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COVID-19: GP Alert (6 January 2021)

January 06, 2021

Testing at GP Respiratory Clinics to include asymptomatic patients who have visited Victoria

GP Respiratory Clinics have been given an extension to conduct targeted asymptomatic testing on patients self-presenting for COVID-19 testing who have visited Victoria on or since 21 December 2020, or as otherwise required in line with Queensland Health guidelines.

This extension is in place until Sunday 31 January 2021. It will be reviewed again prior to this date.
Queensland Government is currently advising that anyone in Queensland who has been in or travelled through Victoria since Monday 21 December 2020 should get tested immediately and quarantine at home or their accommodation until receiving a negative COVID-19 test result.

Private pathology COVID-19 testing without GP referral

For a time-limited period, private pathology providers have been approved through Queensland Health to provide COVID-19 testing for some patients without a GP referral (request) form.
This enables private pathology providers to help perform COVID-19 testing for people returning from Victoria (or future hotspots as required).

It is a time-limited agreement that will be reviewed and ceased by Queensland Health when each surge has been effectively dealt with.

Private pathology providers may use pre-filled templates that were approved by senior Queensland Health medical staff. All other pathology test arrangements remain as usual.

Positive wastewater results in Stanthorpe and Warwick

Routine wastewater testing has returned a positive result for viral fragments of COVID-19 in Stanthorpe and Warwick recently (29 and 30 December 2020).

If people live in an area where there’s been a recent detection and they have visited Greater Sydney since 11 December, they are asked to get tested regardless of whether or not having symptoms.

People in the Southern Downs Region are otherwise strongly encouraged to get tested immediately if they have any COVID-19 symptoms – no matter how mild.

GP Respiratory Clinic operating hours

Patients will need to book an appointment before attending a GP Respiratory Clinic as per the instructions on our COVID-19 webpage.

GP Respiratory Clinics are monitoring and adapting to the situation through additional staff and hours as required.

Additional testing options:

  • Drive through testing clinics have now opened at Warwick Hospital (until Monday, 11 January), Stanthorpe Hospital (until Monday, 11 January) and Goondiwindi Hospital (as needed) from 8:00am to 5:00pm.
  • Charlton Testing Clinic continues to be open in the Darling Downs from 8:30am to 4:00pm seven days a week. The testing clinic is available to people travelling in cars, trucks and vehicles with caravans. For more information, click here.
  • Baillie Henderson Fever Clinic (drive-through) in Toowoomba is also open from 8:30am to 4:00pm Wednesday, 6 and Thursday, 7 January. Darling Downs Health are closely monitoring the situation and will keep clinics open for additional days if required.
  • Ipswich Hospital Fever Clinic continues to be open from 8:00am – 4:00pm seven days a week. For more information, click here.

After 1am AEST Monday 4 January 2021, Queensland hospitals, aged care facilities and disability accommodation facilities are closed to all visitors that have been in Victoria on or since Monday 21 December 2020 or left Victoria less than 14 days ago.
Visitors are also restricted to correctional facilities.

Border restrictions

Further details on border restrictions are available here. See also Border restrictions Direction (No. 21). Please consider amending your triage processes for any person arriving from NSW and Victoria.

Expressions of Interest (EOI) – COVID-19 Vaccination Service Providers

Queensland Government recently issued a request for Expressions of Interest for the Provision of COVID-19 Vaccination Service Providers to help understand the potential capacity over-and-above existing, normal vaccination capacity.

After feedback from general practice, the State Health Emergency Coordination Centre (SHECC) has clarified the following points:

  • All general practices will automatically be considered for participation in the COVID-19 vaccination program.
  • If the capacity and capability of your general practice is anticipated to be similar to your influenza vaccination resources and patient population, you do not need to complete an EOI.
  • Only those practices and providers who are able to create additional vaccination capacity and capability should complete the EOI.
  • If a provider or organization is unsure about their future capacity and capability, they are encouraged to consider submitting an EOI.
  • The EOIs are not a formal agreement or commitment. The EOIs will be followed by a Request For Offers (RFO) that potential, candidate providers will have to complete.

The EOI can be completed by any interested practice or provider by 11 January 2021 at 10:00 am (AEST).

Further details on border restrictions are available here. See also Border restrictions Direction (No. 21). Please consider amending your triage processes for any person arriving from NSW and Victoria.