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COVID-19 update – 21 July 2021

21 July 2021


NSW COVID-19 outbreak

There are now 1528 locally acquired cases of COVID-19 in NSW reported since 16 June 2021. Click here for all the latest information relating to the NSW outbreak including case locations and alerts. Over the past two weeks to 19 July 2021 there have been 226 locally acquired cases in the CESPHN region. These have been concentrated in the following Local Government Areas (LGAs) Canterbury-Bankstown (57), Georges River (34), Bayside (29), Waverley (29), Randwick (22) and Sutherland (22).

See here or check our website for information on the latest testing locations within the region. Numerous new pop-up clinics have been established and anyone with symptoms or who has been to identified case locations should get tested.

NSW Health is extending its surveillance testing program to health and aged care workers who live in the Canterbury-Bankstown LGA. From Friday 23 July, a person who lives in the Canterbury-Bankstown LGA and who works in health or aged care can only work outside of the Canterbury-Bankstown LGA if the person has been tested for COVID-19 in the previous 72 hours. These workers include all those who work in aged care facilities and all those who provide health services or ancillary or support services, including those such as cleaners, cooks, and security providers.

Additional PPE available

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) packages including surgical and N95/P2 masks, gloves, gowns and goggles willbe made available for those GPs who continue to see their patients within their practices. PPE guidelines can be found here

CESPHN will continue to distribute these supplies. To order PPE for your practice click here.

Vaccination rollout progress in our region

In the last week, an additional 45,716 doses of COVID-19 vaccines were administered to people living in the CESPHN region. Of these additional doses, 30 per cent were AstraZeneca vaccines and 70 per cent were Pfizer vaccines.  This brings the total doses of vaccines administered to people living in the CESPHN region to 458,983 doses as at 18 July 2021, with 49 per cent AstraZeneca vaccines and 51 per cent Pfizer vaccines. An estimated 15.9 per cent of total doses required have been administered to people living in the region. 

The below graph shows the estimated proportion of vaccinations given. This graph will be updated on a weekly basis.

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In-language videos encouraging COVID-safe behaviours

CESPHN have developed a suite of videos in community languages from local GPs and other health workers in the central and eastern Sydney region to convey the message to stay home, get tested and get vaccinated.

You can view the video suite here. We currently have videos in English, Arabic, Korean, German, Tamil, Bengali, Serbian, Bahasa, Mandarin, Cantonese, Greek, Afrikaans and Uyghur, with more videos to be added over the coming weeks.

For more information on this campaign, please read our media release here.

Cases of COVID transmission in general practices and pharmacies on the rise

Many of the COVID-19 case locations in Sydney have been general practices and pharmacies. In the past two weeks, 27 pharmacies and 13 medical centres in Sydney have been identified as COVID-19 exposure sites and have had to temporarily close. Now more than ever it is important to keep your staff and patients safe and ensure your practice/ pharmacy can keep operating.

Reminders for pharmacies:

  • Minimise contacts with patients and numbers of people able to enter the pharmacy at any time
  • Ensure comprehensive signage at the door reminding people not to enter if they have any respiratory symptoms or have visited a known case location
  • Offer easy options for patients to contact you to arrange delivery of medications
  • Remind people with respiratory symptoms to ask someone else to collect their medication.

Reminders for general practice:

  • Use telehealth and video consultations wherever possible
  • Avoid keeping any patients in the waiting room for long periods
  • Wear a mask and eye protection for all patients and full PPE if examining patients
  • If your patient has a respiratory illness and requires a physical examination refer your patients to a GP respiratory clinic. 
  • Encourage patients to obtain a COVID-19 test with even the mildest of symptoms and remind them to stay at home in isolation until they obtain the results.
  • Encourage patients to get vaccinated
  • Ensure all patients/carers sign in using the QR code
  • Ensure patients do not enter your practice if they are awaiting COVID-19 test results
  • Don’t put your local pharmacist at risk:
  • Use e-prescribing where possible
  • Fax or email prescriptions to pharmacies for any patient with a respiratory virus
  • Suggest the patient get their medication delivered or picked up by a friend or relative.

Upcoming webinars

Fighting the Delta variant

Join Associate Professor Nicholas Wood, Associate Director, Clinical Research and Services, NCIRS Senior Staff Specialist as he discusses:

  • COVID-19 vaccines and the conversations GPs need to be having with their patients
  • practical information to assist GPs in having the AstraZeneca risk/benefit conversation
  • the link between myocarditis and Pfizer vaccination
  • impacts different strains of COVID-19 have on the effectiveness of vaccines
  • the conversation and current data around mixing COVID-19 vaccines.

You will also hear practical tips and insights from a local GP on how they run their vaccination clinic, and then from an RN on how they are running their nurse led clinics and drawing up vaccines.  

Register here for the webinar this Thursday 22 July 7.00 pm – 8.30 pm. 

Challenging communication in challenging times

Join Michelle Horswood and Katrina Otto as they help you navigate anger, overwhelm and give practical strategies for dealing with challenging situations.

  • Learn communication strategies to diffuse angry conversations.
  • Explore strategies used by experienced practice staff.
  • Understand the importance of everyday self-care.

Register here for the webinar Monday 26 July 7.00 pm – 8.00 pm

RACGP Thrombosis and Thrombocytopenia Syndrome (TTS) and the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine in younger populations

Register here for the webinar Monday 26 July 7.00 pm – 8.00 pm

RACGP NSW, NSW Health and NCIRS COVID-19 update webinar

Register here for the webinar Monday 9 August 7.00 pm – 8.00 pm

Advice for women who received their first dose of AstraZeneca and are now pregnant

New guidance advises that women who received their first dose of AstraZeneca and are now pregnant can receive their second dose of either AstraZeneca or Pfizer, although Pfizer is preferred. Pregnant women should be routinely offered Pfizer at any stage of pregnancy. Pregnant women with COVID-19 have an increased risk of severe illness and adverse pregnancy outcomes. It is noted they are not currently picked up by the Eligibility Checker, however Pfizer vaccination providers are encouraged to facilitate the vaccination of pregnant women, who are not otherwise eligible, if they have capacity. 

Further information: