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COVID-19 update – 23 December 2020

23 December 2020

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Latest COVID-19 news for our region 

Greater Sydney has been declared a COVID-19 hotspot and ‘stay at home’ orders will stay in place for residents of the Northern Beaches local government area (LGA).

For those in Greater Sydney (including central and eastern Sydney):  

  • Household gatherings are limited to 10 visitors. On 24, 25 and 26 December children under 12 are not counted in this number. On 27 December the number reverts back to 10 people including children.
  • The one person per four square metre rule has been re-introduced for all indoor settings, including hospitality venues and places of worship 
  • A cap of 300 people applies for hospitality venues and places of worship. 
  • Singing and chanting performances in indoor venues are not allowed. 
  • Dancefloors are not permitted, except for weddings, where a maximum of 20 from the wedding party are permitted. 
  • Restrictions for Greater Sydney, Central Coast and Wollongong
  • Restrictions for the Christmas 2020 period

Countering COVID complacency

The latest Northern Beaches LGA cluster highlights the absolute importance of not becoming complacent about COVID.  Be vigilant:

  • minimise exposure to people with respiratory infection by judicious screening and triage,
  • make appropriate use of telehealth,
  • maintain good hygiene practice and appropriate use of PPE

Test early and often:

  • Refer anyone presenting with even the mildest RTI symptoms or any other symptoms consistent with COVID-19 for COVID-19 testing.
  • Symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath (difficulty breathing), runny nose, loss of smell and loss of taste.
  • Other reported symptoms consistent with COVID-19 include fatigue, muscle pain, joint pain, headache, diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting and loss of appetite.

With even the slightest respiratory, or other potential COVID symptoms:

Residential Aged Care Facilities

For the latest advice on COVID-19 and Residential Aged Care Facilities please go to https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/covid-19/Pages/racf-latest-advice.aspx

Key points:

  • All staff and visitors must wear a surgical mask whilst in a residential aged care facility.
  • All residential aged care facilities across NSW must exclude visitors, except those performing essential caring functions.  
  • Exclude staff and visitors who:
    • have been in any of the locations:
    • have a fever (37. 5°C or higher) or symptoms of COVID-19 (acute blocked nose congestion has been added to the list of symptoms)
      • are a close contact of a person with confirmed COVID-19 and are within their self-isolation period
      • live in a household with a person who is identified as a close contact of a person with confirmed COVID-19.
  • Ensure that legible records are kept of visitor and staff entry and exit into the facility for contact tracing purposes

GPs and registered nurses needed for GP respiratory clinics

Due to the northern beaches COVID outbreak, there is now additional demand for GPs and nurses to work in our local respiratory clinics.

Training is provided – it will take two hours.

For more information, contact coronavirus@cesphn.com.au

If you are already interested, email coronavirus@cesphn.com.au with the following information:

1) Name
2) Contact phone number
3) AHPRA number

Access to masks

NSW Chief Medical Officer, Dr Kerry Chant recommends masks

Surgical masks have been supplied in limited numbers to PHNs for general practice, community pharmacies, GP respiratory clinics, after hours GP home visiting services, medical deputising services and allied health professionals working in higher risk clinical areas who are exposed to at risk customers.

To register your request for surgical masks please complete this formMask Request Form (CESPHN). However before submitting your request for masks, please refer to this PHN locator link to check if you are in the CESPHN area. Any requests submitted from outside our area will not be processed.  

Useful links for the festive season

Healthdirect can help Access to medical help after hours and during the holiday season

Restriction Checker keeps up to date information on what is and isn’t allowed during the festive season

Information on How to use an infrared thermometer during COVID-19 PLUS Setting up a QR code