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COVID-19 update – 20 April 2022

20200512 Icon Coronavirus

 COVID-19 cases in the region

Over the last four weeks there were 69,426 cases of COVID in the region – a reduction of 37,728 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.

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.

New COVID Home Visiting Service

Next week we will be commencing a new COVID home visiting service. The COVID@Home Service provides in-home assessment service delivered by a general practitioner and/or a Registered Nurse.

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.  

The patient’s regular GP will refer electronically to the COVID@HomeService to engage the services of a visiting GP/Registered Nurse. The patient’s regular GP will be kept fully informed of visit outcomes. This service will commence the week starting 25 April 2022.

Further information on this new service will be sent to GPs within the CESPHN region over the next few days. For further enquiries please contact coronavirus@cesphn.com.au.

Isolation requirements

The NSW Government today announced close contacts of a confirmed COVID-19 case will not be required to isolate, provided they comply with NSW Health guidelines. There are no changes for positive cases: the seven-day isolation requirement remains in place for anyone who has recorded a positive RAT or PCR result.

From 6pm on Friday 22 April, close contacts (defined as a household contact or an individual deemed by NSW Health to be a close contact) will not have to isolate, as long as they have no symptoms and comply with the following guidelines found here.

Vaccine withdrawals

If your practice would like to amend the types of vaccines your clinic will be administering or would like to withdraw from the COVID-19 vaccination program, contact CESPHN. You must notify your intention to withdraw or amend the types of vaccines your clinic will be administering in writing via email to coronavirus@cesphn.com.au. CSEPHN will pass this information onto the Taskforce to enable the accurate administration of the request.

Children aged 5-11 now eligible for second dose

Many children are now eligible for their second dose of their primary course of COVID-19 vaccine. Practices are encouraged to proactively reach out to parents and carers of children who have received their first dose of the vaccine and are now due for their second dose. Consider making appointments available through the school holidays, outside school hours and on the weekend.

Download the AIR042A report help identify children who are due for their second dose of COVID-19 vaccine. Need help downloading AIR42A report? Contact immunisation@cesphn.com.au for support.

Upcoming webinars

Healthed webcast: COVID expert update

Professor Nancy Baxter will present on XE, Ba4 & Ba5, 4th dose for GPs, long COVID and the antivirals.

When: Tuesday 26 April 2022, 7.00 pm – 9.00 pm

Where: Online

Target audience: Health professionals

Click link to register.

COVID 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 21 April  2022, 3.30pm (AEDT)

Where: Online

Target audience: GPs

Click link to join.

Free fit testing for GPs and practice nurses

CESPHN is offering free fit testing 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 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 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 

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 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 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 (coronvirus@cesphn.com.au) 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) 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

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. 

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.  Patient self-referrals will NOT be accepted.

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.  Please indicate if an influenza vaccine is also required. 

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 formwith 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.