COVID-19 update – 6 April 2022

 

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COVID-19 cases in the region 

Over the last four weeks there were 108,518 casesof COVID in the region and there has been an additional 12,327 cases over the last week. Please note that the actual number of cases is likely to be much more. For further information please go to thelatest NSW COVID statistics. The number of COVID cases is continuing to rise but is showing some signs of slowing.  

Infection control and wearing masks (staff and patients) remains important. Practices are also asked to ensure that their most vulnerable populations are fully vaccinated. If you would like an infectious control consultation or any other support please email coronavirus@cesphn.com.au

Call out: Vaccination for children 5-11

We are particularly concerned about vaccination rates for children aged 5-11 in three local government areas within our PHN region – Bayswater, Canterbury-Bankstown and Georges River.  

We would like to emphasise the importance of vaccination for this age group and encourage GPs, pharmacists and other local health providers to focus on children within these areas and together we can all make a difference.  

New COVID-19 vaccine certificate for children

Reward COVID-19 vaccine children with this printable certificate produced by CESPHN. A positive first dose experience will help ease the anxiety for future vaccine doses. We encourage practices to promote childhood COVID-19 vaccination during the Easter school holidays. Visit the CESPHN Immunisation website to print certificates for your practice.

Further information and provider resources:

Support for people isolating with COVID-19

Please be aware that there are a range of local resources and services available to support COVID-19 positive patients throughout their isolation period. This may be vulnerable patients who are alone and/or not able to provide for themselves throughout this period.

The following services may be able to assist those who require additional support:

Please also see additional information on HealthPathways for COVID isolation support.

Winter COVID doses

As per ATAGI recommendations the winter COVID dose is for 

  • Adults aged 65 years and older
  • Residents of aged or disability care facilities
  • People aged 16 years and older with severe immunocompromise (as defined in ATAGI statement on the use of a 3rd primary dose of COVID-19 vaccine in individuals who are severely immuncompromised), and 
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 50 years and older

If it has been 4 months since the first booster dose and your patient is in one of groups above, they are eligible to have another booster dose as soon as possible before or during winter. COVID-19 winter doses are now available.

The additional winter booster dose can be given from 4 months or longer after the person has received their first booster dose, or from 4 months after a confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection, if infection occurred since the person’s first COVID-19 booster dose.

Free fit testing for GPs and Practice Nurses

CESPHN is offering free fittesting for all GPs and practice nurses in our region. Bookings are now open. 

Individual appointments 

GPs and practice nurses can use the existing Sydney Local Health District mask fittesting booking system to book individual appointments at either Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Concord Hospital or Canterbury Hospital for mask fittesting services.

For bookings please go to https://www.slhd.nsw.gov.au/covid-mask-testing/. The online booking system will be updated to include a check box to identify as a GP or practice nurse; this question will also be asked by the mask fit tester.  For the next month a special three hour evening slot will be available once per week for GPs and practice nurses to access.

  • RPA and Concord Hospital are open from 8.00am – 4.00pm Monday to Friday.
  • Canterbury is open from 8.00am – 4.00pm on Tuesday and Thursday.

Group appointments 

Fittesting services can be provided in the GP practice for group appointments provided there is a minimum of 20 people requiring mask fittesting. This may require practices to collaborate to ensure they meet minimum numbers.

This can be arranged by contacting:  

Phone: 95625 5900 or

Email: matt.barker@health.nsw.gov.au

Current locations 

  • Royal Prince Alfred Room 6.1 Level 6 Kerry Packer Education Centre
  • Concord Hospital Centre for Education Workforce and Development Building 20A
  • Canterbury Hospital Level 4 (next to computer room)

Ordering of masks 

Masks will be supplied for fittesting however the GP practice will then need to purchase masks.  Further information on purchasing masks will be provided on the day. 

Upcoming webinars

COVID-19 live stream for GPs

Join the latest 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. 
When: Thursday 7 April 2022, 11.30 am 
Where: Online 
Target audience: GPs 
Register: Click link to join

Healthed webcast

Join the webcast to hear from Professor Kristine Macartney with a COVID-19 update, as well as experts on Japanese Encephalitis, acute migraines and sleep and depression. 
When: Tuesday 12 April, 7.00 pm – 9.00 pm  
Where: Online 
Target audience: GPs and Practice Nurses 
Register: Click here to register.

Excess COVID 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.

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 CESPHNVax 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).

TheVax 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.

All 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 

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.

Accessing pulse oximeters for your patient

  • Individual patients - distribution of pulse oximeters to patients identified as high risk is occurring via local health CESPHN have access to a small supply. GPs with patients they believe require a pulse oximeter urgently are asked to complete this CESPHN Pulse Oximeter online form with the patients details and we will arrange delivery of an oximeter.
  • General practices – practices actively seeing moderate risk COVID positive patients can also be sent up to five pulse oximeters per practice via email to pulseoximeter@cesphn.com.au
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