COVID-19 Patient Information

Over the past few weeks, there have been ongoing announcements and changes implemented at both Federal and State based levels regarding COVID-19.

 

It goes without saying that the challenges facing our community as a result of COVID-19 bring with it feelings of anxiety, stress and uncertainty. We recognise that our patients may be experiencing these emotions in varying levels and processing emotions in different ways.

 

At Australian Family Care, we are looking to stand with our community, following the recommended Government guidelines, whilst also considering the wellbeing of those in our care.

 

We have established a COVID-19 Response Team who will meet to discuss the implications of announcements from the Government, to work through challenges facing our patients and staff in our care, to make preparations so we can move swiftly to providing clinical care when needed.

 

Information and guidelines for patients can be found below. 

 

 

How Can I make an Appointment?

 

The way we make appointments has changed. Because of COVID-19 risk, most of our appointments will be done via telehealth. You will find our doors are closed at our clinics. Please call your clinic to find out how you can make an appointment.

 

Please click on the link below for more information:

 

Letter for patients regarding clinic access and how to make an appointment

 

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions

 

What is COVID-19?

 

  • Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus.

 

  • Most people infected with the COVID-19 virus will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without requiring special treatment. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer are more likely to develop serious illness. Pregnant women and children under 12 months old are also considered vulnerable.

 

  • The best way to prevent and slow down transmission is be well informed about the COVID-19 virus, the disease it causes and how it spreads. Protect yourself and others from infection by washing your hands or using an alcohol-based rub frequently and not touching your face.

 

  • The COVID-19 virus spreads primarily through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose when an infected person coughs or sneezes, so it’s important that you also practice respiratory etiquette (for example, by coughing into a flexed elbow).

 

  • At this time, there are no specific vaccines or treatments for COVID-19. However, there are many ongoing clinical trials evaluating potential treatments.

 

  • For a good introduction to COVID-19 including the science and biology of COVID-19 as well as signs and symptoms, please watch this YouTube movie made by Dr Kevork Hopayian:

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=98&v=pClOtypPYx0&feature=emb_logo

 

 

How can I protect myself?

 

Wash your hands frequently

 

  • Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water.
  • Why? Washing your hands with soap and water or using alcohol-based hand rub kills viruses that may be on your hands.

 

Maintain social distancing

 

  • Maintain at least 1.5 metre distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
  • Why? When someone coughs or sneezes they spray small liquid droplets from their nose or mouth which may contain virus. If you are too close, you can breathe in the droplets, including the COVID-19 virus if the person coughing has the disease.
    Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth
  • Why? Hands touch many surfaces and can pick up viruses. Once contaminated, hands can transfer the virus to your eyes, nose or mouth. From there, the virus can enter your body and can make you sick.

 

Practice respiratory hygiene

 

  • Make sure you, and the people around you, follow good respiratory hygiene. This means covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately.
  • Why? Droplets spread virus. By following good respiratory hygiene you protect the people around you from viruses such as cold, flu and COVID-19.

 

For more information please refer to the SA Health Stop the Spread page

 

 

What should I do if I think I have COVID-19?

 

 

A flow-chart has been designed to assist with helping you figure out the criteria for COVID-19 testing:  Covid-19 Testing Flowchart

 

Please note that the eligibility criteria for COVID-19 testing changes rapidly. For this reason, please ensure you also check the SA Health website for testing recommendations.

 

 

Who is eligible for testing?

 

Please only present for testing if:

 

  • You have travelled interstate, overseas, or been a cruise ship in the past 14 days AND have symptoms.
  • You have been a visitor to the Lyndoch Hill and Barossa Chateau from the 14th of March 2020 AND have symptoms.
  • You have been in contact with a confirmed case AND have symptoms.
  • You are a healthcare worker with direct patient contact AND have a fever (≥37.5) AND an acute respiratory infection (e.g. shortness of breath, cough, sore throat).
  • If you reside in a high-risk setting where there are two or more cases of illness clinically consistent with COVID-19. These settings include:

o Aged care and other residential care facilities
o Military operational settings
o Boarding schools
o Correctional facilities
o Detention centres
o Aboriginal rural and remote communities, in consultation with CDCB

 

Symptoms include acute respiratory illness (sore throat, sneezing, breathing difficulty, fever (>38degrees), night-sweats and chills).

 

If you have NOT travelled overseas recently, but are feeling unwell, please make an appointment at one of our clinics. Avoid contact with others if you are unwell.

 

Where can I get tested for COVID-19?

 

Information regarding testing centres can be found here.

 

Who should self-isolate?

 

People who:

  • have arrived from overseas travel from any country (as of midnight Sunday 15 March 2020)
  • have arrived from interstate into SA borders (as of 4pm Tuesday 24 March 2020)
  • have had had close contact with a person with COVID-19
  • are healthcare workers who have symptoms of an upper respiratory tract infection (even mild)

 

 

What do I need to know about self-isolation?

 

Information regarding testing centres can be found here.

 

I am a healthcare worker – what do I need to know about isolation?

 

From 16 March 2020, all overseas travellers, including all healthcare workers must:

  • self-isolate at home other than for seeking individual medical care for 14 days from the day of return from overseas

 

From 4pm 24 March 2020, all interstate travellers, including all healthcare workers must:

  • self-isolate at home other than for seeking individual medical care for 14 days from the day of return from overseas

 

 

What if I have had contact with a COVID-19 case?

 

All healthcare workers who have been in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 in the previous 14 days must:

 

  • self-isolate at home other than for seeking individual medical care for 14 days from the last day of contact
  • monitor symptoms for 14 days since last contact.
  • Arrange to have testing at any SA COVID-19 clinic or drive-through service.

 

 

What if I have not had contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case but I am unwell?

 

  • Acute respiratory illness (even mild) in staff who have not travelled overseas or interstate in the last 14 days must self-isolate
  • Healthcare workers with acute respiratory illness should not work while they are symptomatic. This includes mild respiratory symptoms of recent onset and unexplained fever.
  • Healthcare workers who have fever OR respiratory symptoms must immediately self-isolate and should not return to duties until medically assessed. The need for testing and further isolation should be assessed on a case by case basis.
  • Healthcare workers who have fever AND respiratory symptoms must immediately self-isolate and should not return to duties until tested and cleared from COVID-19.

 

 

I am really struggling with the COVID-19 situation. Are there any resources to help me deal with the stress and/or anxiety I am experiencing?

 

It is normal to feel stress and worry in the current situation. It is evident that the COVID-19 situation is affecting the well-being of many people. 

 

For information on coping and mental health support see:

 

SA Health’s Mental Health and COVID-19 Fact Sheet

Beyond Blue’s COVID-19 Website