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COVID-19 weekly update – 21 December 2022

20200512 Icon Coronavirus

COVID-19 cases in the region

The number of COVID cases in our region continue to remain high. General practices should take the necessary steps to ensure they are able to respond to this increase.  Infection control and wearing masks (staff and patients) is still critically important.

For further information on the latest number of COVID cases please go to the latest NSW COVID statistics. If you would like information and support on infection prevention and control for your practice, please email at coronavirus@cesphn.com.au

PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT (PPE) – IMPORTANT CHANGES TO PPE ORDERING

New PPE arrangements from 1 January 2023 for Primary Care Services.

As part of the National COVID-19 Health Management Plan for 2023, all Living with COVID measures scheduled to cease on 31 December 2022 have been reviewed by the Department of Health and Ageing.

As of 15 December 2022, orders taken for PPE (via CESPHN and distributed by the Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing and DHL) ceased.

General practices should now source their PPE through local commercial suppliers. 

Accessing pulse oximeters for your patients

CESPHN is still providing pulse oximeters – please see details below 

  • Individual patients – we have access to a small supply of oximeters. GPs with patients they believe require a pulse oximeter urgently are asked to complete this CESPHN Pulse Oximeter online form with 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 10 pulse oximeters per practice via the new PPE online ordering form. If your practice has already received 10 pulse oximeters via the previous process, you will need to access future stock through your local suppliers 

CESPHN Vax at Home service

The CESPHN Vax at Home Service is for those people who are housebound and not able to leave their house to receive a COVID-19 vaccination or booster. The service will accept referrals for people 16 years and over. Referrals will be accepted from GPs 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. Please also indicate if an influenza vaccine is also required. Please note, a referral will need to be attached to the online form. For further information on the program, please contact us.  This service will continue to receive referrals over the Christmas shut down period. Please note if your referral is urgent and the service will prioritise accordingly.

Vaccine Operations Centre – Christmas closure details

The Vaccine Operations Centre (VOC) will be closed for the Holiday shutdown period from 3:00pm AEDT on Friday 23 December 2022, with normal operating hours resuming from 8:30am AEDT on Tuesday 3 January 2023.

CVAS Stock on Hand Reporting over the Holiday period

There is a requirement for participating sites to submit stock management reports each week, however if you are closed or not administering over the holiday period, you will not be required to submit your stock management reports.

You will, however, need to complete one stock management report on your return, before placing your next vaccine order.

Healthdirect COVID-19 Symptom and Antiviral Eligibility Checker

To help more Australians understand their COVID symptoms, what care they need and if they may be eligible for antiviral treatment, the healthdirect COVID-19 Symptom and Antiviral Eligibility Checker is now available in 11 languages. These languages include Arabic, Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional), English, Hindi, Japanese, Korean, Spanish, Thai, Turkish and Vietnamese.

The COVID-19 Symptom and Antiviral Eligibility Checker is a simple self-help tool to help Australians understand if they:

  • have COVID-19 symptoms that mean they need to get medical help or will be able to recover at home
  • may be eligible for a COVID-19 antiviral treatment and should contact their GP for assessment

To date, the symptom checker has been used nearly 14 million times to help people. To increase awareness of the symptom checker and assist more people in the community, we are sharing in-language social assets – please use these materials in your social media channels as appropriate.