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COVID-19: GP Alert (9 September 2020)

September 09, 2020

NEW – Ipswich Hospital situation

More than 220 staff from Ipswich Hospital are in quarantine as a precaution with five staff from the hospital testing positive to COVID-19 in the past week. All five cases have either arisen from working in the COVID-19 ward or being a close contact of a known case.

Elective surgery has been reduced at the hospital to enable surgical staff to work in acute areas of the hospital where staff are now in quarantine. Metro North, Metro South, Queensland Children’s Hospital and Health Services and Mater Hospital have been mobilised to assist West Moreton Hospital and Health Service if required.

Queensland’s updated Public Health Contact Tracing Alert is available here.

Queensland border information

    • A specialist COVID-19 health Care Support Service was established on 4 September to complement the existing exemption process for people needing access to essential health care or enhanced support while in quarantine
    • The 134 COVID (13 42 68) line was expanded with a team of nurses, social workers and emergency medical dispatchers to triage, manage queries and escalate issues for those who are crossing the border for health care reasons.
    • Fact sheets, a suite of related resources and a self-assessment quiz so individuals can determine whether they require the service are available online here.

NEW – Guidance for transitions between hospital and RACFs during COVID-19

New guidance documents have been developed to cover considerations around the safe transfer of residential aged care facilities to and from the acute hospital system during the COVID-19 pandemic. The approach outlined in the document has been designed to ensure the safe provision of acute care for residents and healthcare workers and provides confidence that those transitioning from acute to RACF settings have been appropriately clinically screened and reviewed by a Senior Medical Officer to assess risk of COVID-19 prior to discharge.

The documents are available online (under Individual resident and outbreak management resources section). Please note we will circulate an interactive version of the discharge letter when it is released early next week as it will be easier to use than the current PDF available online.

NEW – Testing framework for aged care

The COVID-19 Testing framework implementation plan – Testing Strategies for Residential Aged Care is now available online (under Individual resident and outbreak management resources section). The framework outlines the full suite of testing options for SARS-CoV-2 to optimise case ascertainment and surveillance and to trigger appropriate public health response.

NEW – Paediatric inflammatory multisystem syndrome

Cases of Paediatric inflammatory multisystem syndrome (PIMS-TS) - a novel post-infectious systemic hyperinflammatory syndrome - have been reported in children in Victoria. PIMS-TS occurs two to six weeks after infection with SARS-CoV-2. The initial infection may be asymptomatic. Queensland clinicians should consider PIMS-TS in a child with fever, abdominal pain, rash and tachycardia. For more information, click here.

Disability and COVID-19

Darling Downs HealthPathways
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West Moreton HealthPathways
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GP Support Group

Dr Michael Murray is the geriatrician lead at Austin Health and currently with VARC. He has started a zoom GP support group focused on geriatric care in general but with a particular focus on provision of care to residents in aged care facilities in the context of the COVID pandemic. The zoom meetings held to date have been attended by a large number of GPs but also include geriatricians and infectious control specialists to discuss all complexities of care.

All GPs are welcome to attend the sessions. Arrangements to join the existing weekly sessions can be made through

UPDATE – Weekly communique from the National Taskforce

The National COVID-19 Clinical Evidence Taskforce’s latest communique was released yesterday and includes recommendations for pregnant women, children and adolescents, and new evidence about the benefits of corticosteroids.

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