Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information

There has been an outbreak of a novel coronavirus (COVID-19) originating in Wuhan, Hubei Province, in mainland China. COVID-19 is an evolving international health concern which the World Health Organization (WHO) declared a global emergency on the 30 January 2020 and subsequently declared a pandemic on 12 March 2020.

General Information  

For up-to-date information on the number of cases and geographical locations see the World Health Organization Western Pacific outbreaks and emergencies page and the John Hopkins University online tracking dashboard page.

The Communicable Diseases Network of Australia (CDNA) have released National Guidelines for the Prevention, Control and Public Health Management of COVID-19 Outbreaks in Residential Care Facilities in Australia.

For the most up to date information on the Australian situation and relevant guidelines please refer to the Australian Government Department of Health Coronavirus (COVID-19) resources web page.

Country SA PHN will continue to work with the Commonwealth Department of Health and SA Health to relay relevant information to primary health care providers and provide support as required.

Additional information and resources are listed below and also located on the right of this page.

Mask distribution

With the emergence of COVID-19 across many countries, there is a global shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE), including surgical masks and P2/N95 respirators. As a first step in releasing PPE from the National Medical Stockpile, the Australian Government has provided a limited supply of surgical masks and P2/N95 respirators for general practices (including Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services) and community pharmacies with a demonstrated need.

See the Department of Health Guideline for Distribution of PPE through PHNs for full details.

Any queries regarding masks are to be directed to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 1800 272 746 (1800 CSAPHN).

Surgical masks

Surgical masks supplied in tranche are intended to be provided to general practices and, when no local commercial supply is available, allied health and community pharmacies:

  • For the protection of health professionals and practice/pharmacy staff in direct contact with people presenting with fever and/or respiratory symptoms including cough, sore throat and/or shortness of breath
  • For provision to people who are suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19, for the protection of other patients and staff, and of the public while the patient returns home.

There is no need for the general public or health workers to wear masks unless they are dealing with symptomatic patients. Further guidance on the use of surgical masks can be found at:

Eligibility to access surgical masks

GP Respiratory Clinics, General Practices, including Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations (ACCHOs) and Allied Health practices
As supplies are limited, PHNs have been given the role of distributing surgical masks to practices with demonstrated need, including:

  • where there is no local supply available commercially
  • where practices have a population which may be more likely to have been exposed to the novel coronavirus
  • where practices have an unusual number of patients presenting with respiratory symptoms​

Please note: PHNs are now able to distribute stocks to after-hours GP home visiting services, Medical Deputising Services (MDS), and Nurse Practitioner owned or led primary care practices in their area.

Community pharmacies
Community pharmacies are eligible to access the supply for the use of their staff when there is no available commercial supply and they have significant contact with people presenting with fever or respiratory symptoms. Masks distributed through PHNs cannot be sold as commercial stock. Anecdotal reports have suggested that NMS stock is being sold. If CSAPHN is aware that anyone is selling NMS stocks, provision of masks to this pharmacy will be ceased and cost recovery sought.

Allied Health
Allied health professionals are now eligible for limited access to the supply of surgical masks for the use of their staff when there is no available commercial supply and they are working in higher-risk clinical areas, and with higher risk vulnerable patients.

Given the diverse nature of the allied health sector, when determining whether allocation of masks is appropriate, PHNs have been asked to consider:

  • The likelihood of the worker having direct or close contact with high-risk patients who are presenting with fever and/or respiratory symptoms. For example: a respiratory physiotherapist working with patients with cough, sore throat and/or shortness of breath, as compared to an exercise physiologist who is likely to be working with well individuals.
  • The extent to which the allied health professional can manipulate their environment or practice method to reduce the chance of transmission. For example: due to the nature of their work, a diagnostic radiographer cannot easily change their mode of practise or environment, whereas a dietitian or psychologist may be able to continue to provide services through telehealth.
  • The relative vulnerability of the patients that the allied health professionals are treating. For example: where the allied health professional is routinely treating patients who are immunocompromised, or those who are elderly or disabled.

​There remains an assumption that allied health professions will, where possible, not see patients with respiratory symptoms or at a higher risk of COVID-19 unless required to as part of their core business (for example: an optometrist can defer seeing a patient with respiratory symptoms until that person is well).

Quantities
Generally, requesting providers will be allocated:

  • GP Respiratory Clinics, General practices and ACCHOs: two boxes (100 masks) for each clinic within the practice or ACCHOs
  • After-hours GP home visiting services, MDS, and Nurse Practitioner owned or led primary care practices: one box (50 masks) per practice/service
  • Community pharmacy: one box (50 masks) per community pharmacy
  • Allied Health: one box (50 masks) per practice

Process for accessing the supply of surgical masks
Country SA PHN general practices, pharmacies and allied health practices can request masks by completing the Surgical Mask Request Form.

As there is a limited supply, a default allocation of 50 masks will be sent per request. If a larger allocation is required, please provide additional information to support the request in the comments section of the form.

P2/N95 Respirators

As part of the continued response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Department of Health supplied PHNs with a very small allocation of P2/N95 respirators.

For routine primary care procedures, including specimen collection, surgical masks are considered to be effective When specimen collection is undertaken they should be worn with other PPE as appropriate (gown, gloves and eye protection). P2/N95 respirators are only required for aerosol generating procedures or where there is uncontrolled coughing. See the relevant factsheet at www.health.gov.au/covid19-health-professionals.

If GPs are unable to undertake appropriate contact and droplet precautions for clinical assessment and specimen collection from patients with suspected COVID-19 through lack of appropriate PPE, they should refer cases to appropriate collection centres or Emergency Departments. See SA Health: Information for health professionals for more information.

Eligibility to access the supply of P2/N95 respirators

General Practices, including Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations (ACCHOs)
Distribution of P2/N95 respirators is limited to general practices, including ACCHOs, who need to assess suspected COVID-19 cases because of the unavailability of nearby dedicated respiratory clinics or Emergency Departments. Such practices need to have isolation facilities and other appropriate infrastructure, staff competent in use of PPE, and a pandemic plan. P2/N95 respirators should only be used with other PPE (gowns, gloves and eye protection).

Process for accessing the supply of P2/N95 respirators
Country SA PHN general practices and ACCHOs can request masks by completing the P2 Mask Request Form.

GP Led Respiratory Clinics

The Australian Government has been rapidly establishing GP Led Respiratory Clinics around the country to support the assessment, testing and diagnosis of community members experiencing mild to moderate respiratory symptoms. Commonwealth funded respiratory clinics, supported by CSAPHN, are being established at five sites across country SA.

  • No referral is required
  • Community members experiencing respiratory symptoms can book online or over the phone
  • GP-led clinics provide clinical assessment and diagnosis, and provide onsite COVID-19 testing (where test criteria is met)
  • All services are provided at no cost to the patient

Five country SA GP Led Respiratory Clinics are now open. Find out below if there is a GP respiratory clinic in your region and how to book an appointment.

  • Mid North Respiratory Clinic - 41 Old North Road Clare SA 5453
    Online Booking via HotDoc website and app or Phone Booking (08) 8841 3777 - Poster
  • Murray Bridge Respiratory Clinic - 8 Homburg Drive Murray Bridge SA 5253 
    Online Booking via HotDoc website and app or Phone Booking (08) 8539 3292 - Poster
  • Angaston Respiratory Clinic - 3-7 Fife Street Angaston SA 5353
    Online Booking via HotDoc website and app or Phone Booking (08) 8564 2266 - Poster
  • Yorke Peninsula Respiratory Clinic - 77-79 Copper Coast Highway New Town SA 5554
    Online Booking via HotDoc website and app or Phone Booking (08) 8828 4700 - Poster
  • Naracoorte Respiratory Clinic - 101 Jenkins Terrace Naracoorte SA 5271
    Online Booking via HotDoc website and app or Phone Booking (08) 8762 7700 - Poster
  • Pika Wiya Health Service Aboriginal Corporation Respiratory Clinic - 40-46 Dartmouth Street Port Augusta SA 5700
    Online Booking via HotDoc website and app or Phone Bookings 0428 149 036 - Poster

GP Respiratory Clinics complement SA Health COVID-19 clinics, respiratory clinics and testing services. Find information for SA Health clinic and testing sites across South Australia here.

New testing requirements for some essential travellers
There are new testing requirements for essential travellers in categories defined as commercial transport and freight, remote and isolated workers, and cross border community members. Essential travellers, who are approved to enter by SA Police, must obtain a test as soon as practicable within seven days of entering SA.

When requested by an Authorised Officer, they must produce evidence of having had a COVID-19 test that is not more than seven days old.

All other Essential Travellers (other than those mentioned above or passing through) are required to submit to a mandatory COVID-19 test on day 1 and 12 of entry into SA.

Certificate of Compliance COVID-19 Test - for use in COVID Clinics

  • COVID-19 Swab Attendance Certificate Day 1 - Word or PDF
  • COVID-19 Swab Attendance Certificate Day 12 - Word or PDF

Find more information on the Cross-Border Travel Direction and to see the Essential traveller table, visit the www.covid-19.sa.gov.au website.

SA Health Alerts

Government of South Australia Updates

SA Health Updates for GPs

Australian Department of Health COVID-19 Updates

 

CSAPHN COVID-19 Update

Telehealth Support

CSAPHN are providing access to two telehealth platforms:

  • Health Connections Video for communication between general practice, CSAPHN and SA Health providers
  • HealthDirect Video call for provider to patient telehealth services.

CSAPHN can provide support with registration, implementation and training. For more information please register your interest via email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Resources

General

General Practice

Pharmacy

Aged Care

Aboriginal Health

COVID-19 Information and Support Line

  • National Coronavirus Information Helpline - 1800 020 080 provides information and advice on coronavirus (COVID-19) from an Australia wide perspective.
  • SA COVID-19 Information Line - 1800 253 787 offers local information and advice on general COVID-19 information for South Australians. Operates from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm every day.
  • Communicable Disease Branch line - 1300 232 272 provides information on immunisations and from medical officers.
  • COVID-19 Relief Call Centre - 1300 705 336 provides information and assistance with such things personal hardship support, accommodation support for people unable to achieve self-quarantining and accommodation for emergency services personnel that are required to quarantine but unable to do so at home. People can also email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
  • BeyondBlue Coronavirus Mental Wellbeing Support Service - 1800 512 348 information, advice and strategies to help you manage your wellbeing and mental health during this time. Visit the website https://coronavirus.beyondblue.org.au/
  • The Older Persons COVID-19 Support Line - 1800 171 866 available Monday to Friday, except public holidays, from 8.30am to 6.00pm (AEST).
  • Life in Mind - Coronavirus (COVID-19) mental health to support the community during this period Life in Mind at Everymind has worked with the suicide prevention and mental health sectors, and in collaboration with the National Mental Health Commission to provide a comprehensive list of resources to support those affected.
  • Head to Health - COVID-19 Mental Health support  https://headtohealth.gov.au/covid-19-support/covid-19
  • Skylight COVID-19 Mental Health Peer Support Line and Web Chat - 1800 02 2020 This service will be available from 5:00pm to 11:30pm, 7 days per week https://www.skylight.org.au/covid-19-support-line
  • COVID-19 Mental Health Support Web Portal - 1800 632 753  online chat: www.SACOVIDMentalHealth.org.au Virtual Support Network is a network of specialist services based locally in South Australia. People can access a specific service directly, or contact the SA COVID-19 Mental Health Support Line 
  • State-wide Palliative Care Support Line – 1800 673 122  12 month trial of a 24/7 support line has been established to provide assistance to GPs, palliative care teams, and medical and nursing staff.
  • COVID-19 Health Professionals National Disability Advisory Service1800 131 330 provides specialised advice regarding the care of a person with disability diagnosed with COVID-19 or experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. Commencing Tuesday 7 July 2020 for a six month trial.
  • Friend Line telephone support service - 1800 424 287 offers a free and anonymous telephone service that provides senior Australians with the opportunity to chat with a volunteer. The services is available 24/7 between 10.00am and 8.00pm.
  • COVID Hardship Support Hotline - 1300 121 130 to access, check eligibility and apply for a Household Relief Loan Without Interest or visit www.householdrelief.org.au.

SA Health Mental Health Support Line

For mental health support by phone and video in relation to COVID-19, contact the SA COVID-19 Mental Health Support Line by calling 1800 632 753, available 8.00am to 8.00pm, 7 days a week). This service can also provide follow-up calls. For assistance in a mental health emergency, contact the mental health triage service - telephone 13 14 65 available 24 hours, seven days a week.

COVIDSafe app

The new COVIDSafe app is completely voluntary. Downloading the app is something you can do to protect you, your family and friends and save the lives of other Australians. The more Australians connect to the COVIDSafe app, the quicker we can find the virus. Download from Apple Store or Google Play.

Coronavirus Australian App

Stay up to date with official information and advice about the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation. You can check your symptoms and get notified when urgent information and updates are published. Download from Apple Store or Google Play.

National Clinical Guidelines for COVID-19

World-first 'living guidelines' for Australian healthcare professionals caring for people with COVID-19 have been launched by the National COVID-19 Clinical Evidence Taskforce. https://covid19evidence.net.au/

Reporting COVID-19 Suspected Breaches of Quarantine and Isolation in South Australia

To report a suspected breach of quarantine or isolation orders, community are directed to contact:

  • SA Police on 131 444
  • Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or to complete an anonymous online report at crimestopperssa.com.au

COVID-19 Newsletter Subscriptions

South Australian COVID-19 Gateway

A COVID-19 Gateway, linking to relevant information on State and Federal government websites, has been established: https://www.sa.gov.au/covid-19

SA Pathology Priority Bulletins

Online Training

Upcoming Webinars

Webinar Recording

CONTACT US

Beckwith Park, 30 Tanunda Road Nuriootpa SA 5355
PO Box 868 Nuriootpa SA 5355
T 08 8565 8900 F 08 8311 1723
E This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

@countrysaphn

HEALTH PROFESSIONALS

THINGS WE DO

 

While the Australian Government Department of Health has contributed to the funding of this website, the information on this website does not necessarily reflect the views of the Australian Government and is not advice that is provided, or information that is endorsed, by the Australian Government. The Australian Government is not responsible in negligence or otherwise for any injury, loss or damage however arising from the use of or reliance on the information provided on this website.

© 2018 COUNTRY SA PHN  
Country SA PHN gratefully acknowledge the financial and other support from the Australian Government Department of Health