Recently I was asked about what the difference was between CoSTAT1 and our ‘normal’ work.
To clarify CoSTAT 1 – our current COVID-19 status – is when we are actively surveilling and gathering intelligence in order to prepare ourselves should the situation escalate.
This means that all our ‘usual’ activities continue to go on while we maintain a level of alertness.
The risk of COVID-19 isn’t going anywhere and it is something we need to learn to live with as a health organisation and as community members. I know that this causes some of you some concern, however it is the world we now live in and as health professionals, we need to adapt so we can best care for our patients. I encourage you to access our EAP service or our COVID-19 wellbeing pages if you need support.
We continue to refine our plans based on our learnings and what is happening elsewhere. The Clinical Program Delivery Managers have this afternoon provided further input into what any future decant could look like across our sites. Information on our preparedness – and how it may affect you should we see any changes – should be provided to you by your program leadership teams. If you have any questions directly relating to your area of work, please raise the with either your professional leads, or your Manager.
Broken Hill patients
We still receive a lot of questions about our Broken Hill community. Any Broken Hill inpatient requiring transfer to an SA hospital does not need to apply in advance for an exemption. This will be taken care of by SAPOL as part of the patient’s border crossing and arrival in South Australia. In this instance, hospitals will continue to use their usual hospital transfer process.
Any Broken Hill resident that requires treatment/ review at a South Australia hospital will require an exemption from SA Health in advance of their travel, which they will attach to their SAPOL cross border travel application.
To apply for the SA Health exemption, they will need to email HealthExemptions.Covid19@eso.sa.gov.au and outline their:
- Reason for travel
- Appointment details (which hospital, Dr’s name, date of appointment)
- Travel dates
- Intended accommodation
- Contact details
- Names of travel companions (each individual will need to apply separately to cross the border).
Once approved, they will receive a letter which will contain conditions associated with their travel from SA Health. This is the letter which they will attach to their SAPOL cross border travel application.
Upon arrival to a CALHN facilities, Broken Hill patients are required to be managed with droplet precautions.
All visitors, carers and accompanying travellers from Broken Hill will need to self-quarantine for 14 days on arrival in suitable accommodation. To visit a CALHN site during those 14 days an exemption will be required and when onsite, the visitor will be managed with droplet precautions and may be required to be escorted when onsite by hospital site.
Visitors under 16
Unless previously arranged for compassionate reasons visitors under 16 are not allowed on our sites. This is consistent with SA Health guidelines and includes public spaces and cafes or food areas. Children can enter the RAH to attend the onsite childcare centre however are to be accompanied by a parent/ caregiver at all times.
We’ve received a number of requests about using interstate contractors. In the first instance, all steps should be taken to avoid interstate contractors attending CALHN sites and local repairers and suppliers should be sourced first.
If there is no alternative options other than utilising an interstate contractor a CALHN interstate contractor process has been developed in conjunction with health care worker team and the infection control unit. This process must be followed for all interstate contractors visiting our sites.
As part of my COVID-19 bulletins, I have been regularly including the number of days PPE supply. The team would welcome your feedback as to whether it is useful to include this.
The PPE stock projection is based on our current use of PPE. Everyday we count our stock levels to ensure our staff have what they need should we start to receive COVID-19 patients.
As of today we currently have 49.4 days of L2 masks, 37.6 days of surgical L3 masks, 30.2 days of surgical L2 masks and 23.3 days of surgical gowns available on site.
There is also a significant amount of stock on hand within the distribution centre and we have an additional 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.
Today I am pleased to advise that again there are no new cases in South Australia.
Victoria has recorded another decrease in cases with 113 new cases. Sadly, Victoria has recorded another 23 deaths over the past 24 hours.
New South Wales has reported six three new cases as of 8pm yesterday, Queensland has recorded one new case.
Since Saturday the RAH Clinic has tested 325 people.
As the situation around Australia has begun to settle with a consistent drop in cases in Victoria over the past week, and as we remain in CoSTAT1, I will be decreasing my COVID-19 update to once a week on Tuesdays, and will feature a dedicated section within my weekly Friday message. Should the situation change or something critical occurs I will send an appropriate communication.
As I continue to remind everyone, it is very important that we remember to maintain physical distancing to ensure that we keep our patients, visitors and staff safe, and if you’re sick – stay home (and get tested!).
And as I always say...‘If not us...then who’.
Chief Executive Officer
Central Adelaide Local Health Network