Jan

14

2022

COVID-19 update from the NSW Chief Health Officer

NSW Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant has written a letter to all GPs outlining several important changes to the management of COVID-19.

Some key points are copied below.

Changes to the self-isolation period for people with COVID-19

Patients with COVID-19 can leave isolation if at least 7 days (previously 10 days) have passed since their positive test and they have not had respiratory symptoms during the last 24 hours of their isolation period.

Changes to exposure risk assessment

Changes have occurred to increase the focus on high-risk exposures, such as households.

Any person who resides in the same house as a COVID-positive person must isolate for 7 days from the last time they were in contact with the COVID-positive person. Exemptions are in place for certain critical workers, if the risk of household contacts returning to the workplace is appropriately managed.

Testing for COVID-19

People with COVID-19 symptoms should seek rapid antigen testing in the first instance.

People who test positive on a rapid antigen test (RAT) should be managed as confirmed COVID-19 where they have:

  • symptoms consistent with COVID-19
  • had a moderate or high-risk exposure to someone with COVID-19 (regardless of symptoms)
  • travelled internationally within the last 14 days.

People who test positive on a rapid antigen test but are asymptomatic and do not have a moderate or high-risk exposure or recent international travel are advised to have another rapid antigen test 24-hours after their first positive result or a PCR test.

A GP can request PCR testing where it will assist with managing a patient’s clinical care. Where someone may benefit from therapeutic interventions, it is important that care is not delayed by lack of access to a timely PCR. A positive RAT result is sufficient for consideration of early therapeutic intervention.

Clinical support for general practitioners

The NSW Health COVID-19 Care at Home Support Line (1800 960 933) now includes an Interactive Voice Recording menu option specifically for GPs, allowing calls from GPs to be prioritised for timely access to COVID-19 resources, advice and support. When calling this 1800 number, please press 4 to be fast-tracked to the clinical line.

Dr Chant’s letter also covers:

  • Change in de-isolation notification
  • Service NSW RAT self-reporting
  • People re-exposed to COVID-19 within 28 days of recovery from COVID-19

Read the full text of Dr Chant’s letter (PDF, 150KB).

Mental Health Practitioner Directory

Frequently Asked Questions

Any AHPRA or AASW registered mental health practitioner providing services in the Mid North Coast and/or Northern NSW.

Social workers, psychotherapists and counsellors are ineligible to list in the directory.

By listing, you will let GPs, other referrers and consumers know that you are practising in Mid North Coast and/or Northern NSW. You can provide information such as where you are located, the services you provide, the population groups you support and your clinical interests.

No, the directory is a free service provided by Healthy North Coast.

This directory enables you to provide real-time information about your availability to accept referrals, as well as how long people may have to wait for an appointment. You can update this information as your availability changes. This will help GPs and other referrers ensure they only refer clients to practitioners who have the capacity to see them.

It also has a range of advanced search options and supports printing and bookmarking of search results.

You can choose to display your email address and your phone number so that people can contact you directly. You may prefer not to display these, in which case people can contact you by completing an enquiry form located in the Directory. Your choices can be updated anytime.

You can indicate wait times for an appointment for a new client or that you are currently unable to accept new referrals. You can also choose whether to display or hide your contact details. You can update your choices at any time.

Yes, you can update your listing or remove it at any time by clicking the “update practitioner details” button on your listing. You will receive a secure website link to your nominated admin email that will enable you to make changes, delete or put your listing on hold. You can also show when you are taking extended leave or are not available for a specific period, rather than completely removing your listing.

We will also send you an email every three months (90 days) prompting you to check that your information is up to date.

You will be responsible for managing the information in your listing and ensuring that it is up to date. You will also be asked to check the information before it is published in the directory.

We will also send you an email every three months (90 days) prompting you to check that your information is up to date so that the directory displays accurate information.

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