Tuesday, 20 July 2020
Following confirmation that delta variant is within the community in South Australia, the State Government has announced a state-wide lockdown with level 5 restrictions coming into place from 6pm tonight. This lockdown will be for 7 days.
From 6pm, there are just five reasons South Australians can leave their home:
- Care and compassion reasons
- Essential work
- Medical reasons including vaccination and testing
- Purchase of essential goods, such as a food
- Exercise limited to those from the same household.
Further details on the restrictions can be found on the government’s COVID-19 website.
Please be advised that schools and childcare will remain open to essential workers. As healthcare workers and those who support direct care or functions, we are classified as essential workers.
The COVID-19 Incident Management Team has met this morning and raised our COVID-19 Status to CoSTAT 2 – which is our initial response phase. The CALHN COVID-19 Plan Network Disaster Resilience Response Plan - Human Disease Annex provides more information about what each CoSTAT means.
We recognise that this will obviously have an impact on our community, our workforce and on our services. Your health and wellbeing and that of the South Australian community are a priority and I understand that this will be a challenging time for everyone as we balance work and our own private arrangements.
Working over the next 7 days
Wherever possible staff are encouraged to limit face-to-face meetings and use Microsoft Teams. In addition, please ensure that physical distancing is maintained by applying the 1 person per 4 square metre rule in all areas including meeting rooms and offices.
Non-patient facing staff that are not required to the essential operations of CALHN are required to work at home in line with the government’s directions. While working at home, staff are encouraged to complete mandatory training within Learning Central.
If staff cannot work at home, please refer to the Commissioner for the Public Sector Employment Determination.
Staff in non-patient facing roles with clinical or other relevant skills may be shifted into a different role to assist with our COVID-19 response. This may include providing urgent support to our testing clinics.
If you are unsure whether you should be onsite or working at home, please confirm with your manager.
If you are working at home, please complete a ‘working at home’ form as soon as possible (even if you have previously completed one).
There is currently no restriction on movement between LHN’s or between sites however please let your manager know if you have worked across any other sites.
Visitors will be limited into our sites to 1 person per patient, 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 are asking all outpatients appointments up until next Friday to be reviewed, and where possible, appointments shifted to telehealth. The outpatient team will be able to assist with this.
Elective surgery and procedures
We will continue with urgent category 1 and cancer surgery and procedures with others by expectation following discussion with medical leads.
Today we opened a pop-up vaccination clinic at the RAH for all Phase 1a – red pathway or COVID-19 pathway workers. Those on the COVID-19 pathway include staff that work in RAH ED/ ICU/ 6GG / Med 102.
We are asking all COVID-19 pathway staff – who have not already done so – to make themselves available to receive their COVID-19 vaccination at either the RAH pop-up clinic or the Wayville Clinic. This includes staff who may have an appointment booked in coming months but would like their vaccination sooner.
Staff who are eligible for the Pfizer vaccine can gain express entry to Wayville Clinic by following this step-by-step process.
The RAH pop-up clinic will be open 8am – 9pm tomorrow to provide the opportunity for those working night and late shifts. Staff on the COVID-19 pathway will be prioritised. The Wayville Clinic will also be staying open till 6.30pm this evening.
A pop-up clinic is being planned for TQEH and we will provide further details soon.
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.
Current exposure sites
This situation is evolving very quickly so we ask that staff regularly check the latest exposure sites to ensure they haven’t been exposed to COVID-19.
If you have been in a known exposure site during the timeframes listed, please contact your line manager and the Clinical Worker Health Service for further advice and a risk assessment.
It is important to contact CALHN’s Clinical worker health service at the Royal Adelaide Hospital on telephone 0401 689 039 or at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital on telephone 0423 824 010 as soon as possible to determine if this applies to your circumstance. If you do need to self-isolate, please remember to also complete the self-isolation form.
Any managers or supervisors are experiencing any issues due to employees having to isolate can escalate via the Incident Management Team by emailing CALHN.NICC@sa.gov.au.
If you are unwell or show any COVID-19 symptoms
Any of our employees that show symptoms of COVID-19 are not permitted to attend the workplace, or if you are already in the workplace must notify your manager and leave immediately.
You will need to self-report using the self-isolation reporting form if you:
- are unwell and are exhibiting symptoms associated with COVID-19; or
- have been tested for COVID-19 and are awaiting results; or
- have returned from interstate or overseas (see criteria above); or
- have had close contact with a positive COVID-19 case; or
- have been advised or directed to self-isolate or be tested for COVID-19
We would like to 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 8,725,605 N95 masks, 6,792,235 surgical L3 masks, 339.300 surgical L1 masks, 356,050 eye protection and 2,196,750 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.
How to access the latest information
We will continue to update the COVID-19 staff portal as more information becomes available. On this webpage you will also find clinical resources, latest communications, COVID-19 response plans, contact tracing information, PPE resources and how-to videos, visitor screen tools, infection control tools and resources, workforce information and travel information.
If there are questions you would like to see added, please contact healthCALHNcommunications@sa.gov.au.
The SA Health website provides information on the exposure sites and current restrictions.
While this is not the turn of events we had hoped for, we always knew there was a possibility that COVID-19 could resurface locally.
As a network we have learnt a lot in the past 18 months and I am confident in our ability to manage whatever may lay ahead.
If anyone is feeling overwhelmed and you feel like you need support, please reach out to your manager, or access our Employee Assistance Program.
We will continue to keep you informed about our response in a timely manner through COVID-19 Bulletins, our COVID-19 staff portal and via our Facebook workforce group.
I will continue to send out daily updates during the period of lockdown.
Chief Executive Officer
Central Adelaide Local Health Network