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COVID-19: GP Alert (19 May 2021)

May 19, 2021

Serology testing for COVID-19 immunity

  • The latest CDNA guidelines do not recommend routine testing for immunity against COVID-19.
  • Public Health Units are notified of all positive COVID-19 serology results 24 hours a day. If they are unable to contact the requesting clinician to ascertain the patient history, the public health response is to isolate the person as a potentially active COVID-19 case, pending a negative COVID-19 swab result.
  • The Public Health Units request that clinicians consider the judicious use of serology testing; they also request that serology tests, if deemed necessary, are discussed with the local PHU.

Pfizer vaccine clinics

  • Initially, six (6) Pfizer hubs were established in Queensland HHSs. Subsequently, additional Pfizer hubs have been established, or are being planned:
    • 5 May: Mater Hospital, South Brisbane
    • 12 May: Bailie Henderson Hospital, Toowoomba; and Ipswich Hospital
    • This week: Thursday Island; Rockhampton; Bundaberg; Mackay; Mount Isa; Roma
    • This month: Three GP Respiratory Clinics

To book into a pfizer hub, visit the Queensland Health webpage.

NEW CHO Direction – Designated COVID-19 Hospital Network Direction

From 7:45am, 18 May 2021, the Designated COVID-19 Hospitals Network Direction came into effect.

The direction revokes the Testing and Vaccination (Contact by Health Workers with Cases) Direction (No.2) and the Self-Isolation for Diagnosed Cases of COVID-19 Direction (No. 4).

Application

The direction applies to all hospitals in Queensland, people diagnosed with COVID-19, international arrivals in hotel quarantine who require medical care at a hospital during their period of quarantine, staff working at a designated hospital with diagnosed cases or international arrivals, and the Queensland Ambulance Service.

Direction to all hospitals in Queensland

  • Six hospitals are designated as COVID-19 hospitals: Cairns Hospital, Gold Coast University Hospital, Qld Children’s Hospital, Sunshine Coast University Hospital, Prince Charles Hospital and the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital. (Schedule 2).
  • All hospitals in Queensland, including private hospitals, are directed that a positive case of COVID-19 (a diagnosed person) must be transferred to a designated COVID-19 hospital. A non-designated hospital may only knowingly treat a diagnosed person for emergency or urgent care, or other care if permitted by an exemption granted by the Chief Health Officer or delegate. An example where an exemption may be appropriate is if an international maritime crew arrival requires non-urgent care and is geographically distant from one of the designated hospitals.

Direction to people diagnosed with COVID-19

  • This direction replaces the Self-Isolation for Diagnosed Cases of COVID-19 Direction (No. 4).
  • A diagnosed person must isolate in a COVID-19 ward under strict conditions until medically cleared.
  • If the person is also an international arrival, they must complete 14 days of quarantine, even if medically cleared.
  • A diagnosed person is not permitted visitors, unless under an exemption by the CHO or delegate.

Version 3 of the ATAGI Guidelines have been released (11 May 2021). This is a great resource to support vaccine discussions with patients.

Updated CHO Direction: Interstate Exposure Venues Direction (No.2)

From 11:00am, 18 May 2021, the Interstate Exposure Venues Direction (No.2) came into effect with the following changes:

  • provide that people who enter QLD before an identified date are allowed to quarantine at home and must quarantine until 14 days have passed since they were at the interstate exposure venue.
  • provide that people who enter QLD after an identified date will be directed into hotel quarantine and must quarantine for 14 days from their date of arrival in Queensland.
  • provide that people who are already in Queensland when an interstate exposure venue is published must quarantine at a nominated premises, such as their home, until 14 days have passed since they were at the interstate exposure venue.
  • clarify that if 14 days have passed since a person has been at an interstate exposure venue, they do not need to quarantine when they enter Queensland.
  • clarify in the definition of ‘interstate exposure venue’ that they are published on the Queensland Health website

More information about Queensland’s Public Health Directions can be found on the Queensland Health website.

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