Coronavirus Support COVIDsupport@bsphn.org.au 07 3493 4812

Testing, infection control and PPE

For the latest clinical information relating to COVID-19, see SpotOnHealth HealthPathways.

Testing, infection control and PPE

On this page:

Testing

Testing (PCR) should now be undertaken for anyone in Queensland with

  • fever (≥37.5°C) OR
  • history of fever (e.g. night sweats, chills) OR
  • acute respiratory infection (e.g. cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, fatigue, flu-like symptoms) OR
  • loss of smell or loss of taste.

The person being tested should be isolated pending test results – further information is available here (PDF download).


Point-of-care (PCR) testing

It is recommended that testing for COVID-19 is via PCR. There are restrictions that prohibit who can perform point-of-care testing. Please see the following links for further information.


Specimen collection

The following private collection centres are available for COVID-19 specimen collection:


Lung function and spirometry testing

The TSANZ/ANZSRS safety criteria are aimed at minimising the exposure to respiratory pathogens for both the worker and staff performing a spirometry test. Click here to access the statement. Other resources related to lung-function and spirometry test are available below:

Infection control

The following resources are available to assist with the management of infection control:

For more information, read the Queensland Government guidelines for the assessment and management of patients with suspected COVID-19, and read the latest CDNA National guidelines. For the latest clinical practice guidelines in the Brisbane south region, please refer to SpotOnHealth Healthpathways.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)


From 25 September 2020, the following Local Government Areas (LGAs) have been determined to be low risk for the purposes of PPE use, including all LGAs in the Brisbane South PHN region:

  1. City of Brisbane 
  2. Redland City
  3. Logan City
  4. Scenic Rim Region
  5. City of Ipswich
  6. Lockyer Valley Region
  7. Moreton Bay Region
  8. Somerset Region

With this downgrade, the entire state of Queensland is now on ‘low risk’ for PPE decision-making. PPE utilisation should not change until further notice. This is important in order to preserve stock of critical supplies.

Please note this advice regarding the use of PPE is provide as guidance but doesn’t not reflect a mandatory directive. It also applies to PPE requirements in residential care, disability care and correctional facilities.

Recommended use of PPE at the low risk level is outlined in Table 1 of the Queensland Health, Pandemic Response Guide: PPE in Healthcare delivery.


PPE Distribution

Brisbane South PHN is distributing surgical and P2/N95 masks, and eye protection goggles from the national emergency stockpile on behalf of the Australian Government. Stocks of masks and eye protection goggles are limited — thank you for your patience as we process high volumes of PPE requests as quickly as possible.

Please follow the process below to assist us in triaging your request:

  • Eye protection goggles — available for general practices, Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services (ACCHS), after-hours GP home visiting services, medical deputising services (MDS), nurse practitioner owned or led primary care practices and allied health professionals. Please note that community pharmacies are not eligible to receive eye protection goggles from the NMS in this release. Eye protection goggles are reusable and are a single allocation of two goggles per eligible staff member. To request eye protection goggles, complete this online request form (eligibility criteria apply).
  • Surgical mask requests — Brisbane South PHN stocks are only available for general practices, Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services (ACCHS), community pharmacy, Medical Deputising Services and a limited supply for allied health professionals. There is limited stock available to Brisbane South PHN. To request surgical masks, please complete this form. For further information regarding PPE distribution through PHN’s, please click here.
  • P2/N95 Respirator requests — Brisbane South PHN has a limited supply available only to primary care providers (i.e. General Practitioners or nurses) currently undertaking COVID-19 specimen collection. There is limited stock available to Brisbane South PHN. To request access to P2/N95 respirators, please complete this form. For further information regarding PPE distribution through PHN’s, please click here.

A fact sheet on the use of surgical masks in accordance with the AHPPC national guidelines on the prevention and control of coronavirus outbreak is available here.

A guide to care for your eye protection goggles can be downloaded here.

Resources

Recommended minimum requirements for the use of masks or respirators by health and residential care workers in areas with significant community transmission
Date of upload: 16 September 2020       Source: Australian Government Department of Health

Transmission and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) guidelines
Date of upload: 2 June 2020       Source: Australian Medical Association

Assessment for suspected COVID-19 flowchart
Date of upload: 2 June 2020       Source: National COVID-19 Clinical Evidence Taskforce

Information about self-quarantine for COVID-19
Date of upload: 2 June 2020       Source: Queensland Health

COVID-19 self-isolation requirements (download)
Date of upload: 2 June 2020       Source: Queensland Health

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