COVID-19 update – 9 March 2022

 

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COVID-19 cases in the region

 

Over the last four weeks there were 35,130 casesof COVID in the region. Please note that the actual number of cases is likely to be much more. For further information please go to the

latest NSW COVID statistics. Over the last few days there has been an increase in the number of COVID cases in NSW to just over 13,000.

 

Updated advice on self-isolation

 

The Minister has made the Public Health (COVID-19 Self-Isolation) Order 2022, which commenced on 2 March. Key points from this updated order are summarised below:

  • Household contacts only need to self-isolate for 7 days from when the diagnosed person took the test, rather than 7 days from last contact with the diagnosed person,
  • Household contacts are not obligated to self-isolate more than once in a 21 day period 
  • A person who had COVID-19 and becomes a close or household contact does not need to self-isolate if less than 8 weeks since the person finished their self-isolation period
  • Updating the provisions relating to medical clearance to align with recent amendments to the Public Health (COVID-19 Care Services) Order (No 3) so that a medical clearance certificate operates as a 6 week exemption to the booster requirement as well as the requirement to have 2 doses of the vaccine. 

This advice has been reflected in the Testing positive to COVID-19 and People exposed to COVID-19 factsheets.

Upcoming webinar

COVID-19 vaccine live stream update for GPs 

The panel will provide latest key updates and answer participants’ questions live about the COVID-19 vaccine rollout. 

Details: Thursday 10 March 2022, 11.30 am (AEDT) 

Click link to join

Management of COVID vaccines 

 

Excess vaccines  

If your practice has an excess of COVID-19 vaccines, please notify CESPHN (coronvirus@cesphn.com.au) as we may be able to help coordinate a transfer of the stock ideally two week prior to thaw use by date.  

You should also notify the Vaccine Operations Centre (VOC) at covid19vaccineoperationscentre@health.gov.au of your excess doses so that they may be able to facilitate transfers outside the CESPHN region. Please note in the email to VOC that you have already contacted CESPHN. 

Excess vaccine and AIR COVID-19 booster report 

The AIR042A report has undergone enhancements. Using the practice’s PIP ID (Practice Incentives Program ID), providers can now identify all patients due for a booster vaccine.  

Practices are strongly encouraged to recall all patients due for their booster vaccine and utilise their excess COVID-19 vaccines prior to defrost expiry.  

In the event that your vaccines cannot be transferred/relocated with support from the PHN or VOC and your vaccines expire/pass their use by date, please see information on our website about disposal of COVID-19 vaccines

4th dose of COVID-19 vaccine for severe immunocompromised patients 

GPs are being asked to review patients and consider eligibility for 4th dose for any immunocompromised residents. A primary course of booster doses is defined as 3 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, as recommended by ATAGI for people with severe immunocompromise. 

Severely immunocompromised individuals 16 years and above who have received a third dose of a primary COVID-19 vaccine, are also recommended to receive a booster dose 3 months after the third primary dose, in line with the timing for the general population, For more information: ATAGI recommendations on the use of a booster dose of COVID-19 vaccine

Should my child get a COVID-19 vaccine?

A new tool is now available to help parents make a decision about getting a COVID-19 vaccine for their children aged 5 to 15 years. Through five simple steps, the COVID-19 vaccine decision aid for children offers information to help parents and carers weigh up the risks and benefits of COVID-19 vaccination for their children. This tool could be helpful during consultations with patients to support discussions about COVID-19 vaccination in children. See also COVID-19 vaccine decision aid (16+ years)

COVID-19 Vaccination Training Package

Consumers Health Forum has developed a new training package to support vaccination providers to have meaningful conversations with patients considering COVID-19 vaccination. To access the training package, and order resources for your practice visit the Consumers Health Forum of Australia website. If you have any questions, please email covidvaccinecomms@health.gov.au  

Latest resources 

Below are the latest multilingual resources available on the NSW Health website. 

COVID-19 care in the community

A reminder to check HealthPathways regularly for the latest updates on caring for COVID positive patients in the community. These have been updated to include information on the new oral antiviral treatments.

CESPHN Vax at Home Service

Some people in our community may not be able to access a GP or vaccination hub to receive a COVID-19 vaccination. 

The CESPHN Vax at Home Service is ONLY for those people who are housebound and not able to leave their house to receive a COVID-19 vaccination or booster (their carers will also be able to be vaccinated). 

The Vax at Home Service will accept referrals for people 16 years and over. For children 12-16 years with special circumstances and may require further support, referrals will be reviewed on a case by case basis.

Patient self-referrals will NOT be accepted. Patients should speak with their GP for a referral to this program if appropriate. Referrals will be accepted from general practitioners and from Local Health Districts.

Referrals MUST be sent through this Vax at Home Service Online Form – for people who are housebound and reside in the Sydney Local Health District or South Eastern Sydney Local Health District regions.

For further information on the program, please email vaxathomeservice@cesphn.com.au.

Additional PPE and pulse oximeters available

To order PPE for your practice or pharmacy click here. Distribution of pulse oximeters to patients identified as high risk is occurring via local health districts. CESPHN has access to a small supply of pulse oximeters.

GPs with patients they believe require a pulse oximeter urgently are asked to email pulseoximeter@cesphn.com.au with their name and address and the PHN will arrange delivery of an oximeter. Practices actively seeing moderate risk COVID positive patients can also be sent up to five pulse oximeters.

Please note: new ordering and delivery process

CESPHN has supplied PPE to general practices, community pharmacies and allied health via the Commonwealth’s National Medical Stockpile over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic. However such supply was in response to normal PPE supply lines being disrupted by the pandemic.

The Commonwealth is commencing a more streamlined approach to Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and pulse oximeter ordering, distribution and delivery. 

The new process will commence in the next 4 weeks: 

  • PPE deliveries will be delivered directly from the National Medical Stockpile (NMS) to general practitioners and immunising pharmacists  (rather than via PHN)
  • Orders will still occur via CESPHN through an updated online request form
  • The Living with COVID PPE Bundle is intended to supply each practitioner with a 1 month supply of PPE (equivalent to 40 patient visits). If practitioners have a higher case load (i.e., over 40 patients), bundles can be ordered more frequently.

Eligibility criteria:

  • PPE Bundle: GPs, ACCHSs and GPRCs willing to manage COVID positive patients face-to-face, until 30 June 2022
  • Access to P2/N95 masks and eye protection: GPs and GPRCs willing to support COVID positive people virtually, and respiratory patients face-to-face until 31 March 2022 .

There will be a transition phase over the next 4 weeks while CESPHN manages and monitors current stock levels. The current request for PPE form on the CESPHN website will be updated to reflect the new process.

There will be some further requirements needed for ordering through this new process - please note so you can prepare:

  • Provider numbers for GPs ordering will be required
  • Sizes will be required for masks and gloves ordered for each practitioner
  • You must agree that the details provided in the order form are true and accurate, and all eligible requirements have been met
  • Ensure that consent has been obtained from each eligible practitioner for the collection, use and disclosure of personal information to the PHN, Logistics and Distribution Partners, and to Australian Department of Health for ordering, auditing and delivery purposes.

See here further information - COVID-19 - Completing new PPE and pulse oximeter order form - GP, ACCHS and GPRCs.

 

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