COVID-19

general PRACTICE INFORMATION PACK   

other service provider information pack

residential aged care provider information pack

Last Updated 2 April 2020

The Department of Health and Human Services is asking health professionals across the sector to watch out for signs and symptoms of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) infection in patients who may have travelled to areas affected by an emerging outbreak.

Current status

Queensland has 835 confirmed cases of COVID-19

For more information on these cases, please visit the Department of Health Health Alerts page.

The Prime Minister has announced the activation of the Australian Health Sector Emergency Response Plan for COVID-19. View the document here.

Additional advice 

On 11 March 2020, the World Health Organisation (WHO) have made the assessment to categorise the coronavirus outbreak a Pandemic.  Describing the situation as a pandemic does not change WHO's assessment of the threat posed by the virus, or what they are doing to combat the spread.

The Australian Government has unveiled a comprehensive $2.4 billion health package to protect Australians, including vulnerable groups such as the elderly, those with chronic conditions and Indigenous communities, from COVID-19. The package includes a collection of resources for the general public, health professionals and industry.

All Clinicians

For Queensland Health-endorsed management pathways, go to WQ HealthPathways.

View resources for health professionals, including aged care providers, pathology providers and healthcare managers from Department of Health. 

About Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that can make humans and animals sick. They cause illnesses that can range from the common cold to more severe disease

Coronavirus was first reported in December 2019 in Wuhan City in China.

Other coronaviruses include Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).

Who is at risk:

In Australia, the people most at risk of getting the virus are those who have:

  • recently returned from overseas
  • recently been in mainland China or Iran
  • been in close contact with someone who is a confirmed case of coronavirus

Queensland Health has advised that current advice around testing for COVID-19 is that patients they will not be tested unless they have met the criteria for one of the above.

Symptoms

Symptoms can range from mild illness to pneumonia. Some people will recover easily, and others may get very sick very quickly. People with COVID-19 may experience:

  • Fever
  • Flu-like symptoms such as a cough, sore throat or headache
  • Shortness of breath 

Below is a comparison between the COVID-19 and cold or flu from the World Health Organisation.

You can also use the healthdirect Symptom Checker tool to guide you to the appropriate healthcare action, updated with information on novel coronavirus. It is also available on the healthdirect app.
COVID-19
How it spreads

There is evidence that the virus spreads from person-to-person.

The virus is most likely spread through:

  • close contact with an infectious person
  • contact with droplets from an infected person’s cough or sneeze
  • touching objects or surfaces (like doorknobs or tables) that have cough or sneeze droplets from an infected person, and then touching the mouth or face
Prevention

Surgical masks in the community are only helpful in preventing people who have COVID-19 from spreading it to others. If you are well, you do not need to wear a surgical mask as there is little evidence supporting the widespread use of surgical masks in healthy people to prevent transmission in public.

Find out more in our fact sheet about the use of surgical masks.

Everyone should practise good hygiene to protect against infections. Good hygiene includes:

  • washing your hands often with soap and water
  • using a tissue and cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze
  • avoiding close contact with others, such as touching

Read more about protective measures against coronavirus on the World Health Organisation website.

If you have a confirmed case, you need to isolate yourself to prevent it spreading to other people. 

More information

For global up-to-date information on COVID-19 please visit the World Health Organisation (WHO)

Australian information and resources (including fact sheets) on COVID-19 can be found on the Australian Government Department of Health website and the Queensland Health website.

Up to date information and links can also be accessed via the RACGP website.

Help and assistance for Consumers

Healthdirect Australia has worked with the Department of Health to establish the Coronavirus Health Information Line on 1800 020 080 for non-clinical information about the COVID-19 to the public.

The original healthdirect helpline on 1800 022 222 is to speak to a registered nurse who will triage callers with symptoms. 

Due to unprecedented high number of callers to both lines, people can also find answers to common questions at the healthdirect website coronavirus hub.

Click below for latest communications sent by WQPHN:

1 April

Department of Health Webinars - COVID-19 Response for Primary Care Practitioners

31 March

Western Queensland HealthPathways LIVE

31 March

COVID-19: New whole of population telehealth MBS items now available & COVID-19 App

26 March 2020

COVID-19 New Public Health Alert - Case Definition and testing Criteria Updates

24 March 2020

Expansion of Telehealth Services and COVID-19 Telehealth MBS items updated

24 March 2020

COVID-19 and your Asthma Patients - Information for Health Professionals

23 March 2020

Infection Training Module - registration now working

20 March 2020

Message from the WQPHN CEO on Coronavirus measures

20 March 2020

Coronavirus COVID-19 - Information for Residential Aged Care Providers

19 March 2020

RACGP updated COVID-10 resources

19 March 2020

COVID-19 - Infection Training Module

18 March 2020

New Items for COVID-19 Telehealth Services (Edit)

17 March 2020

New Items for COVID-19 Telehealth Services

16 March 2020

Please See Latest Department Of Health GP Update - COVID-19

13 March 2020

Latest Update on Coronavirus (COVID-19) National Health Plan for General Practice

11 March 2020

Latest Update on Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

6 March 2020

Latest Information on Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) North West Qld

6 March 2020

Latest Information on Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) South West Qld

2 March 2020

Public Health Alert 2 - Recommendations for testing for COVID-19

27 February 2020

Health Alert - Recommendations for testing for COVID-19

24 February 2020

For Information - Updated CDNA Guidlines - COVID-19

14 February  2020

For information - Current update from Queensland Health for Coronavirus

07 February 2020

For information - Department of Health - Updates to Queensland Health's Clinician webpage for novel Coronavirus

03 February 2020

For information - Department of Health - Novel Coronavirus Information ED and PHC

31 January 2020

Public Health Alert - Important Information on Coronavirus

28 January 2020

For information – Department of Health Novel Coronavirus Information

23 January 2020

Public Health Alert - Advice To North Queensland Doctors: Wuhan Coronavirus 2019-nCoV

22 January 2020

South West Qld Public Health Alert - New Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) 2019 – China

20 January 2020

Public Health Alert - Pneumonia Cluster - Wuhan, Hubei Province China