Information on COVID-19 for Patients, Including Vaccine Roll-Out and NSW Re-Opening
Information will be updated, as it comes to hand. Please review regularly.
NEW ADVICE: RE-OPENING OF NSW, MONDAY 11th OCTOBER 2021
With the imminent reaching of the 70% double dose vaccination target, the NSW government has announced a roadmap for the reopening of the state (New public health advice for NSW reopening – News). This new phase in the pandemic will present a new set of challenges for us all.
As you are aware, we take our responsibility for keeping you safe, very seriously. We do this by:
- Wearing full personal protective equipment, including full-face shields;
- Being vaccinated against COVID; and
- In areas of community transmission, doing weekly covid surveillance testing.
However, we also have a responsibility to keep our nursing team safe in their workplace (i.e. your home). To do this we are introducing the following process:
- Unvaccinated or single vaccinated COVID patients in NSW are to undergo a COVID test 3 days (72 hours) before your treatment date;
- A screenshot copy of the result from this COVID test will need to be sent to 0488 944 447 prior to the scheduled home visit by our nurse;
- If you do not do the COVID test, treatment will be delayed until you do;
- If the result is positive, treatment will be delayed until all appropriate measures have been taken; and
- We ask that any family or friends, over the age of 12, who are not double COVID vaccinated refrain from entering the area in your house that you are being treated in, during the home visit by our nurse.
There are still many unknowns as we move forward into this new phase in NSW. We will continue to monitor the advice from the NSW government and Health Department and modify our approach as needed.
CONTINUING ADVICE: COVID-19 GENERAL INFORMATION
If you have:
- Recently returned from a high-risk area;
- Been in contact with someone who has recently returned from a high-risk area;
- Been to any known exposure sites;
- Been in contact with someone who has been confirmed to have COVID-19; or
- Developed any flu-like symptoms.
If you fulfill ANY of the above criteria, or you have recently returned from overseas or interstate, or have any close contacts with flu-like symptoms (whether or not they have been tested for COVID-19) and have treatment due with View Health it is extremely important that you contact our office on 1300 466 324 so we can discuss your treatment arrangements. You can also call the National Coronavirus Health Information Line on 1800 020 080 for advice.
Please note at this time, whilst we always make every attempt to accommodate your specific requests around treatment days and times, our first priority is to provide safe care to our patients as we all navigate the changing health and community requirements. We. therefore, ask you to limit requests to address only essential needs. We thank you for your understanding.
This information is provided by View Health to help guide our patients on:
- recommendations for keeping well as restrictions around COVID-19 ease;
- the best way to prevent infection with COVID-19;
- what to do if you think you, or a close contact, are at high-risk or have been exposed to COVID-19;
- what to do if you develop flu-like symptoms such as a fever, sore throat, cough, sneezing, runny nose, or shortness of breath (which is new or worsening), regardless of whether you think you have been exposed to COVID 19 or not; and
- vaccination (PLEASE SEE BELOW FOR MORE INFORMATION).
People having cancer therapies such as chemotherapy and immunotherapy and people with medical conditions requiring immunotherapies, such as infliximab, vedolizumab and ustekinumab for Inflammatory Bowel Disease, natalizumab and ocrelizumab for Multiple Sclerosis, and infliximab, tocilizumab, abatacept, and rituximab for Arthritic conditions are at increased risk of infection, including COVID-19*. Infection with COVID-19 in these people may result in hospitalisation, serious complications, or death.
COVID-19 is most likely to spread from person to person through:
- Direct contact with a person whilst they are infectious;
- Contact with droplets when a person with a confirmed infection coughs or sneezes;
- Touching objects or surfaces (such as doorknobs or tables) that were contaminated by droplets from secretions coughed or sneezed from a person with confirmed infection, and then touching your mouth or face; or
- Aerosols (virus carried by air particles).
Close contacts of a person with a confirmed infection (such as people staying in the same house or sharing a closed space for a prolonged length of time) are most at risk of infection.
Current recommendations in Australia:
To prevent infection:
- If you live in NSW, Victoria, ACT, QLD, or SA you must wear a mask* during the time our nurse is at your home administering your therapy;
- Wash hands frequently with soap and water. If you do not have access to soap and water, use an alcohol hand rub. Guidance on the correct handwashing technique can be found in the following Queensland Health video https://youtu.be/NpmB80pWUsk;
- Do not touch your mouth, nose, or eyes (this is harder than it seems!). If it is necessary to touch these areas, like when eating, make sure to wash hands first;
- Practice physical distancing by keeping 1.5 metres away from others; avoid physical greetings such as handshaking, hugs and kisses; use tap and go instead of cash; travel at quiet times and avoid crowds, and avoid public gatherings;
- Follow the guidelines in each state including lockdown, restrictions, and isolation;
- Use reasonable ways to limit the time spent in hospitals, day units, clinics or GP surgeries as these areas are likely to have the greatest number of infected people. This can be done through health professional home visits (View Health, home doctor) and telehealth services using Facetime, Whatsapp, etc (bulk-billed Medicare item numbers have been created to cover the cost of these);
- Do not travel. People returning from overseas are required to self-isolate for 14 days. Border restrictions between some Australian states and territories are in effect. Anyone traveling into states and territories where border restrictions apply will be required to follow the current State Government advice concerning self-isolation.
*Note: please keep up-to-date with mask requirements within your State or Territory. If you are in a high-risk group you are encouraged to wear a mask. If you wear a mask it is important you wear it properly (over your mouth and nose) and do not touch your face to make adjustments, which may potentially be increasing the risk of infection.
Testing clinics for covid have been set up in all states. If you have flu-like symptoms (as above) contact the National Coronavirus Health Information Line. They will be able to provide the most up-to-date information on the location of your closest testing facility. It may take a few days for the test results to be returned. If your symptoms are serious you may be admitted to the hospital and isolated from other patients to prevent further spread of the virus. If you are well enough to remain at home while you are waiting for your test results:
- Remain in your home and do not attend work, school or other activities;
- Wash your hands often with soap and water;
- Cough and sneeze into your elbow;
- Avoid cooking for or caring for other members of your household; and
- If you need to leave the home, or close contact with other people is unavoidable, wear a mask.
Further information is available on the following Federal and State Health Department websites.
Australian Government Department of Health
New South Wales
*Please note this list of medications is not exhaustive, it merely outlines the types of treatment View Health routinely administers. Other medications may affect the immune system as well.