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Testing, infection control and PPE

Are you a GP? For the latest COVID-19 clinical and referral information, visit 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).

People who have have been to identified contact tracing locations should get tested, regardless of symptoms. Keep up-to-date with the most recent contact tracing information on the Queensland Government website.

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

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

To find your closest COVID-19 testing clinic visit the Queensland Health Testing and Fever Clinics web page.

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:

  • Queensland Health fact sheet (20 March 2020) outlining recommendations for cleaning and disinfection of the environment where people suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19 infection may have been.
  • A 30 minutes Australian Government COVID-19 infection control online training for health care workers in all settings is available here. It covers the fundamentals of infection prevention and control for COVID-19.

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 noon on 26 March 2021, the Queensland Government instituted heightened precautions in response to a case of community transmission being identified. These precautions are intended to limit the further spread of this variant in the community and allow an assessment of risk of any further exposure in the community.

The following Local Government Areas have now been determined by the Chief Health Officer to be in the “moderate” risk category:

  • City of Brisbane
  • Moreton Bay Region

Other areas in the Brisbane South region remain at “low”:

  • Logan City
  • Redland City
  • Scenic Rim Region

For entities external to Queensland Health facilities, including most primary care settings, a decision on whether to follow these PPE protocols will rest with the responsible Chief Executive of equivalent for that entity, except where a Directive requires use of PPE (such as for residential aged care facilities). Queensland Health facilities, residential aged care facilities and disability accommodation services are required to comply with implementation of this guidance.

For the latest information about the COVID-19 response in the Brisbane south region, visit the Queensland Health website.

PPE Buyer’s Guide

The Australian Government Department of Industry and Science Energies and Resources (DISER) have collated some helpful information to assist organisations with confidence in buying PPE from new suppliers including:

  • what to look for when buying PPE
  • how PPE is regulated/certified
  • keeping your workplace safe
  • knowing your consumer rights and protecting yourself from fraud
  • links to National and State portals to help connect buyers and sellers of PPE.

Sourcing PPE

The Australian Department of Health has advised of the increased evidence of commercial availability of PPE. Therefore, it is expected that practices seek their own commercial supply of PPE before requesting through the National Medical Stockpile (NMS).

For a comprehensive list of readily available commercial sources of PPE (including surgical face masks, P2/N95 masks, eye and face protection, gowns and more) refer to the Queensland Government’s What’s on Offer website that has been designed to connect buyers with suppliers.

Where local commercial supply is not available, Brisbane South PHN is distributing limited quantities of surgical and P2/N95 masks, and eye protection goggles from the NMS on behalf of the Australian Government. We will continue to process all PPE requests as quickly as possible.

If you wish to request PPE from the NMS, please follow the process below to assist us in triaging your request:

  • Eye protection googles – 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 form (eligibility criteria apply).
  • Surgical mask requests – Brisbane South PHN stocks are only available for general practices, ACCHS, community pharmacy, MDS and a limited supply for allied health professionals. To request surgical masks, please complete this form.
  • 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. To request access to P2/N95 respirators, please complete this form.

Limited stocks of PPE are available to Brisbane South PHN. For further information about PPE distribution through PHN’s nationwide, click here.

Safe PPE use

In addition to the image below, the following resources are available to support safe PPE use:

Resources

PPE Buyers Guide
Date of upload: 4 November 2020       Source: Australian Government Department of Industry and Science Energies and 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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