COVID-19 continues to feature prominently in our activities with nine cases currently active in our state.
You may have seen that one of the cases announced yesterday has been deemed a false positive after the initial test was followed up with further testing from SA Pathology. The follow-up was conducted by SA Health as there was no links to other cases or had a history of travel.
It’s comforting to know that our system is being diligent in following-up on all cases and ensuring that robust contract tracing is in place.
Today we have had no new cases in South Australia – a great sign following record numbers of testing.
In Victoria there have been another 725 cases and 15 deaths reported today. The state is now under a State of Emergency.
New South Wales has reported 12 new cases as of 8pm last night.
Queensland has reported no new cases over the past 24 hours but has announced that it will close its border to all of New South Wales and the ACT from 1am on Saturday as a precautionary measure.
New testing centres are now open
In response to the growing demand for COVID-19 testing, a new drive through testing centre was opened at Victoria Park today. This clinic is available for anyone needing testing and those attending do not need a referral.
In addition, new heavy vehicle testing facilities will be set up in Port Augusta and Tailem Bend.
This week, clinics across the state had a massive surge in those attending for testing which has caused long wait times. Our staff at the RAH clinic have done a great job in managing this demand.
Well done to our SA Pathology team who have successfully managed this increase in demand while continuing the 24-hour turn around for results.
IMT update – latest Gate Review
On Monday we conducted our latest Gate Review. Based on the current situation within South Australia we will continue to remain at CoSTAT 1.
While CoSTAT1 technically involves us as a network being on standby, it certainly doesn’t mean that we are standing still with our alertness or our activities. There is much work being conducted ‘behind the scenes’ to ensure we are in the best possible position should we see an increase and to ensure that our frontline staff remain vigilant when treating patients.
We are monitoring and evaluating the situation across Australia and locally and want to assure you all that as a network we remain prepared and ready should we see an increase in COVID-19 cases.
If you have any further suggestions you would like the IMT to consider based upon your experiences, please raise them with your manager to escalate to the IMT.
We have good level of PPE stock available, and continue to monitor its usage on a daily basis.
SA Health has released new resources explaining how to correctly put on and take off D95+ respirator masks, including a Detmold Medical - D95+ Respirator instructional video.
Further resources can be found through the below link and information about the masks themselves is available from the department’s D95+ Respirator Frequently Asked Questions.
Interpreters for patients
To assist with keeping our patients, staff and community safe we are encouraging the use of interpreters by telephone rather than in person on site.
This change will help to reduce the number of people on our sites and better accommodate physical distancing. This change does not apply to any existing bookings and will only be in place for future bookings, effective immediately.
All efforts will be made to ensure our patients are provided with the right support at all times and that their care is not compromised.
During business hours, interpreters are to be booked by telephone via the Interpreter Coordinator.
RAH: Booking by telephone: 7074 0775; Health.RAHInterpreterCoordinator@sa.gov.au
TQEH: Booking by telephone 8222 7881; HealthTQEHInterpreterCoordinator@sa.gov.au
For any queries or clarifications, please contact Arish Naresh, Clinical Program Delivery Manger, Speciality Medicine 1 and Central Outpatients on email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Importance of maintaining physical distancing
I would like to remind everyone of the ongoing importance of maintaining physical distancing while at work and in the community. As healthcare workers, the community looks to us for guidance and leadership through times like this and it is vital that we lead by example.
The community is watching – and in some cases reporting back to us – when our staff haven’t been adhering to physical distancing. While I know in some cases it isn’t possible in clinical settings, I do ask that you ensure you are following the guide of 1.5m apart at all other times. We need to lead by example.
Where possible, staff are still encouraged to work from home to continue to reduce the number of people on our sites.
Reminder about visitors
I have been told that there is still confusion amongst staff about our visitor guidelines. We are only allowing two (2) visitors per day, per patient, but not at the same time unless previously arranged under compassionate reasons. It is the expectation that this is enforced across all of our sites by all staff.
For more information, please view the visitor guidelines by clicking below.
Today we also said goodbye to another four CALHN nurses who set off for Melbourne to join the team that left last week. I will provide you all with a further update on the team in my Friday message.
As we are in a heightened state of awareness from next week I will resume my regular COVID-19 CEO Bulletin on Tuesday and Thursdays.
And as I always say...‘If not us...then who?’
Chief Executive Officer
Central Adelaide Local Health Network