news

COVID-19

Latest COVID Updates

Find out the most up to date info on coronavirus

For up-to-date information on the number of cases and geographical locations visit the World Health Organisation and the John Hopkins University online tracking dashboard page.

Country SA PHN will continue to work with the Commonwealth Department of Health and SA Health to relay relevant information to primary health care providers and provide support as required.

Government Guidelines

Up to date Coronavirus (COVID-19) resources for the general public.

Visit Site

Health Professional Updates

Delivering high quality care and safety to patients

Country SA PHN will continue to work with the Commonwealth Department of Health and SA Health to relay relevant information to primary health care providers and provide support as required.

SA Health Alerts

SA Health Updates For GPs
  • COVID-19 testing site update - The Yamba and Bordertown COVID-19 Mobile Testing Clinics will be closing permanently at close of business Sunday 28 February. More information and alternative testing options is available at www.sahealth.sa.gov.au/COVIDtesting
  • New COVID-19 public exposure locations have been identified in Victoria and New South Wales. Please continue to monitor the SA Health website for the latest information and advice at www.sahealth.sa.gov.au/covidcontacttracing.   

  • Quick read COVID-19 resources SA Health's quick read resources contain important information about COVID-19 in an easy to read format.

  • Bushfires and COVID-19:
    People who are in self-quarantine or self-isolation due to COVID-19 can leave their home in the event of an emergency or if their home is unsafe. It is important people try to get back home as soon as you can safely. During an emergency, if someone in self-quarantine needs to attend an emergency relief centre or a Bushfire Last Resort Refuge, they should stay outside, alert emergency services (e.g. SAPOL, relief authorities at the location) and follow instructions. They should advise emergency services that they have left self-quarantine due to COVID-19. 

  • SA Health COVID-19 Updates

GP Led Respiratory Clinics

Commonwealth funded respiratory clinics, supported by
Country SA PHN, have been established at six sites across country SA.

The Australian Government has established GP Led Respiratory Clinics around the country to support the assessment, testing and diagnosis of community members experiencing mild to moderate respiratory symptoms. Commonwealth funded respiratory clinics, supported by CSAPHN, are being established at six sites across country SA.

  • No referral is required
  • Community members experiencing respiratory symptoms can book online or over the phone
  • GP-led clinics provide clinical assessment and diagnosis, and provide onsite COVID-19 testing (where test criteria is met)
  • All services are provided at no cost to the patient

Find out below if there is a GP respiratory clinic in your region and how to book an appointment.

Australia's COVID-19 Vaccine Roadmap

COVID-19 vaccines rollout to
priority groups

Priority Groups

The Australian Government is expecting approval of safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines by the end of this month, with a rollout to priority groups beginning mid-February. In addition to being able to administer the vaccine when available, healthcare professionals will also be able to receive the vaccine in the following rollout phases:

Phase 1a

  • Frontline at-risk health care workers including staff in GP respiratory clinics and COVID-19testing facilities, ambulance staff, paramedics, ICU and emergency department staff andclinical and ancillary support staff
  • Residential aged care and disability care staff
  • Residential aged care and disability care residents
  • Quarantine and border workers

Phase 1b

  • Adults over 70 years
  • All other health care workers
  • Begin to vaccinate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
  • Younger adults with an underlying medical condition, including those with a disability
  • Critical and high risk workers including defence, police, fire, emergency services and meat processing.

Read More

Approved COVID-19 vaccine 

On Monday, 25 January the Government announced provisional approval of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for use in Australia for people 16 years of age and over. Two doses will be required, administered at least 21 days apart.

The Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine will be used initially during the Phase 1a rollout. These vaccine doses will be distributed through 30 to 50 key hospital hubs across urban and rural Australia to priority group 1a.

On Tuesday, 16 February the Government announced provisional approval of the Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine for use in Australia for people 18 years and older. Two doses will be required, administered from 4 to 12 weeks apart.

Both vaccines will progressively be distributed through an expanded number of sites, including general practice clinics, existing Commonwealth GP respiratory clinics, state-run vaccination clinics and pharmacies.

Distribution to residential aged care and disability care facilities will be done through a Commonwealth vaccination workforce in-reach program.

COVID-19 vaccines will be free for everyone living in Australia and the Government has made it clear that COVID-19 vaccination will be voluntary – but it is strongly encouraged. More information about training for health professionals will be available in the coming weeks that will cover vaccine specific information, multi-dose vials, infection control, wastage, and adverse event reporting.

Read More

More Information

More information about the approved COVID-19 vaccine approach is outlined in:

The Department of Health developed a new vaccine website this website is regularly being updated with more information as it becomes available. Information will also be available in 63 languages.

Subscribe to the COVID-19 vaccines updates to ensure you receive the latest updates available on the website.

Surge workforce

The Australian Government has appointed Aspen Medical, Healthcare Australia, International SOS, and Sonic Clinical Services to supplement the existing immunisation workforce for Phase 1a rollout as required. This surge workforce will help provide immunisations.

Read More

COVID-19 vaccine training

The Australian College of Nursing has been appointed to lead the development of the mandatory training materials for COVID-19 immunisation providers. Healthcare professionals will not be able to administer any COVID-19 vaccines without having first completed the training modules.

Read More

Vaccination for aged care workers

The Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) strongly encourages COVID-19 vaccination. But at this time AHPPC does not recommend mandating COVID-19 vaccination for the aged care workforce at this stage. For more information on the AHPPC decision visit the Department of Health website.

Read More

Mask Distribution

Supporting your practice

With the emergence of COVID-19 across many countries, there is a global shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE), including surgical masks and P2/N95 respirators.

As a first step in releasing PPE from the National Medical Stockpile, the Australian Government has provided a limited supply of surgical masks and P2/N95 respirators for general practices (including Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services) and community pharmacies with a demonstrated need.

Surgical masks supplied in tranche are intended to be provided to general practices and, when no local commercial supply is available, allied health and community pharmacies:

  • For the protection of health professionals and practice/pharmacy staff in direct contact with people presenting with fever and/or respiratory symptoms including cough, sore throat and/or shortness of breath
  • For provision to people who are suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19, for the protection of other patients and staff, and of the public while the patient returns home.

There is no need for the general public or health workers to wear masks unless they are dealing with symptomatic patients. Further guidance on the use of surgical masks can be found at: Department of Health information on the use of surgical masks

Read More
CSAPHN Helpline

For any questions please contact our helpline on 1800 272 746.

Contact Us
Guidelines for Distribution

With the emergence of COVID-19 across many countries, there is a global shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE), including surgical masks and P2/N95 respirators. As a first step in releasing PPE from the National Medical Stockpile, the Australian Government has provided a limited supply of surgical masks and P2/N95 respirators for general practices (including Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services) and community pharmacies with a demonstrated need.

See the Department of Health Guideline for Distribution of PPE through PHNs for full details.

Any queries regarding masks are to be directed to:

Mask Request Form

Country SA PHN general practices, pharmacies and allied health practices can request masks by completing the Surgical Mask Request Form.

As there is a limited supply, a default allocation of 50 masks will be sent per request. If a larger allocation is required, please provide additional information to support the request in the comments section of the form.

Complete the form here


Surgical Masks

Surgical masks supplied in tranche are intended to be provided to general practices and, when no local commercial supply is available, allied health and community pharmacies:

  • For the protection of health professionals and practice/pharmacy staff in direct contact with people presenting with fever and/or respiratory symptoms including cough, sore throat and/or shortness of breath
  • For provision to people who are suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19, for the protection of other patients and staff, and of the public while the patient returns home.

There is no need for the general public or health workers to wear masks unless they are dealing with symptomatic patients. Further guidance on the use of surgical masks can be found at: Department of Health information on the use of surgical masks


Eligibility to access protective masks

PHNs have been given the role of distributing surgical masks

Community pharmacies

Community pharmacies are eligible to access the supply for the use of their staff when there is no available commercial supply and they have significant contact with people presenting with fever or respiratory symptoms. Masks distributed through PHNs cannot be sold as commercial stock.

Anecdotal reports have suggested that NMS stock is being sold. If CSAPHN is aware that anyone is selling NMS stocks, provision of masks to this pharmacy will be ceased and cost recovery sought.

Read More

Allied health

Allied health professionals are now eligible for limited access to the supply of surgical masks for the use of their staff when there is no available commercial supply and they are working in higher-risk clinical areas, and with higher risk vulnerable patients.

Given the diverse nature of the allied health sector, when determining whether allocation of masks is appropriate, PHNs have been asked to consider:

  • The likelihood of the worker having direct or close contact with high-risk patients who are presenting with fever and/or respiratory symptoms. For example: a respiratory physiotherapist working with patients with cough, sore throat and/or shortness of breath, as compared to an exercise physiologist who is likely to be working with well individuals.
  • The extent to which the allied health professional can manipulate their environment or practice method to reduce the chance of transmission. For example: due to the nature of their work, a diagnostic radiographer cannot easily change their mode of practise or environment, whereas a dietitian or psychologist may be able to continue to provide services through telehealth.
  • The relative vulnerability of the patients that the allied health professionals are treating. For example: where the allied health professional is routinely treating patients who are immunocompromised, or those who are elderly or disabled.

​There remains an assumption that allied health professions will, where possible, not see patients with respiratory symptoms or at a higher risk of COVID-19 unless required to as part of their core business (for example: an optometrist can defer seeing a patient with respiratory symptoms until that person is well).

Read More

Quantity limits

  • GP Respiratory Clinics, General practices and ACCHOs: two boxes (100 masks) for each clinic within the practice.
  • After-hours GP home visiting services : one box (50 masks) per practice/service

  • Community pharmacy: one box (50 masks) per community pharmacy
  • Allied Health: one box (50 masks) per practice

Read More

Accessing Surgical Masks - Detmold

Discounts for surgical masks

Detmold have been in contact with Country SA PHN today and confirmed they can support the health care industry seeking to purchase locally manufactured surgical masks with discount codes to reduce the cost per unit.

  • Code word: Medical - Enter the promo code at the checkout when purchasing the bulk pack of 960 – to bring the price to $0.96 +GST per mask, inclusive of freight)
  • Code word: Medicalretail - Enter the promo code at the checkout when purchasing the retail pack of 40 - to bring the price to $0.96 +GST per mask, inclusive of freight)
Detmold Website

Visit the Detmold website and use the discount codes to purchase your mask.

Visit Site

P2/N95 Respirators

Safe specimen collection in general practice

Primary care procedures

As part of the continued response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Department of Health supplied PHNs with a very small allocation of P2/N95 respirators.

For routine primary care procedures, including specimen collection, surgical masks are considered to be effective when specimen collection is undertaken they should be worn with other PPE as appropriate (gown, gloves and eye protection). P2/N95 respirators are only required for aerosol generating procedures or where there is uncontrolled coughing.

See the relevant factsheet. If GPs are unable to undertake appropriate contact and droplet precautions for clinical assessment and specimen collection from patients with suspected COVID-19 through lack of appropriate PPE, they should refer cases to appropriate collection centres or Emergency Departments. See SA Health: Information for health professionals for more information.

Read More

Eligibility to access

Distribution of P2/N95 respirators is limited to general practices, including ACCHOs, who need to assess suspected COVID-19 cases because of the unavailability of nearby dedicated respiratory clinics or Emergency Departments.

Such practices need to have isolation facilities and other appropriate infrastructure, staff competent in use of PPE, and a pandemic plan. P2/N95 respirators should only be used with other PPE (gowns, gloves and eye protection).

P2 Mask Request Form

Complete your online request form.

Mask Request Form

Resources & Useful Links

Need support? Contact our Support Team

Contact Us
General
General Practice
Aged Care
Nurses

Support for Nurses

COVID SAfe Check-In

Enhance contact tracing and keep our community COVID safe

The South Australian Government is introducing COVID SAfe Check-In, to enhance contact tracing and keep our community COVID safe. If someone in South Australia tests positive to COVID-19, the COVID SAfe Check-In enables SA Health to quickly contact others who may have been exposed to the virus and stop the spread of COVID-19.

COVID SAfe Check-In is a new feature that has been added to the free mySA GOV app. Download the app from Google Play or the App Store.

If you already have the mySA GOV app, make sure you have the latest version, which may require you to download the app update.

Businesses with a COVID Safe Plan will receive a new COVID Safe Plan via email that includes a poster with a unique QR code. This should be printed and displayed in a prominent location within the business.

Read More
COVID SAfe Check-In

Download the COVID SAfe Check-In App

Visit Site

COVIDSafe App

Improve the quality of healthcare delivered to practice patients

A model for improvement

The new COVIDSafe app is completely voluntary. Downloading the app is something you can do to protect you, your family and friends and save the lives of other Australians. The more Australians connect to the COVIDSafe app, the quicker we can find the virus. Download from Apple Store or Google Play.

Google Play

Apple Store


Telehealth

Supporting practices with the implementation of telehealth

Two platforms

CSAPHN are providing access to two telehealth platforms:

  • Health Connections Video for communication between general practice, CSAPHN and SA Health providers
  • HealthDirect Video call for provider to patient telehealth services.

CSAPHN can provide support with registration, implementation and training.

Register your practice

Register your interest by contacting Country SA PHN

Register

Further Resources

Need support? Contact our Support Team

Contact Us
National Clinical Guidelines for COVID-19

World-first 'living guidelines' for Australian healthcare professionals caring for people with COVID-19 have been launched by the National COVID-19 Clinical Evidence Taskforce

Reporting COVID-19 Suspected Breaches of Quarantine and Isolation in SA

To report a suspected breach of quarantine or isolation orders, community are directed to contact:

  • SA Police on 131 444
  • Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or to complete an anonymous online report at crimestopperssa.com.au
South Australian COVID-19 Gateway

A COVID-19 Gateway, linking to relevant information on State and Federal government websites, has been established: https://www.sa.gov.au/covid-19

COVID Support Lines

Call one of the services below

Please see our helpful resources below. If you still have questions, feel free to reach out to support@countrysaphn.com.au.