COVID-19 Support COVIDsupport@bsphn.org.au

Outbreaks, testing and management

Free Interpreting Service Priority line for Medical Practitioners and Pharmacies 1300 131 450

Outbreaks, testing and management

On this page:

Our role 

Brisbane South PHN is supporting our primary care providers to prepare for and help limit the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus) in our region. 

We are working with government, peak bodies and the Metro South Hospital and Health Service (MSHHS) to deliver timely and accurate information, and are committed to working with you to ensure our primary health care workers are informed, supported and equipped to deliver safe, high-quality health care to our communities in regard to COVID-19. 

We’re here to help and are working hard to make sure that we add value; connecting with you and offering support as we work together to navigate these challenges. 

Managing Healthcare workers exposed to, or with, COVID-19

Queensland Health has developed a framework for the management of healthcare workers with COVID-19 or exposed to COVID-19 including work restrictions based on an exposure risk matrix – Managing Healthcare workers exposed to or with COVID-19[CvH1] .

The Queensland Health Managing Healthcare workers framework replaces the national framework and is to be applied immediately including for the purposes of any healthcare personnel currently in isolation or quarantine.  

For clarity, this document applies to all Queensland Health healthcare settings, including residential care facilities including aged care or mental health, community health services or other settings where care is provided. Private health providers, including general practice, community pharmacy, residential aged care facilities and allied health may choose to adopt this framework for their own contexts.

Critical Queensland workers, including healthcare workers, will be able to provide essential services while they are classified close contacts provided they meet strict health criteria. Workers will need to be fully vaccinated and must wear a mask. They must be asymptomatic.

Visit Queensland Health for more information[AM2] 


Get COVID-19 Ready 

Isolation for confirmed cases and quarantine for close contacts

QLD Health Information for patients who have COVID-19

Testing for COVID-19 

Testing helps us find as many cases in the community as quickly as possible. This will ensure we are doing everything we can to manage Queensland’s response to the pandemic. 

Current Testing requirements In Queensland 

You should only go to get a PCR test at these locations if you cannot get a rapid antigen test (RAT) and you have COVID-19 symptoms

You no longer need a PCR test to confirm a positive rapid antigen test (RAT).

There are increasingly accepted options for testing for COVID-19. The TGA[  provides information about these and emerging options.

Further information is available on assessment and management of patients with suspected COVID-19 and the assessment for suspected COVID-19 Flowchart

 People who meet the current definition and requirements of close contacts [AM1] must follow the isolation requirements, regardless of symptoms.

 The CDNA National guidelines for COVID-19 website summarises recommendations for surveillance, infection control, laboratory testing and contact management for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Rapid Antigen Testing 

From 9 January 2022, a Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) is accepted as a COVID-19 test in Queensland.

There are two types of Rapid Antigen Tests: self-administered and point-of-care.

Self-administered Rapid antigen tests can be completed by consumers at home and should give a result within 15-30 minutes. COVID-19 tests are free and available at state testing clinics for people who have symptoms or are a close contact. The Federal Government announced that up to 10 Rapid Antigen Tests over three months (a maximum of 5 in a month) will be made available for free through pharmacies to people holding a: 

  • Pension Concession Card 
  • Commonwealth Seniors Health Care Card 
  • Department of Veterans’ Affairs Gold, White or Orange Card 
  • Health Care Card 
  • Low Income Health Card. 

The public are advised to self-report a positive RAT result for themselves or any dependent or anyone under their care. This form[CvH1]  can be found on the Queensland Government website.  If you are unable to complete the form or you need help, call 134 COVID (134 268). 

Point-of-care rapid antigen tests come in larger packs and are required to be administered by a specified trained health practitioner. These tests are currently more commercially available than the self-administered RATs and are recommended for health workplaces seeking to test multiple staff prior to return to work.

Information about point-of-care rapid antigen testing is available from the TGA. [AM2] 

More information on Rapid Antigen Testing can be found on the Queensland Health website.


Polymearase Chain Reaction (PCR) testing 

Where Rapid Antigen Testing is not available, it is recommended that testing for COVID-19 is via PCR. There are restrictions that limit who can perform PCR testing. Please see the following links for further information. 

Selected private collection centres conduct COVID-19 specimen collection, please click below to see which centres offer this service: 

For the latest clinical practice guidelines in the Brisbane south region, please refer to SpotOnHealth Healthpathways. You can contact covidsupport@bsphn.org.au for a user name and password if you can’t access the website.

Lung Function and Spirometry testing 

Lung Function and Spirometry testing 

In line with updated recommendations from TSANZ and ANZSRS, the National Asthma Council have released updated Spirometry Infection Control Recommendations for Primary Care (July 2021).

For patient’s where there is no suspicion of COVID-19 infection, spirometry can be conducted in the primary care setting with appropriate precautions. These recommendations are subject to IMMEDIATE change if COVID-19 case numbers begin to escalate and community acquisition is identified. In this case, point‑of‑care spirometry should be discontinued in the primary care setting and patients requiring spirometry for urgent clinical decision making should be referred to the local Respiratory Function Laboratory.

Other useful resources: 

Information on QLD Health Directions and Restrictions 

Chief Health Officer Public Health Directions

Resources 

Queensland Health had developed an Asset Library of COVID-19 resources such as posters and images that can be used by all health care providers 

Department of Health has Coronavirus (COVID-19) resourcesfor health professionals, including aged care providers, pathology providers and health care managers 

The RACGP has a number of resources to support GPs and the general practice team during COVID-19

Australian Commission on Safety and Quality has developed COVID-19 resources here.

National COVID-19 Clinical Evidence Taskforce developed clinical flowcharts, recommendations and clinical guidance. 

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