Wednesday, 21 July 2021
As you are aware, South Australia went into lock-down at 6pm last night. My job is to keep you all updated with the latest information. This is my second COVID-19 bulletin for the most recent cluster.
It was announced at 4.30pm this afternoon that there are an additional six cases today linked to the exposure sites at the Greek on Halifax and Tenafeate Winery. This brings the current cases from this cluster to 12. The latest cases include five adults who caught it from the winery and one child aged under five from the Greek on Halifax restaurant. This is in addition to the waitress who was announced as a positive case this morning.
SA Health are very concerned about the short time interval between the exposure and the positive test result. Luckily, many of these people have been in quarantine since Monday.
As a result, several new COVID-19 exposure sites have been released including a school within Gawler. This list will continue to be updated in real-time as the latest information becomes available through the contract tracers. As this situation continues to evolve at a rapid pace, I strongly recommend you visit www.sahealth.sa.gov.au/COVIDcontacttracing regularly for the most up-to-date information.
I would like to acknowledge our testing clinic and SA Pathology staff for their mammoth effort over the past few days. With so many of the community caught up in this outbreak, testing will continue to be in high demand over the coming weeks. Thank you to all the staff for stepping up and doing their best to meet this growing demand. SA Pathology undertook 7,607 tests yesterday and just under 50,000 over the past 7 days.
I know many of you may have been caught up in this situation and I wanted to remind you that we have a priority line at the RAH testing clinic for healthcare workers to help expedite your access and test results. When you arrive, please alert the testing clinic staff that you are a healthcare worker.
As we can expect, testing clinics across Adelaide are currently overwhelmed and we are looking at ways to help support this huge increase in demand. This may include redeploying staff from across the network to help assist at the clinics to assist in managing the increase in demand. The Premier announced today that extra assistance is also being sought from the ADF and interstate.
COVID-19 vaccination pop-up clinic
The RAH pop-up vaccination clinic continues today and the rest of the week. The pop-up clinic has been set up to provide all Phase 1a COVID-19 pathway workers (or is also known as red pathway/red zone) the opportunity to get vaccinated while on site. This clinic will only run for this week.
Currently 80% of phase 1a staff and 73% of all CALHN staff have had at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Those on the COVID-19 pathway include staff that work in RAH and TQEH ED/ ICU/ 6GG/Med 102. This includes staff that regularly visit these areas as part of their duties including, but not limited to, consultants, allied health, radiology, pathology, cleaners, orderlies, ward clerks and administration staff.
Staff who are eligible for the Pfizer vaccine can also gain express entry to Wayville Clinic by following this step-by-step process.
The RAH pop-up clinic will run for a limited time until this Friday from 8am – 4pm.
If you are not intending on receiving the vaccine, you are required to complete the healthcare worker refusal form and return it to Health.CALHNCovidVaccination@sa.gov.au
Our preparedness and response
The Network Incident Management Team (IMT) continues to meet regularly throughout the day to monitor this evolving situation and to ensure that we are prepared should we experience an increase in COVID-19 patients into the RAH – as the State COVID-19 dedicated hospital.
At the RAH, ward 6GG continues to operate as a dedicated COVID-19 ward and we continue to focus on decompressing the hospital to ensure we have contingency space if required.
We are in the process of undergoing data modelling based on what has occurred with the delta variant in New South Wales and Victoria to help us further refine our response.
Our intelligence tells us that we have more ‘lead in’ time to prepare should we begin to receive COVID-19 positive patients, and any changes will be implemented in a measured and planned way - however it is important that we decompress our hospitals as part of our response.
I will keep you all updated as this situation and our response evolves but in the meantime we have put in place the following.
Patient and staff site screening
We will continue to monitor staff, patients and visitors who access sites across CALHN and we have recently updated our COVID-19 site screening and visitor procedure.
I would also like to remind you about our updated visitor site guidelines of 1 visitor per patient per day however we are in a lockdown so visitors should be only be coming onsite for compassionate reasons.
The screening and guidelines are in place to ensure we can keep our patients, staff and community safe.
I would like to once again reassure you that we have enough PPE and are prepared to respond should we see an increase in COVID-19 positive patients.
As of today, we have 8,925,250 N95 masks, 6,462,435 surgical L3 masks, 339,300 surgical L1 masks, 325,965 eye protection and 2,180,900 surgical gowns available on site.
We also have a further 7-day supply of PPE in a secure location that can be accessed on request of the IMT should we see a sudden increase in demand.
Car parking for staff
To help staff with access to our hospitals during the next week, clinical staff that have been on the waiting list for a car park at the RAH and TQEH will have access granted for the duration of the lock-down. We are aiming to have this in place by the end of today.
Food outlets at our hospital sites
We have worked with our partners to arrange for take-away service at both Agency Café and Cibo for staff at the RAH, and Fresh+ at TQEH. The opening hours of the sites are below.
- CIBO 7am – 5pm weekdays, 8am – 3pm weekends
- Agency Café 24/7
- Fresh+ 6am - 6pm weekdays, 7am - 2pm weekends
Managing a limited take-away service has not been easy as it is causing bottle-necks at peak times throughout the day. I would like to ask you to plan staggered times to visit the food outlets and remind you all to ensure that you are maintaining physical distancing while waiting for orders.
I want to assure you that as this situation evolves, I will continue to keep you informed about our response in a timely manner.
Our team will continue to review and update the information on the COVID-19 staff portal, our workforce Facebook page and I recommend that for the latest state government information you visit https://www.covid-19.sa.gov.au/.
Chief Executive Officer
Central Adelaide Local Health Network