An outbreak of 17 locally acquired cases of COVID-19 has been identified recently in South Australia.
Given the increased risk from current COVID-19 outbreak, doctors should remain vigilant and test or refer for testing any patients with symptoms of COVID-19, even if very mild. Doctors should continue to check updates on COVID-19 cases in SA through SA Health website at www.sahealth.sa.gov.au/COVID2019
Doctors are advised to:
- Visit the SA Health website for a list of higher risk locations www.sahealth.sa.gov.au/COVIDcontacttracing
- Wear PPE when assessing persons who have any symptoms of COVID-19. Do not take a COVID-19 swab without appropriate PPE.
- Test anyone who presents with symptoms of COVID-19, even if mild, including:
- Acute respiratory infection (e.g. cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, runny nose) OR
- Fever OR history of fever or chills in the absence of an alternative diagnosis that explains the clinical presentation (clinical discretion applies including consideration of the potential for co-infection, e.g. concurrent infection with SARS-CoV-2 and influenza) OR
- Acute unexplained loss of smell or altered sense of taste OR
- Persons with new onset of other clinical symptoms compatible with COVID-19 (headache, myalgia, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea) particularly those who are a close contact of a confirmed case of COVID-19; +or who have visited one of the locations named in during the specified time.
- Inform patients they MUST self-isolate while awaiting test results and until acute symptoms resolve, or as directed by SA Health.
- Remind patients and staff not to attend childcare, age care, work or school if they are unwell.
- Refer patients for testing at one of the COVID-19 clinics and testing centres (www.sahealth.sa.gov.au/covidtesting) if you are unable to carry out testing in your clinic.
- Notify CDCBof any persons who are identify as close contacts of a known case and are yet to be contacted by SA Health.
- Ensure your practice has appropriate infection prevention and control processes in place, including adequate physical distancing, availability of hand hygiene, and appropriate cleaning regime.
- Note that PCR testing is required for acute infection, and serology is not useful in this setting.
There is an increased risk of more cases of COVID-19 in SA; advice in Public Health Alert # 24 is no longer current.
For all enquires contact the CDCB/CDCB COVID Operations on 1300 232 272 (24 hours/7 days).
Dr Robert Hall – Director, CDCB COVID Operations