Northern Beaches COVID-19 outbreak
Multiple cases of COVID-19 have now been identified in the Northern Beaches as part of a new cluster. Many members of our local community attend the Northern Beaches area or have friends in the affected area. As such we all need to increase our level of vigilance and we encourage everyone to follow the advice of public health officials. This will be especially important over the holiday period as holiday functions could act as spreader events. All the people of NSW need to work together to defeat this outbreak ASAP.
Understandably, this outbreak has caused considerable stress and anxiety and we have seen an increase in patients presenting for COVID-19 testing. We have received many phone calls and spoken to many locals about managing the situation and decreasing the risk. It is important to remember that the risk remains low especially if everyone cooperates and follows the public health advice.
Things we can all do:
- Excellent hand hygiene (washing hands with soap or using hand sanitiser)
- Maintain appropriate distancing (at least 1.5 meters)
- Wear a face mask, especially if you cannot appropriately distance
- Do not go to work or send children to school if anyone has any symptoms
- Get tested for COVID-19 if you have any symptoms or had contact with a positive case
- Self-isolate and seek advice if you are unsure
- Do not visit aged care facilities if you have the slightest doubt about symptoms or exposure
- Please advise us if you are presenting for an appointment and have recently been to or had contact with someone from the Northern Beaches
The next 2 weeks are especially important. If there has been any local COVID-19 transmission, we will see this play out over that period. We can also minimise local COVID-19 transmission during this period by doing the right thing. As a result, it is important to be especially vigilant for symptoms and get tested ASAP. There are many local testing options, including government COVID-19 clinics, local hospitals, private pathology providers and at HHMP. It is also very important to keep in mind and do the things listed above to minimise the risk.
HHMP is COVID-Safe and is asking all patients and visitors to wear masks
As a practice we are always taking steps to reduce the risk for patients and staff as part of our COVID-Safe plan. Such steps include:
- Screening patients over the phone and online to make sure symptomatic patients are not seen inside the practice, but rather via telehealth, in their cars or in our isolation room.
- Abundant hand sanitiser
- Setting up the waiting room with appropriate distancing
- Cleaning multiple times during the day (above and beyond after-hours cleaning)
- Wearing masks
In light of recent events, we are asking all patients and staff to be especially vigilant and take appropriate actions to decrease risk. Especially over the next few weeks, we need the assistance of all patients and visitors to wear masks. We would appreciate if you were to bring your own mask with you and wear it before entering the practice. If you do not have a mask, please ask at reception and a disposable mask will be given to you. We all need to be involved in reducing the risk of community transmission.
We thank you all for your cooperation and encourage you to contact us if you have any questions.
For More COVID-19 Information
NSW health has an excellent COVID-19 website with all the information in one place and links to further information. Please use this and other reputable government websites to get your information rather than news media or just random blogs (excluding this one! ;-)). The links below are for the most useful sections for patients:
- NSW health COVID website
- COVID19 frequently asked questions
- Testing clinic locations
- Self isolation guidelines