COVID-19: GP Alert (18 August 2020)
August 18, 2020
Updated guidance on use of PPE in areas of community transmissionThe Australian Department of Health Infection Control Expert Group (ICEG) has recently updated the COVID-19 Guidance on the use of PPE by health care workers in areas with significant community transmission.
This advice has been developed by the ICEG on the basis of expert opinion, following direct consultation with frontline clinicians who have managed cases in areas with high community transmission.
Additional PPE Resources
- WHO Infection Prevention and Control Expert Group paper 6 Aug 2020 – Use of medical face masks versus particulate respirators as a component of personal protective equipment for health care workers in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- P2/N95 mask fit checking and testing information.
- The SICN Position Statement on COVID-19 transmission has previously been shared but remains highly relevant.
Red Cross looking for COVID-19 convalescent plasma donors
Lifeblood has developed acceptance criteria for potential COVID-19 convalescent plasma donors. Donors are considered eligible when they:
- had a laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 infection
- are recovered from COVID-19 and non-infectious as evidenced by being symptom free for four weeks, and
- otherwise meet Lifeblood's eligibility requirements.
Given the limited number of people who have recovered from COVID-19, Lifeblood requires your assistance to identify potential donors.
Lifeblood asks that you provide your patient/confirmed case with this information sheet. They can then contact Lifeblood to further discuss and/or to make an appointment. Please see information sheets for potential uses for Convalescent plasma and further details.
Freight driver testing
We have received a number of requests for advice on whether the Respiratory Clinics are able to provide testing services to Freight drivers in response the introduction of mandatory regular COVID-19 testing for freight industry in some states and territories. Our advice has not changed, GP led Respiratory Clinics should be retained for people presenting with symptoms only as they have been established to provide a primary care service to the community, rather than a testing facility.
As of the 3 August, eligible workers can voluntarily visit an approved pathology collection centre and be tested for COVID-19. They do not require a request from a medical practitioner, but will need to provide evidence that they are employed to travel interstate as a driver of a heavy vehicle.
For list of pathology centres that provide testing, and pop-up COVID-19 testing clinics, visit your relevant HealthPathways portal below:
Darling Downs HealthPathways
West Moreton HealthPathways
Telehealth item numbers
The Australian Government DoH recently published a 16 page COVID-19 Telehealth items guide.