COVID-19 Primary Care Update 06/06/2022

06 June 2022

Good afternoon,

RACGP Webinar Tonight: COVID Education for SA GPs - Emerging COVID Variants

In addition to a COVID update and discussion on flu vaccine, Dr Renjy Thomas will discuss the expansion of different subtypes/variants of COVID that are emerging, where they are coming from and how they compare to our predominant variant in Australia with respect to transmissibility and virulence.

The impacts of these variants on long COVID will also be discussed. Date: Monday 6 June 2022 Time: 6.30-7.30 pm (ACST) RACGP

Winter demand management strategy

The Winter Demand Strategy 2022 includes additional measures being introduced protect our health system and our health care workers as demand increases across our hospitals in SA.

The Strategy outlines the key priorities to ensure the community is protected, including: 

  • COVID-19 and influenza prevention, self-care and community care 
  • Opening more beds across hospitals 
  • Expanding virtual care services to support people to stay out of hospital 
  • Collaboration with private hospitals and providing more day surgery to enable elective surgery to continue 
  • Alternative care pathways and care models.

Practical Prescribing webinar recording available for viewing

The recording the recent Practical Prescribing webinar for oral antivirals is now available for viewing on the Adelaide PHN YouTube channel here.

CALHN (RAH) COVID Care Centre interim arrangements

Due to infrastructure works the CALHN COVID Care Centre, currently located at the Royal Adelaide Hospital, this centre will be temporarily relocated for 2 weeks (From 6 June to 19 June inclusive) to Sefton Park Intermediate Care site.

Usual operating hours will remain and Sefton Park’s existing service resources will be reoriented to continue both business as usual work and COVID care, with some care still onsite at the RAH.

All contact details and referral pathways for GPs referring patients to CALHN CCC remain the same and patients will be directed to the Sefton Park site by the CCC team as needed when arranging appointments for review.

Expanded ATAGI criteria for winter COVID-19 booster vaccine dose

ATAGI has recently expanded the cohort definition for those expected to gain benefit from an extra booster of COVID-19 vaccination. This winter dose should be given 4 months following the first booster.

The following groups are currently not yet recommended to receive an additional winter booster dose:

  • healthy people aged 16 to 64 years of age who do not have any risk factors for severe COVID-19 
  • women who are pregnant without any other comorbidity that increases their risk of severe COVID-19 
  • people from occupational groups, such as healthcare workers, who do not have any other comorbidity that increases their risk of severe COVID-19.

As per previous advice, if an individual has had a recent confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection, they should delay their winter booster dose until 3 months after their infection.

Scheduling surgery post COVID-19 infection

Patients should be reminded that the recommended time between testing positive to COVID-19 and their surgical procedure is longer than the 7-day isolation period.

This is due to the thrombotic and general inflammatory complications of COVID having a longer effect than active infectious period. The recommended time to wait is 4 weeks between a positive test and surgery for minor surgery, and 8 weeks for major surgery.

It is important that your patient contacts their surgeon for individual advice so an assessment can be made. More information can be found in the ANZCA guidelines.

Recommended reading: Subscribe to updates from the National COVID-19 Clinical Evidence Taskforce: https://covid19evidence.net.au/#subscribe

Please forward this update to any colleagues who may not have received it and contact us at Health.COVID-19GPLiaison@sa.gov.au to be added to our mailing list or with any other enquiries.

Dr Emily Kirkpatrick
Deputy Chief Public Health Officer Deputy Chief Medical Officer
Department for Health and Wellbeing