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COVID-19: GP Alert (13 November 2020)

November 13, 2020

Baillie Henderson COVID-19 test centre closing today - Charlton BP drive-in site still available

The Baillie Henderson drive-in COVID-19 test site will cease operations as at 4:00pm today Friday, 13 November 2020.

Testing is still available at the Darling Downs Health drive-in test site at the BP Charlton Truckstop, just west of Toowoomba on the Warrego Highway, which is around a 12-minute drive from the Baillie Henderson campus. The BP Charlton site can accommodate cars, vehicles with caravans, and trucks.

Please note: Health care workers in the Darling Downs region can be tested at the Charlton pop-up centre with a Pathology Queensland (PQ) test ensuring they get a rapid result (generally <12hours).

GP RESPIRATORY CLINICS

GP respiratory clinics continue to be open across the Darling Downs and West Moreton region to clinically assess and test people with symptoms suggestive of COVID-19. The respiratory clinics located in Toowoomba have extended their operating hours to cater to demand. Community members should call the clinics directly to find out about current opening times and to book an appointment.

A list of the resipiratory clinics and their contact information can be found on our COVID-19 webpage.

NEW - Spirometry infection control recommendations for primary care

The National Asthma Council has developed Spirometry infection control recommendations for primary care document.

COVID-19 testing including patients presenting with diarrhoea, nausea and vomiting

As per the SoNG, other reported symptoms of COVID-19 (outside of fever/ symptoms of acute respiratory infection / loss of taste and/or smell) include diarrhoea, nausea/vomiting, as well as fatigue, runny nose, muscle pain, joint pain and loss of appetite. Testing beyond the suspect case definition may include individuals with sudden and unexplained onset of one or more of these other symptoms, based on the clinical and public health judgement of the treating clinician.

If there is clinical concern about a diagnosis of COVID-19, respiratory samples should be sent for RT-PCR, in addition to routine testing of faecal specimens for bacteria (MCS), parasites (OCP) and viruses (noro-, adeno-, rotavirus).

Queensland Health advises the public to get tested when presenting with symptoms no matter how mild, including diarrhoea, nausea and vomiting.

It is advised that, prior to their appointment, patients should call ahead and tell the clinic about their symptoms so that the clinic can prepare for their visit. How the clinic triages and/or prepares for the patient visit is the responsibility of the individual clinic. However, appropriate infection control precautions and hygiene methods must always be followed according to the patients presenting symptoms.

Advice remains that people who have been tested should stay at home and isolate until they get the results and symptoms have resolved. In addition, people experiencing diarrhoea and/or vomiting should be excluded until there has been no diarrhoea or vomiting for 24-48 hours (see Queensland Health timeout poster ‘Diarrhoea and/or Vomiting’ and ‘Norovirus’ sections).

PBS Special arrangement extended

The Commonwealth Government has announced that the National Health (COVID-19 Supply of Pharmaceutical Benefits) Special Arrangement 2020 (the PBS Special Arrangement), to support the COVID-19 pandemic response, has been extended to 31 March 2021.

These PBS Special Arrangements allow a prescriber to send a digital image, such as fax or email, of a paper prescription to a dispenser. Image-based prescriptions refer to the digital transfer, such as fax or email, of paper prescriptions and are not electronic prescriptions.

To support the PBS Special Arrangement, provisions within the Health (Drugs and Poisons) Regulation 1996 exempt prescribers from having to provide the original paper prescription to the dispenser after sending through an image-based prescription, except for prescriptions for controlled drugs, restricted drugs of dependency and anabolic steroids which must be provided to the dispenser within seven days.

Further information on the arrangements for image-based prescriptions are detailed within the factsheet – Image based prescriptions:

Any questions in relation to the regulation of electronic prescriptions or image-based prescriptions, should be directed to the Healthcare Legislation Improvement Unit on HLIU@health.qld.gov.au

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affecting Health Care practitioners in the Darling Downs and West Moreton Regions: