COVID-19: GP Alert (1 July 2021)
July 01, 2021
REMINDER - PPE guidance
With cases of the highly transmissible Delta variant of COVID 19 in Queensland, please ensure all your practice staff are aware of the PPE guidance below and triage patients accordingly. Telehealth, fever clinics and GP respiratory clinics remain available for assessing patients with respiratory symptoms when appropriate PPE is not available in your practice, or where staff are not fit tested or trained in the use of P2 masks.
On 10 June 2021 the Infection Control Expert Group (ICEG) released revised guidance on the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) for health care workers in the context of COVID-19. Healthcare workers providing direct patient care or working within the patient zone for individuals with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 should have access to P2/N95 respirators. For these healthcare workers, the choice between P2/N95 respirator or surgical mask should be based on an assessment of the risk of transmission. The risk assessment should include whether there is known community transmission of COVID-19, the individual patient’s pre-existing likelihood of COVID-19 and individual patient factors.
If a healthcare worker has determined they require a P2/N95 respirator, the healthcare worker should be appropriately trained in the use of a P2/N95 respirator. This includes fit-testing and complying with any jurisdictional requirements for appropriate P2/N95 respirator use. Further information on fit testing is available from Health websites for each jurisdiction. In situations where fit testing has not yet been carried out, and a P2/N95 respirator is recommended for use, it is preferred to use a fit-checked P2/N95 respirator rather than a surgical mask.
For additional information visit:
- Queensland Health PPE webpage
- Guidance on the use of PPE for healthcare workings in the context of COVID-19
- Work Safe Queensland – Fit-testing requirements for tight fitting respirators
- Fit Testing of P2/N95 masks in respiratory protection programs– Guidance Document | Queensland Health
For fit testing providers, visit the Respirator Fit Testing Training and Accreditation website
REMINDER - Testing
GPs and health professionals are reminded to have a low threshold for COVID-19 testing. Anyone who experiences any symptoms (fever, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, runny nose, fatigue, diarrhoea, vomiting or nausea, loss of smell and/or taste), however mild, must get tested and isolate.
REMINDER - COVID-19 telehealth MBS items extended until 31 December 2021As part of the 2021-22 Federal Budget, the Health Minister announced the extension of the COVID-19 telehealth items until 31 December 2021.
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