COVID-19 update – 22 June 2022

 

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COVID-19 cases in the region

Over the last four weeks there were 35,841 cases of COVID in the region, similar to last week. 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. We would like to highlight that the number of influenza cases continues to increase significantly over the last week particularly amongst children. 

Infection control and wearing masks (staff and patients) remains important. Practices are also asked to ensure that their most vulnerable populations are fully vaccinated and where possible to ensure children with respiratory illnesses get access to care. If you would like an infectious control consultation or any other support, please email

Free infection control advice

We are offering specialised one-on-one consultation with an experienced primary care infection control educator. This consult via Zoom will enable your practice to ensure the highest level of infection control procedures can be implemented to provide protection from circulating viral infections such as COVID-19 and Influenza.

Ensuring the health and wellbeing of your practice and staff, as well as seeking that patients’ are seen when required to reduce unnecessary ED presentations is of utmost importance during this difficult time.

To book a session email your interest to coronavirus@cesphn.com.au with the subject line: “Yes I would like infection control advice”.

CALD COVID-19 and flu explainer

An explainer on ‘Staying well in winter – Flu and COVID-19 vaccines’ has been developed in partnership with the National Ethnic and Multicultural Broadcasters' Council (NEMBC). It is available in 15 languages (with additional languages to be added shortly). It is available on the NEMBC Facebook page (they have posted in each language).  

Please help our Emergency Departments

A growing number of patients with respiratory illnesses are presenting to EDs in our region. We are encouraging patients with respiratory symptoms to be seen by a GP when required, especially the elderly and children. To try and reduce unnecessary burden on our EDs, GPs should consider facilitating either telehealth or in person consultation for patients with respiratory symptoms. When in person consultation is indicated, the patient should be given a surgical mask and hand sanitiser and practice staff should wear eye protection and a mask.

Minimum recommended testing for RAT negative symptomatic patients is COVID-19/influenza A/respiratory syncytial virus. Please consider early antiviral treatment for high-risk patients with confirmed influenza or COVID-19.

COVID home visiting service

Central and Eastern Sydney PHN has recently launched a COVID home visiting service. The COVID@Home Service provides an in-home assessment service delivered by a Registered Nurse with the support of a GP. We are encouraging GPs to refer to this service

This service is aimed at COVID positive patients whose regular GP is not able to undertake home visits but where such a visit is required for medical and other support reasons while the patient is isolating. Referrals will only be accepted from GPs. Click here to find out more about the service and how to refer. If you have any enquiries please contact coronavirus@cesphn.com.au.

CESPHN Vax at Home service

The CESPHN Vax at Home Service is for those people who are housebound and not able to leave their house to receive a COVID-19 vaccination or booster. The service will accept referrals for people 16 years and over. Referrals will be accepted from GPs and from Local Health Districts. Patient self-referrals will not be accepted.

An additional winter booster is recommended for other people at increased risk of severe illness, to be given 4 months after their first booster dose. The Winter Dose is recommended for people for the following vulnerable groups:

The Vax at Home Service currently has availability to support patients to access the COVID-19 vaccine whilst in their home and unable to leave their home to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

All referrals must be sent through this Vax at Home Service Online Form. Please also indicate if an influenza vaccine is also required. Please note, a referral will need to be attached to the online form.For further information on the program, please contact us.

New ordering process for PPE

Access to PPE is now via Living with COVID PPE Bundles ordered nationally through PHNs using an online order form and delivered directly by a national distributor (rather than via PHNs).  Access to PPE from the National Medical Stockpile is dependent on eligibility, and PPE volumes will be monitored by the Commonwealth Department of Health.

General Practice, ACCHS and GPRCs ordering information

Living with COVID PPE Bundles are available for:

  • GP, ACCHS and GPRCs willing to manage COVID positive patients face-to-face, until 30 September 2022.
  • ACCHSs and rural and remote GPs willing to treat COVID positive patients virtually and respiratory patients face-to-face, where workforce capacity is limited AND the GP is serving the community for most of all health needs, until 30 September 2022.
  • GPs and GPRCs willing to support COVID positive people virtually, and respiratory patients face to face, until 30 September 2022.

Orders can only be placed once per month and be submitted to the PHN via the online form.

Please read the guidance document before placing your first order:

PPE for the health workforce during COVID-19

PPE for COVID-19 includes surgical masks, particulate filter respirators (such as P2 or N95), gloves, goggles, glasses, face shields, gowns and aprons. For more information go to COVID PPE Information for Health Professionals.

Upcoming webinars

COVID-19 response update for GPs: This week’s Australian Government Department of Health webinar will be discussing the management of Long COVID in primary care settings.

When: Thursday 23 June 2022 at 11.30 am

Where: Online

Target audience: GPs and all health professionals

Register: Click link to join

Accessing pulse oximeters for your patient

  • Individual patients– we have access to a small supply of oximeters. 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 10 pulse oximeters per practice via the new PPE online ordering form. If your practice has already received 10 pulse oximeters via the previous process, you will need to access future stock through your local suppliers.

 

 

 

 

 

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