COVID-19 Current Situation
Last updated 9.00 am, 23 May, 2022
- Healthdirect Coronavirus and Vaccine 24/7 Help Line 1800 020 080
- Healthdirect 24/7 Help Line (including AFTER HOURS and general health issues) 1800 022 222
- Link to your local Public Health Unit 1300 066 055
- Language translator needed? 131450
As we head into winter, it is important to consider vacinations – both COVID-19 and influenza. ATAGI recommends an additional booster dose of COVID-19 vaccine to increase vaccine protection before winter for selected population groups who are at greatest risk of severe illness from COVID-19 and who have received their primary vaccination and first booster dose. These groups are:
- Adults aged 65 years and older
- Residents of aged care or disability care facilities
- People aged 16 years and older with severe immunocompromise (as defined in the ATAGI statement on the use of a 3rd primary dose of COVID-19 vaccine in individuals who are severely immunocompromised)
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 50 years and older.
The additional winter booster dose can be given from 4 months or longer after the person has received their first booster dose, or from 3 months after a confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection, if infection occurred since the person’s first COVID-19 booster dose.
The additional winter booster dose is now available to coincide with the 2022 influenza vaccination program.
Long COVID – If people have ongoing symptoms after their acute COVID illness in the community, they are encouraged to seek advice from their GP. The RACGP developed a patient resource titled Managing post COVID-19 Symptoms to assist patients selfmanage fatigue and additional symptoms. GPs may refer patients to Medical Benefits Schedule (MBS) subsidised allied health services if they use a GP Management Plan and Team Care Arrangements. Patients may be eligible for up to five MBS rebated Chronic 5 Living with COVID Disease Management (CDM) allied health items per calendar year. Further information for GPs on caring for patients with post COVID-19 symptoms here.
Podcast on Long COVID – The Tea Room podcast speaks to three experts including Associate Professor Anthony Byrne from at the long covid clinic at St Vincent’s hospital, who share their treatment approaches
On this week’s Coronacast, it is noted that while most of the Australian population is vaccinated against COVID-19, 2022 is by far the worst year of the pandemic. More than 5000 people have died from COVID so far this year, and another 30 or 40 are continuing to die on average each day. Also discussed is Paxlovid, which is now part of the PBS. So what is the drug again? Who should take it? When? And why?
There are some IMPORTANT new changes on how PPE is NOW ACCESSED and an update made on 16 May which is that: Orders can only be placed once per month and must be submitted to the PHN via the online form. Please check here
Excellent COVID-19 projection data from the Seattle-based Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation
Central and Eastern Sydney PHN has commenced a new COVID home visiting service. The COVID@Home Service provides an in-home assessment service delivered by a registered nurse with the support of a general practitioner. This service is aimed at COVID positive patients whose regular GP is not able to undertake home visits but where such a visit is required for medical and other support reasons while the patient is isolating. CESPHN has developed a referral form template (RTF) that can be imported into Medical Director/Best Practice. This referral form and instructions on how to import and send electronically can be found here. Plus, here is a Managing COVID-19 at home information hub.
A reminder to check HealthPathways regularly for the latest updates on caring for COVID positive patients in the community. These have been updated to include information on the new oral antiviral treatments. Dept Health COVID-19 ready kit – living with COVID
The CESPHN Vax at Home Service is ONLY for those people who are housebound and not able to leave their house to receive a COVID-19 vaccination or booster (their carers will also be able to be vaccinated). The Vax at Home Service will accept referrals for people 16 years and over. For children 12-16 years with special circumstances and may require further support, referrals will be reviewed on a case by case basis. Patients should speak with their GP for a referral to this program if appropriate. Referrals will be accepted from general practitioners 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 – for people who are housebound and reside in the Sydney Local Health District or South Eastern Sydney Local Health District regions. Please indicate if an influenza vaccine is also required. For further information on the program, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
RATS (check LANGUAGES drop down menu on top Right Hand Side of page)
Detailed BOOSTER Information in numerous languages (check LANGUAGES drop down menu on top RIght Hand Side)
COVID Information: multilingual
Omicron: Quarantine arrangements
BOOK your BOOSTER here or through your GP
Updated Public Health Orders
Forms for GPs caring for post-hospital COVID patients and recovery fact sheet