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COVID-19 update – 18 May 2022

20200512 Icon Coronavirus

COVID-19 cases in the region

Over the last four weeks there were 55,337 cases of COVID in the region a reduction of 12,186 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 the latest NSW COVID statistics. The number of influenza cases has increased significantly over the last week.   

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

COVID care: Update your practice details

We have sent a survey to ask general practices to update their details. The care of COVID positive patients is increasingly being delivered by general practice. Healthdirect will also support patients to self-manage their care with the support of general practice.

To ensure this new referral process operates smoothly, we need to provide critical information to Healthdirect. This information includes:

  • General practice contact information
  • Secure messaging capability
  • Practice operating hours
  • Are practices willing to see new COVID position patients from elsewhere and patients outside their geographic area.

See here COVID Care Pathways – Healthdirect Australia, Supporting access to anti-viral treatment in NSW.

It is imperative that general practice complete this ONLINE FORM by 5.00 pm Friday, 20 May 2022 to ensure COVID positive patients are supported. If you require further information, please email us at 

New 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

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 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. All referrals must be sent through this Vax at Home Service Online Form. Please indicate if an influenza vaccine is also required. For further information on the program, please contact us

COVID-19 booster and flu vaccination

ATAGI has advised that all COVID-19 vaccines can be co-administered (given on the same day) with an influenza vaccine. These services can be provided during the same attendance. A vaccine suitability assessment MBS item can be billed for the COVID-19 vaccination. Influenza vaccine services are typically administered with standard MBS attendance items. 

Patients should be informed of any potential out of pocket costs before any service is provided, preferably when they book their appointment. 

Clinical guidance updates

Updated COVID-19 vaccine clinical advice

ATAGI has released updated advice on the COVID-19 vaccination program:

  • recommended interval following COVID-19 infection now 3 months
  • vaccination after treatment with monoclonal antibodies and 
  • dosing schedule for Pfizer and Moderna vaccines now 8 weeks – see flowchart.

COVID-19 vaccines in pregnancy

The COVID-19 vaccination decision guide for women who are pregnant, breastfeeding or planning pregnancy has been updated to include the following: 

  • updated information on Novavax
  • booster dose information for those aged 16 and 17 years 
  • updated information on vaccine safety and effectiveness in pregnant individuals and infants. 

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 live stream update for GPs: COVID-19 vaccine live stream for GPs – key updates and live Q&A 

When: Thursday 19 May 2022 at 11.30 am 

Where: Online

Target audience: GPs

RegisterClick link to join

Healthed webcast: COVID-19 expert update with A/Prof Nicholas Wood 

When: Tuesday, 24 May 2022 at 7.00 pm – 9.00 pm 

Where: Online

Target audience: Everyone working in primary care

RegisterClick link to join

Accessing pulse oximeters for your patient

  • Individual patients – distribution of pulse oximeters to patients identified as high risk is occurring via local health districts. 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 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.

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:

Free fit testing for GPs and practice nurses

CESPHN is offering free fit testing for all GPs and practice nurses in our region. 

Individual appointments: GPs and practice nurses can use the existing Sydney Local Health District mask fit testing booking system to book individual appointments at either Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Concord Hospital or Canterbury Hospital for mask fit testing services. For bookings please go to The online booking system has been 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.

Group appointments: Fit testing services can be provided in the GP practice for group appointments provided there is a minimum of 20 people requiring mask fit testing. This may require practices to collaborate to ensure they meet minimum numbers. This can be arranged by calling 95625 5900 or emailing

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 fit testing however the GP practice will then need to purchase masks. Further information on purchasing masks will be provided on the day. 

Excess COVID vaccines

If your practice has an excess of COVID-19 vaccines, please notify CESPHN as we may be able to help coordinate a transfer of the stock ideally two weeks prior to thaw use by date. You should also notify the Vaccine Operations Centre (VOC) 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.