resources/3028-20200324-antenatal-postnatal-update/file 

 

Update for gynaecology services at RPA Hospital

Due to further escalation of COVID 19 pandemic, RPA have restricted their gynaecology ambulatory activities further.
Effective from 30/03/20:

  • Monday and Wednesday semi urgent/urgent gynaecology clinics will be stopped.
  • Urgent gynaecology patients will be seen in parallel with Early Pregnancy Assessment Service (EPAS) clinic daily. Maximum number should not exceed five.
  • All IVF procedures will be stopped, and consultations provided via telecommunication only

MESH clinic will provide consultations via telecommunication only.

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HealthPathways

The South Eastern Sydney HealthPathways and Sydney HealthPathways now include information on management of coronavirus. To access these pathways use the following links:

South Eastern Sydney
https://sesydney.communityhealthpathways.org/723535.htm

New users will be able to request access on their local HealthPathways home page.

Sydney
https://sydney.communityhealthpathways.org/723535.htm

New users will be able to request access on their local HealthPathways home page.

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Posters for display in your practice

Visit the NSW Health page for the latest posters: https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/diseases/Pages/coronavirus-businesses.aspx 

posters (Click here)

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Education: Videos and webinars

  • We would like to share the below link for another update webinar on Tuesday, 31 March - 7.00pm - 8.00pm. It will include RACGP NSW&ACT representatives and NSW Health leaders. We are continuing our efforts to keep NSW & ACT GPs informed and up to date with the most recent information on the constantly changing Coronavirus situation. In this update we will be covering the latest developments in COVID-19.

     When: Tuesday, 31 March 2020 – 7.00pm - 8.00pm                                                                                                                                                                                          
    Register herehttps://register.gotowebinar.com/register/2881025435142530827 

  • Previous COVID Videos :Click here to view the Coronavirus Update filmed at CESPHN on 12 March 2020
  • Telehealth webinar
    https://www.digitalhealthcrc.com/telehealth-webinar/      
  • Click Here to watch update Covid webinar that ran on Wednesday, 18 March, 2020    https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/diseases/Pages/coronavirus-resources-hp.aspx     

    Webinar - Integrating eMH into COVID-19 Telehealth Consultations
    This webinar will focus on practical issues associated with delivering COVID-19 telehealth consultations, in particular telepsych consultations.
    2 April 2020 1:00 pm and 2 April 2020 8.00 pm
    https://medcast.com.au/courses/320    

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Aged Care providers

RACF PPE: Ordering Process

For RACFs requiring PPE please follow the process below

  • There is an email address to escalate requests for PPE for RACFs - agedcarecovidppe@health.gov.au-
  • All requests will be triaged by the Department of Health with priority given to facilities, programs and workers where there has been a confirmed case of COVID-19.
  • The following information must be provided in your email request:
    • the facility, program or service requiring PPE
    • if you have had a confirmed case of COVID-19 at your facility, program or service
    • types and quantities of PPE required – please note, only masks are available at this stage and other PPE will be provided when available
    • details of other suppliers you have attempted to source PPE stock from.

Secondary triage - information for  residential aged care facility health care workers

https://www.cesphn.org.au/documents/aged-care-1/3040-20200324-nsw-health-secondary-triage-information-for-residential-aged-care-facility-healthcare/file 

New RACF guidelines for secondary triage model for NSW Ambulance for calls coming from RACF. More information coming.

Coronavirus guidelines for outbreaks in residential care facilities  (updated 23 March 2020)                                                                                             https://www.health.gov.au/resources/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-guidelines-for-outbreaks-in-residential-care-facilities

Webinar: Role and capacity of home care providers, Community Home Support Programme providers and the assessment workforce         https://publish.viostream.com/app/s-n3f4rpt

Information from the Australian Government on COVID-19: Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission (updated 19 March 2020)                          https://www.agedcarequality.gov.au/covid-19-coronavirus-information

Aged Care Providers: Letter from Chief Medical Officer                                                                                https://www.health.gov.au/resources/publications/letter-to-aged-care-providers-from-the-chief-medical-officer

  • NSW Health Coronavirus - Guidance for residential care facilities
     pdfClick here (446 KB) to download the PDF

  • NSW Health Coronavirus - Information for residential care facility staff
     pdfClick here (433 KB) to download the PDF

  • NSW Health Coronavirus - Information for families of residential care facility residents
     pdfClick here (440 KB) to download the PDF
  •  

    COVID-19 Aged Care Support Program

    The COVID-19 Aged Care Support Program  will reimburse eligible aged care providers for eligible expenditure incurred on managing direct impacts of COVID-19. The Program will run over 2 years from 2019-20 to 2020-21. The Program will assist Residential Aged Care,  National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Flexible Aged Care Program and Home Care Package providers that are subject to direct COVID-19 impacts  to deliver continuity of safe quality care for consumers.                                                                                  For information please see the grant connect web site.

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    Community information

    Information and resources on COVID in different languages

    Telehealth Counselling pdf FAQ (132 KB)

    Service Announcements

    BreastScreen NSW has temporarily suspended routine breast screening as of cob Friday 27 March. 

    • Women will continue to be notified of screening results. If the woman has provided consent, her nominated doctor will receive a letter confirming the results.
    • Women who have been recalled for assessment will be assessed as usual, and within the COVID 19 response requirements.
    • Women who had their appointment cancelled, or who become due for a mammogram will have their breast screening invitation reactivated by BreastScreen NSW at resumption of service. 

    If you have any questions you can contact BreastScreen NSW on 13 20 50.

    Talking to children about coronavirus and looking after your own mental health during the outbreak

    Open this factsheet about using telehealth for counselling

    With all the media coverage about coronavirus (COVID-19), following on from a difficult bushfire season, it is normal for children and adults to feel overwhelmed and stressed during this time.

    Video is here on talking to children about natural disasters from the National Workforce Centre for Child Mental Health.

    Beyond Blue fact sheet is here - for information on mental health during the coronavirus outbreak.

    The CESPHN website mental health page has more information on local mental health services.

    Pregnancy 

    RANZCOG has release a message to advise pregnant women and their families regarding self-care during pregnancy and changes to be considered in the way the antenatal and postnatal care will be delivered. View RANZCOG statement

    Please see links below to resources to support Community Organisations.                                  pdf Inner West Social Services from Newtown Neighborhood Centre (241 KB)

    Useful links on Dementia

    Hygiene etiquette Help us stop the spread posters have been translated and are available in Arabic; Bangla; Burmese; Dari; Farsi; Greek; Indonesian; Italian; Japanese; Khmer; Korean; Mandarin; Mongolian; Nepali; Portuguese; Spanish; Swahili; Thai; Tibetan​; and Vietnamese.
    https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/diseases/Pages/coronavirus-resources-cald.aspx 

    The following are links to information resources for members of the public including translated information:

    Mental health resources and helpline

    • Click here for more information on what help there is for those worried about the coronavirus.
    • HELPLINE : 1300 726 306 ( Mon- Fri 9.00am-7.30pm) 

     

    healthdirect resources

    The healthdirect website includes the following information and tools:

    The following helplines and clinics are also available:

    • Call the 24/7 Coronavirus Help Line on 1800 020 080 for people with questions regarding prevention, testing and the spread of coronavirus. If you need a reference number for testing, this is the number to ring.
    • Call the 24/7 Healthdirect helpline on 1800 022 222 to speak to a registered nurse who can provide advice (on coronavirus and other illnesses) when you're not sure what to do.
    • Phone your local GP
    • Attend a GP respiratory clinic or a Coronavirus clinic. Many of these do not offer phone numbers so you need to get information on them from the Coronavirus Help line (1800 020 080)
    • Attend an emergency department, available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. 

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    Resources for Community providers

     Centrelink/HPOS link

    https://www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/organisations/health-professionals/services/medicare/hpos

     

    Information for health care and residential workers

    Click here to read more https://www.health.gov.au/sites/default/files/documents/2020/02/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-health-care-and-residential-care-workers_2.pdf

    • Can staff go to work?
    • What should I tell my staff?
    • What precautions should I take when cleaning?
    • Can food and water spread coronavirus?
    • How to prevent the spread of coronavirus

    Supporting People to Stay Infection Free – E-Learning Module 

    Click here to sign up for the course.

    Disability Services Consulting has released a free eLearning module covering theory and lots of practical strategies for preventing and controlling infections. This 30 minute eLearning module is specifically designed for the Australian disability workforce and is aligned with the NDIS Quality and Safeguarding Framework. This module includes:

    • information about why many people with disability are more vulnerable to infection
    • key steps to prevent spreading infection and COVID-19 transmission
    • application of the NDIS Code of Conduct to infection control
    • information about the chain of infection and key modes of transmission
    • understanding risks and responsibilities in keeping people infection free
    • education about maintaining privacy, choice and control

    ASHM has created a webinar discussing COVID-19 for the BBV and STI sectors:
    Click here to view the webinar.
     

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    Further information

    NSW Health coronavirus information page 

    https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/diseases/Pages/coronavirus.aspx

    Respiratory pandemic illness pathway (South Eastern Sydney HealthPathways)

    https://sesydney.communityhealthpathways.org/343503.htm 

    Novel coronavirus - frequently asked questions 

    https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/alerts/Pages/coronavirus-faqs.aspx

    RACGP information on coronavirus

    https://www.racgp.org.au/coronavirus

    Australian Government Department of Health

    https://www.health.gov.au/health-topics/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov

    World Health organisation

    https://www.who.int/westernpacific/emergencies/novel-coronavirus

    Coronavirus Health Information Line

    https://health.govcms.gov.au/contacts/coronavirus-health-information-line

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    Further questions

    If you have a question or would like additional support please email coronavirus@cesphn.com.au

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    Public Health Units

    In NSW calling 1300 066 055 will direct to your local Public Health Unit

    South Eastern Sydney Public Health Unit - 9382 8333
    After hours emergency - 9382 2222, ask for Public Health Officer on call

    Sydney Public Health Unit - 9515 9420 
    After hours emergency - 9515 6111, ask for Public Health Officer on call

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