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COVID-19 update – 7 July 2021

7 July 2021

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NSW COVID-19 outbreak

There are now 324 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. 

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.

PPE guidelines can be found here. To order masks for your practice click here.

Lockdown extended

Greater Sydney’s lockdown will be extended by a week until Friday 16 July, with 27 new cases of COVID-19 announced today. Only 13 of these cases were in isolation for their full infectious period. The lockdown covers Greater Sydney, the Central Coast, the Blue Mountains, Wollongong and Shellharbour.

Pfizer vaccine rollout

On 5 July participating vaccination providers began administering the Pfizer vaccine to patients, with more to follow throughout the month. Numbers of practices administering the vaccine will increase as access to the Pfizer vaccine increases in the latter part of the year.

Vaccine mandatory for aged care workers

National Cabinet agreed on 5 July that COVID vaccinations for residential aged care workers will be mandatory by mid-September. The workers must have received at least their first dose by this time. This will be a condition of working in an aged care facility through shared state, territory and Commonwealth authorities and compliance measures. Click here for more information.

Temporary MBS telehealth services

Starting from 13 March 2020 until 31 December 2021, temporary MBS telehealth items have been made available to help reduce the risk of community transmission of COVID-19 and provide protection for patients and health care providers.Temporary MBS telehealth items are available to GPs, medical practitioners, specialists, consultant physicians, nurse practitioners, participating midwives, allied health providers and dental practitioners in the practice of oral and maxillofacial surgery and are available on MBS online.

Change in protocol for administration of vaccine

A new policy directive was released on the protocol for the supply or administration of the COVID-19 vaccine. In the event that an Authorised Nurse Immuniser is not available to administer the vaccine, the protocol can be enacted and a range of health practitioners can administer it instead. This includes dentists, paramedics, specific allied health professionals and health practitioner students.

New vaccination hub

A large Sydney City vaccination hub site has been secured in the heart of the city, ahead of the larger supply of Pfizer vaccines to come. This hub will have extended opening hours.Click here for further information on the mass vaccination rollout boost.

Mandatory QR check-in 

QR check-ins will be mandatory for all workplaces and retail businesses from 12 July. This will assist NSW’s contract tracers in gaining access to QR code data. Businesses that fail to comply may be subject to fines.Click here to find out more about the mandate.

Communicating with CESPHN COVID staff 

As a primary health network our role is to promote and support general practice and other primary health care providers. We understand the frustration, particularly in general practice, with the supply of COVID-19 vaccines and changes to the vaccination rollout – these changes are not the responsibility of CESPHN. The Commonwealth Department of Health is selecting practices for the Pfizer rollout and controls the allocation of vaccines.

At times, our staff have been subject to rude comments on both email and during phone calls and these behaviours will be reported back to their practice. Our PHN is receiving a very high volume of calls and emails and our staff are working incredibly hard to support primary care in what is a challenging time, but we also need your support.

Taking care of ourselves

A reminder that it’s important we all look after our own mental health and wellbeing. There are a number of resources available, including: 

  • The Essential Network, a dedicated mental health and wellbeing program led by the Black Dog Institute. The program is delivering tailored mental health support and resources for healthcare workers and is available in both the Apple Store and the Google Play Store and online at blackdoginstitute.org.au/ten.
  • DRS4DRS service which provides mental health consultations for doctors and medical students.

A free 24/7 Coronavirus Mental Wellbeing Support Service available via phone on 1800 512 348 or at coronavirus.beyondblue.org.au.

Vaccination rollout progress in our region

Each week we will provide an update on vaccination rollout progress in our region. In the last week

  • an additional 47,274 doses of COVID-19 vaccines were administered to people living in the CESPHN region (28 per cent were AstraZeneca vaccines and 72 per cent were Pfizer vaccines); and
  • the total doses of vaccines administered to people living in the CESPHN region is 370,765 doses as at 4 July 2021.

CESPHN estimates that to be fully vaccinated, the total number of doses required to completely vaccinate those aged over 15 years is 2,826,464 doses.  As at 4 July 2021, an estimated 12.8 per cent of total doses requiredhave been administered to people living in the region.  

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