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COVID-19 update – 16 February 2022

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COVID-19 cases in the region

Over the last four weeks there were 65 037 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 

Latest NSW COVID statistics. 

Upcoming webinars

Join the latest Commonwealth 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 17 February 2022, 11.30am (AEDT) 

Where: Online 

Target audience: GPs 

Register:Click link to join 

COVID infection prevention triage and risk management in general practice 

Join us for a pandemic infection prevention and control update, presented by Margaret Jennings, a microbiologist, antimicrobial, infection prevention and educator. 

When: Tuesday, 22 February 7.00 pm – 8.15 pm 
Where: Online 
Target audience: GPs, nurses, practice managers and staff working in general practice 

Register: Click here to register

COVID oral treatments 

COVID anti virals Molnupiravir (Lagevrio®) and nirmatrelvir and ritonavir (Paxlovid™) have been provisionally registered by the Therapeutic Goods Administration and can now be prescribed. These medicines can be accessed through NSW Health facilities and GPs may send prescriptions to select NSW Health Pharmacy Departments for dispensing.   

Deputy Chief Medical Officer Professor Michael Kidd hosted a webinar on Monday 7 February, alongside RACGP President Dr Karen Price and ACRRM President Dr Sarah Chalmers, which featured more details on the new oral treatments. Click here to watch the webinar. 

Further resources 

  • Click here for more information on the CESPHN website. 
  • Click here for further information from the Clinical Excellence Commission. 
  • Click here for a factsheet about the use of Lagevrio in residential aged care.  
  • Click here for recommendations by the National COVID-19 Clinical Evidence Taskforce in relation to the anti virals. 

HealthPathways for Sydney Local Health District and South East Sydney Local Health District have also been updated for these treatments please go to South Eastern Sydney HealthPathways or Sydney HealthPathways.

Novavax update 

On 21 January 2022, the Government opened a targeted Expression of Interest process to identify participating general practices interested in administering the Novavax vaccine.  

The interested primary care sites have been split into two tranches, for the first deliveries: Tranche 1 sites are expected to commence Novavax from the 21 February 2022, and Tranche 2 sites from the 28 February 2022.  

Novavax COVID-19 vaccine has also been included in the standing Expression of Interest open for all general practices interested in expanding their participation in the program. Email immunisation@cesphn.com.au for the EOI form. 

Boosters for residential aged care workers  

On 10 February 2022, National Cabinet endorsed the AHPPC recommendation to mandate COVID-19 booster vaccinations in residential aged care facilities. All state and territory governments will implement this decision on mandatory booster doses for residential aged care workers consistent with arrangements already in place through state and territory public health orders and equivalent arrangements. 

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. 

Accessing pulse oximeters

Distribution of pulse oximeters to patients identified as high risk is occurring via local health districts. We have 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 we will arrange delivery of an oximeter. Practices actively seeing moderate risk COVID positive patients can also be sent up to five pulse oximeters. 

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 available 

To order PPE for your practice or pharmacy click here.   

Please Note

We have 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 are currently reviewing how PPE will be distributed in the future.   

Changes to the process are expected soon and we will let you know more next week. Our advice is that practices should use their regular suppliers for PPE.