Care and treatment of patients with COVID-19
Page last updated 1pm 28 February 2023
On this page:
- Latest information
- COVID-19 Oral Treatments
- Long COVID Community Rehabilitation Support Program
- General practice support
General practices are being encouraged to focus on care for moderate-risk COVID-19 positive patients. People triaged as moderate risk through the National Coronavirus Helpline and COVID-19 symptom checker are advised to seek care from their GP, with the vast majority of care being delivered by telehealth.
SpotOnHealth HealthPathways is your trusted source of up-to-date information on managing COVID-19-positive patients. You can access SpotOnHealth HealthPathways for clinical information on caring for patients with COVID-19 such as
- Disease Modifying treatments and drug interaction checker. This can be found under the COVID-19 Case Management section
- Escalation pathways and referrals into Hospital in the Home (HITH). This can be found under the COVID-19 requests page
- CAREPACT can assist general practitioners with specific enquiries around disease-modifying treatments and admission to hospital or HITH and information around COVID-19 in Residential Aged Care Facilities.
- Staying up to date with all COVID-19 recent changes
Register here to login to SpotOnHealth HealthPathways.
As of July 2022, the current model of care provided by Healthdirect enables people who have COVID-19 who are at higher risk of developing severe diseases, or higher risk of getting unwell from COVID-19 — and eligible for antiviral treatment available via the PBS — to be connected with their regular general practitioner (GP) or another general practice.
COVID-19 Oral Treatments
The Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) has expanded the eligibility criteria for Pharmaceutical Benefits Schedule-listed COVID-19 oral treatments, Paxlovid (nirmatrelvir and ritonavir) and Lagevrio (molnupiravir). Treatment is now recommended if commenced within five days of symptoms for the following groups:
- 70 years and older (including asymptomatic cases)
- 50 to 69 years of age with 2 additional risk factors
- First Nations peoples, 30 to 69 years of age with 1 additional risk factors
- 18+ years of age with moderate to severe immunocompromise.
Further resources and information on COVID-19 oral treatments useful in prescribing;
- SpotOnHealth HealthPathways for clinical information
- Department of Health website
- COVID-19 Interactions checker
- Find a Pharmacy website lists most pharmacies stocking COVID-19 oral treatments
- COVID-19 response update for primary care webinar – expanded eligibility for COVID-19 oral treatments – 12 July 2022
- COVID-19 oral treatments for people without a Medicare card
Some COVID-19 oral treatments have complex drug interactions which need to be checked. The COVID-19 drug interactions website is a highly recommended tool to use in the first instance. Local pharmacists can assist with further advice, as well as the QMAIS (phone 07 3646 7098 or email QMAIS@health.qld.gov.au).
Long COVID Community Rehabilitation Support Program
Metro South Health is facilitating a program that provides a care pathway for consumers aged 18 years and over experiencing Long COVID-19 symptoms, in an inter-disciplinary care model which is holistic, flexible and patient centered.
This condition is defined as:
- signs and symptoms that develop during or after an infection consistent with COVID-19,
- continue for more than 12 weeks and
- are not explained by an alternative diagnosis.
For more information and the eligibility criteria, visit the Metro South Health referral page.
General practice support
The Department of Health has extended the healthdirect Video Call COVID-19 GP Program to 31 December 2022. We encourage you to continue using this secure video consulting platform, which has been purpose-built for the primary care settings. To register for this service, select the organisation that best represents you:
Temporary Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) item is available to support medical practitioners providing clinically relevant treatment to COVID-19 positive people. The continued arrangements build on the temporary telehealth items introduced as part of the Government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and will continue to enable all Medicare eligible Australians to access telehealth (video and phone) services for a range of out of hospital consultations.
MBS telehealth items will continue to be available to GPs, medical practitioners, specialists, consultant physicians, nurse practitioners, participating midwives, allied health providers and dental practitioners in the practice of oral and maxillofacial surgery.
View further information on the MBS Telehealth Services from January 2022
View the factsheet on additional 10 MBS Mental Health Sessions
National COVID-19 Clinical Evidence Taskforce
The National COVID-19 Clinical Evidence Taskforce aims to provide the best COVID-19 evidence, that supports clinicians to provide the best possible care for Australians during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Taskforce undertakes continuous evidence surveillance to identify and rapidly synthesise emerging research, in order to provide national, evidence-based guidelines for the clinical care of people with COVID-19.
- First Nations peoples – Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders and people with chronic health conditions (such as asthma, diabetes and heart disease) are at increased risk of severe disease, hospitalisation or death if they get COVID-19. Health system bodies across the state are working together to ensure that First Nations Queenslanders have access to current, culturally appropriate and localised information.
- CALD communities – people born overseas are twice as likely to die from COVID. The COVID-19 Multicultural Telehealth Service is available within the greater Brisbane region and provides support in the patient’s own language via interpreters.
- People with disabilities – individuals will be best placed using their current care provider with who they have a relationship, and who knows their clinical history and care requirements. In most instances this is the individual’s General Practitioner (GP).
- Pregnant and breastfeeding people – infection with COVID-19 is associated with an increased risk of severe disease, hospitalisation, admission to intensive care, mechanical ventilation, and death, in pregnant people, and an increased risk of prematurity and stillbirth.
- Children – The National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance (NCIRS) has developed some of the most frequently asked questions (FAQs) about COVID-19 in children, vaccines available in Australia, vaccine safety and schooling.
Events and webinars
Register for upcoming events and webinars for the latest information on the COVID-19 response.
Previous event recordings
Clinical practice resources:
- National COVID-19 Clinical Evidence Taskforce Clinical Flowcharts
- Managing COVID-19 in the workplace (Queensland Health)
- Reporting a COVID-19 death (Queensland Health)
- Home-care guidelines for patients with COVID-19 (RACGP)
- Caring for adult patients with post-COVID-19 conditions (RACGP)
- COVID-19 resources (RACGP)
- Queensland Health asset library provides posters and images that can be used around your practice to guide patients on how to manage and live with COVID-19