COVID cases in our region increased again over the past fortnight.Over the past two weeks to 22 November 2021 there have been 601 locally acquired cases in the CESPHN region, a 13% per cent increase over the previous period. The largest concentrations are in the Canterbury-Bankstown LGA (198).
See here for information on the latest testing locations. Please remember to refer your patients to a GP respiratory clinic if they need a respiratory assessment. You can find contact details here.
Within the region 87% of the population aged 15 and over have received one vaccine dose and 85% are fully vaccinated (no change from last week). 13% of the population remain unvaccinated.
Please continue to contact our practice support team via firstname.lastname@example.org should you wish to transfer vaccine. We note many practices have established local arrangements to share vaccine while demand is low.
Vaccinating practices who would like to order smaller doses of Pfizer vaccine are asked to contact the PHN. If you would like to deliver the Moderna vaccine please also contact email@example.com.
General practices and pharmacists are encouraged to review their patients and identify those who are unvaccinated or need a booster dose and arrange COVID-19 vaccination for them.
COVID-19 booster doses
ATAGI recommends booster doses be given at least 6 months after dose 2 of the primary course of COVID-19 vaccines. NCIRS COVID-19 FAQ advises, in special circumstances general practitioners can use clinical judgment to ensure patients are protected, shortening the interval to no less than 5 months after the primary course, such as in remote areas or outreach vaccination programs or before overseas travel to a high-risk country.
Other new questions answered on the NCIRS COVID-19 FAQ include information on ‘fully vaccinated’ status without a booster dose and ‘long COVID’.
COVID-19 care in the community
The RACGP has released updated guidelines for caring for patients with COVID-19 in their homes. You can find the guidelines here
The team at Sydney Child Health Program has been working with the Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network to develop a COVID-19 education module for GPs and primary healthcare workers looking to stay updated with safe practices and strategies to manage children with COVID-19, as the virus progresses. These resources are free of charge and available via this link.If you have any questions or would like more information, contact the team via firstname.lastname@example.org.
NCIRS webinar: COVID-19 in children and adolescents: vaccines, transmission at school and disease outcomes:The final webinar for 2021 will focus on COVID-19 in children and adolescents with an update on vaccine recommendations and safety in children and adolescents and the latest data on transmission in schools in Australia, including the experience in NSW since the return to face-to-face learning, outcomes in children with COVID-19 and long-term follow-up. Details: Wednesday 8 December 12.00 – 1.30 pm AEDT. Register here
COVID-19 live stream update 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. Get involved by submitting questions and comments! Details: Thursday 25 November, 11.30 am (AEDT) | Click link to join
RACGPCOVID related webinars:
COVID-Vaccine rollout: Supporting diverse communities and vaccines for children.
We are aware that some people in our community may not be able to access a GP or vaccination hub to receive a COVID-19 vaccination. As a result CESPHN has developed the Vax at Home program.
The CESPHN Vax at Home Program is ONLY for those people who are housebound and not able to leave their house to receive a COViD-19 vaccination (their carers will also be able to be vaccinated).
Patient self-referrals will NOT be accepted. Patients should speak with their GP for referral to this program if appropriate. Referrals can be accepted from General Practitioners and Disability Provider Organisations only.Referrals for people who live in the Sydney Local Health District can be emailed to SLHD-AHCCR-InreachClinic@health.nsw.gov.auand for South Eastern Sydney Local Health District please email email@example.com
Referrals should include:
Name of patient
Date of Birth
Patients residential address and contact details
Name of usual GP.
Contact details of any carers.
This service is now operational and accepting referrals.
Free infection control advice
CESPHN is pleased to offer general practices, community pharmacies and allied health the opportunity to have a specialised one-on-one consultation session with an experienced primary care infection control educator. This consult will enable your practice/pharmacy to:
Send questions prior to the consultation session about your practice
Ask questions on infection control that relates to your practice.
Sessions will be via ‘Zoom’ and will be up to 50 minutes in duration and can be recorded for later use. The aim of these sessions is to support practices and community pharmacies to ensure they have the strongest infection procedures in place and provide tips for improvement where needed. If you would like more information or would like to book a consultation, please email your interest to firstname.lastname@example.org and in the subject line write: “Yes I would like infection control advice”.
Additional PPE available
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) packages including surgical and N95/P2 masks, face shields, gloves, gowns and goggles and face shields will be made available for community pharmacies and 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 or pharmacy click here.
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