Thursday 22 July 2021
Today there were two new COVID-19 cases announced, a brother and sister whose cases are both linked to the Tenafeate Creek Winery. This brings the total number of cases in SA related to this cluster to 14, but 23 including those from overseas / interstate.
As at 11am there were more than 70 local exposure sites and with this number expected to increase, I strongly recommend you visit www.sahealth.sa.gov.au/COVIDcontacttracing regularly for the most up-to-date information. Using the COVIDSAfe app to check in at locations also allows CDCB contact tracers to very quickly contact anyone who has been at an exposure site.
At 2pm on Friday (tomorrow) I will be hosting a special COVID-19 livestream to provide you with the opportunity to ask any questions about CALHN’s COVID-19 response, vaccination program or about COVID-19 itself. I will be joined by Brendan Docherty, CALHN Major Incident Commander, Rachael Kay, CALHN Executive Lead for COVID-19 and Dr David Shaw, Head of CALHN Infectious Diseases. Information on how you can join the session is available from the intranet and I encourage you to email your questions in advance to firstname.lastname@example.org
Testing clinics and exposure sites
There continues to be an incredible demand for COVID-19 testing as the community responds to the call to get tested. Yesterday was a record testing day for the RAH COVID-19 testing clinic, with 421 people presenting for a test, bringing their total to 787 since Monday! SA Pathology also undertook a record day with 17,592 tests – a huge effort.
Today, we have set up a dedicated CALHN staff lane at the RAH clinic to make it easier and quicker for you to access a COVID-19 test. This lane is prioritised for CALHN staff who have COVID-19 symptoms or who have been to exposure sites. If you meet that criteria, you need a test. I encourage you to attend the RAH clinic and make use of the faster lane.
Thank you to all the staff for stepping up and doing their best to meet this growing demand.
COVID-19 staff vaccinations
Currently 81% of phase 1a staff and 74% of all CALHN staff have had at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
I am pleased that more than 250 staff in 2 ½ days have attended the RAH pop-up vaccination clinic. This clinic is open again tomorrow (Friday) between 8am-4pm to provide all Phase 1a COVID-19 pathway workers (also known as red pathway/red zone) with the opportunity to get vaccinated while on site.
Those on the COVID-19 pathway include staff that work in RAH and TQEH ED/ ICU/ 6GG/Med 102 as well as 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.
I want to also remind those staff on the COVID-19 pathway, that their household members, can attend the Wayville Clinic to receive the COVID-19 vaccination without an appointment. They will need to bring your staff ID and they will receive the vaccination in line with the Australian Government requirements.
Next Tuesday we will open a one day only pop-up clinic at TQEH to make it easier for staff on the 1a pathway who are based at TQEH to receive their vaccine. I will share more details in the coming days.
We have also organised with the other local health networks for CALHN staff to attend either the Elizabeth Vaccination Hub, Noarlunga Vaccination Hub or the Women’s and Children’s Hospital Vaccination Clinic for a COVID-19 vaccine with no appointment – simply show your CALHN staff ID card.
Staff who are eligible for the Pfizer vaccine can gain express entry to Wayville Clinic by following this step-by-step process. In addition, a special vaccination pathway is in place at Wayville now for those who are in isolation and due for their 2nd dose. If you are in that category and are due to receive your second dose, we don’t want you to delay this so please attend and ensure you let the staff in the concierge tent know when you arrive at Wayville and you must wear a mask.
There really are many options available so please ensure you take advantage of the ability to simply walk-in to be vaccinated.
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.
While the RAH is the State’s COVID-19 dedicated hospital it is possible for a COVID-19 case to present at any location and therefore all of our sites should be vigilant to the possibility of COVID-19 and ensure that appropriate measures are in place.
Ward 6GG at the RAH remains a dedicated COVID-19 ward and we continue to decompress our sites. We have moved many outpatient appointments to be delivered through telehealth and we are continuing to coordinate with the other local health networks to manage demand. We are also working closely with our community partners to keep patients at home – only where it is safe to do so.
Overnight the department released updated visitor guidelines that further clarify visitor requirements whilst we are in lockdown.
These requirements outline that relatives and friends (including children under the age of 16) are not permitted to visit their loved one in hospital unless it is as part of their carer responsibilities.
If visitation is part of the carers’ responsibilities, then only one individual can visit per day.
As always, we will still allow visitation for compassionate reasons, and for when they are critical to care. This includes end-of-life visits, where we are providing young people with treatment and they require their parent, or in an emergency.
Clinical treatment teams can make this decision and are asked to notify the screening staff before the visitors arrive.
We will be communicating this information to the community today through social media and updating signage in the next 24 hours.
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.
We currently have 37,337 N95 masks, 53,130 surgical L3 masks, 28,800 surgical L1 masks, 8,755 eye protection and 55,880 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.
As a reminder, if you are in an open office area such as blue space you MUST wear a mask unless eating or drinking even if you can maintain 1.5 metre social distancing. This is important as you are in an inside area around other people and therefore must wear a mask. You can take it off if in a closed room on your own but again if someone comes into your office you then need to put your mask on.
I will continue to keep you informed about our response and the COVID-19 situation in a timely manner. However, I encourage you regularly visit the SA Health contact tracing page and the State Government COVID-19 website.
Chief Executive Officer
Central Adelaide Local Health Network