Coronavirus is an evolving international health concern. This page – for healthcare providers in North Queensland – will be updated with the latest information as it becomes available.
This page was last updated at 5.02pm on Friday 29 May 2020.
Latest updates and advice
NQPHN COVID-19 update (29 May 2020)
Northern Queensland Primary Health Network (NQPHN) is taking steps to ensure General Practice staff are supported on a regular basis with the latest information to respond to impacts associated with COVID-19 (coronavirus).
Please read the latest NQPHN COVID-19 GP update (29 May 2020), which includes:
- ‘Our Mob to Your Mob’ Indigenous health campaign
- Queensland Clinical Senate and Networks – update
- Hotline established for COVID-19 Public Health Directions
- Free secure telehealth service for GPs now available
- New ADHA security training program in response to COVID-19
- Cairns COPD Rapid Access Helpline
- Department of Health-supplied surgical face masks for general practices, AMSs, pharmacies, and allied health providers
- NQPHN daily COVID-19 updates – change
- Updated COVID-19 epidemiology
- Latest webinars
- New COVID-19 resources for GPs
Subscribe to receive regular COVID-19 GP updates by clicking here.
Legislative amendment enabling digital images of prescriptions (19 May 2020)
Queensland Government has confirmed an amendment has been made to the Health (Drugs and Poisons) Regulation 1996 (HDPR) to support the Commonwealth Government’s National Health (COVID-19 Supply of Pharmaceutical Benefits) Special Arrangement 2020.
- enables a prescriber to send a digital image of a prescription to a dispenser
- gives a temporary exemption from the requirement to send paper copies of some prescriptions to dispensers
- recognises digital images of prescriptions sent and dispensed under the special arrangement since 26 March 2020 as complying with the HDPR.
The amendment regulation will be found on the Queensland Legislation website later this week.
Free NBN upgrade for telehealth providers now available (13 May 2020)
As an essential service, telehealth providers are eligible for complementary upgrade offers from the NBN. Telehealth providers on 12/1Mbps can be upgraded to 25/5Mbps (wholesale speed tiers) and those on plans based on the 25/5Mbps to 50/20Mbps, or Fixed Wireless Plus (wholesale speed tiers), where available.
This offer is now available for six months, starting from May 2020. If you are a telehealth provider interested in this offer, read this NBN flyer.
Public Health Alert No.13 – clarification on COVID-19 testing (7 May 2020)
The Queensland Government has released its latest novel coronavirus (COVID-19) Public Health Alert to assist Queensland clinicians to diagnose and/or treat patients with suspected or confirmed COVID-19.
Public Health Alert No.13 – 7 May 2020 provides clarification about COVID-19 testing of ambulatory patients and notification.
Free healthdirect Video Call telehealth service for GPs now available (29 April 2020)
How do I register?
Registrations for a healthdirect Video Call license are open via the online registration form.
Only one person from your practice should register – this will usually be the practice manager, but could be a GP or other administrative person.
About healthdirect Video Call telehealth service for GPs
To support the secure delivery of video-based telehealth, the Australian Government Department of Health is fully funding access to healthdirect Video Call for General Practitioners (GPs) in Australia until the end of September 2020 (in line with the temporary MBS telehealth items). This is separate to the current trial that is in place that will be completed at end of June 2020.
How will I know when I have been set up on Video Call?
Once the registration for your practice is processed, you will receive an email that provides access to your account and an easy-to-follow starter guide.
Where can I learn more?
If you would like to familiarise yourself with the healthdirect Video Call environment, watch this video to find out how easy it is to use, or browse the Video Call Resource Centre.
What about privacy?
healthdirect Video Call mirrors a physical visit to a GP, making it easy for patients, clinicians, and administrators. healthdirect Video Call safeguards privacy by leaving no digital footprint. Other video call platforms (such as FaceTime, Skype, WhatsApp, Facebook) store a recording of the call in a server which may put GPs at risk of breaching privacy legislation. Find out more about healthdirect Video Call privacy.
Also, see more about how healthdirect Video Call is different from traditional video conferencing platforms.
Do I need to update my NBN?
The Australian Government has announced that the NBN will offer GP clinics the opportunity to upgrade their connection to a 50/20 service at no extra cost for six months. A 50/20 service can support multiple video conferencing streams simultaneously. If you have a 12/1 or 25/5 service, speak to your NBN provider to get the extra bandwidth at no additional cost.
Need to know more?
Healthdirect is conducting introductory webinars on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 3pm-4pm AEST, with any General Practice who would like to learn more about the platform. These webinars will run each week between 22 April–8 May 2020.
Register now for one of these webinars.
Public Health Alert No.12 (24 April 2020)
Public Health Alert No.12 – 24 April 2020 – includes expanding testing criteria to include Queensland Police Officers presenting with symptoms suggestive of COVID-19.
Testing (PCR) should now be undertaken for anyone in Queensland with fever (≥38°C) OR history of fever (e.g. night sweats, chills) OR acute respiratory infection (e.g. cough, shortness of breath, sore throat).
Clarification about digital prescriptions in Queensland (15 April 2020)
The Commonwealth arrangement states that a prescriber can send a clear copy of a prescription (a digital image such as a photo or pdf including the barcode where applicable) to a patient’s pharmacy of choice via email, text message or fax.
While the Commonwealth has enabled this arrangement for the purpose of claiming on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, the arrangement can only be given effect in Queensland if changes are made to the Health (Drugs and Poisons) Regulation 1996 (HDPR).
Currently, a valid prescription must be presented in its original form, by fax or by telephone (and in the latter two cases, the original prescription must be posted to the pharmacist within seven days). A digital image of a prescription is not a valid prescription in Queensland.
Queensland Health is exploring regulatory options to enable a digital image of a prescription to be sent in accordance with the Commonwealth arrangement. In the meantime, prescribers are reminded that prescriptions can only be presented to pharmacists in their original form, by fax or by telephone (again, followed by the paper prescription in the latter two cases).
Free NBN upgrade for GP clinics (14 April 2020)
In response to the rapid expansion of telehealth services, NBN Co has announced it is upgrading Australian GP clinics to 50Mbps download and 20Mbps upload connections at no extra cost for a period of six months.
To access the upgrade, contact your internet provider. Read more
Temporary changes to e-Prescribing (8 April 2020)
The Australian Government Department of Health has published a fact sheet about the temporary changes (until 30 September 2020 at this time) for prescribers. A few key points:
- Schedule 8 and 4(D) medicines such as opioids and fentanyl are not part of this interim arrangement
- Medicines will only be delivered to the address printed on the prescription.
- A new electronic prescribing (EPP) system is being developed that will generate QR codes sent to patients’ devices. It is expected around May.
Expanded testing – Brisbane/Gold Coast/Cairns (6 April 2020)
Queensland has 32 cases of COVID-19 unable to be linked with travel or contact with a confirmed case.Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young announced today that anyone presenting to a GP or fever clinic in Brisbane, the Gold Coast and Cairns with respiratory symptoms indicative of COVID-19 will now be tested.
Testing for COVID-19 in these three centres will now be expanded to help determine any levels of community transmission.
- Everyone who is tested should be considered a ‘suspected case’ (and should therefore self-isolate pending test results)
- Household contacts should be treated as ‘close contacts’ (i.e. they should be in quarantine pending test results)
The testing criteria may be expanded to include other areas, depending on the number of COVID-19 cases unable to be linked with travel or contact with a confirmed case.
Free EAP support for General Practice and pharmacy staff (31 March 2020)
NQPHN is now offering FREE EAP support for all general practice and pharmacy staff in response to the current COVID-19 pandemic.
An Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is a work-based intervention program designed to enhance the emotional, mental, and general psychological wellbeing of all employees and includes services for immediate family members.
To access this confidential service, please contact AccessEAP on 1800 818 728 and identify as one of these groups when calling into our service, starting with Northern Queensland Primary Health Network, then either Chemist Staff or GP staff.
For more information on AccessEAP, visit their website at www.accesseap.com.au
NQPHN has also created an EAP support poster to advise staff of the service availability:
The guidelines summarise interim recommendations for surveillance, infection control, laboratory testing and contact management for COVID-19.
Bulk Billed MBS Telehealth Services overview (30 March 2020)
On 29 March 2020, the Hon. Greg Hunt MP, Minister for Health, announced: Whole of population telehealth for patients, general practice, primary care, and other medical services to support the response to COVID-19. Find the full item descriptor(s) and information on other changes to the MBS on the MBS online summary webpage.
- All Medicare eligible Australians can now access services via telehealth where it is safe and clinically appropriate to do so.
- The new temporary MBS telehealth items must be bulk billed and are for non-admitted patients.
- The bulk billing incentive Medicare fees will double for items relating to general practice, diagnostic imaging, and pathology services.
- Medicare rebates paid for the new GP and medical practitioner telehealth services are at the same level as the rebates paid for the equivalent face-to-face services.
- General Practice telehealth/telephone item numbers now available for:
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health assessments
- chronic disease management plans and reviews
- mental health, including mental health care plans and reviews
- eating disorder management
- pregnancy support
- autism management
- urgent after-hours unsociable.
Useful telehealth resources
- Detailed fact sheets are available from the Department of Health website
- Fast track electronic prescribing factsheet
- Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) Telehealth Guides
- Australian College of Rural & Remote Medicine (ACCRM) Digital Health Guides
The Department of Health website is regularly being updated with the latest news, alerts, and resources. Please visit the Department of Health website for the most current information – www.health.gov.au/health-topics/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov
Information and resources
Information, alerts, and fact sheets
Australian Government Department of Health
- Coronavirus (COVID-19)
- Coronavirus resources for health professionals, including pathology providers and healthcare managers
- Latest news from the Department of Health
The Department of Health Coronavirus Health Information Line is open. If you are seeking information about the virus, please call 1800 020 080.
- Queensland Health – advice for clinicians
- Communicable disease control guidance
- Novel coronavirus (COVID-19) – everything you need to know, in language you can understand
- Coronavirus information for GPs
- Principles of Infection Prevention and Control
- Managing pandemic influenza in the general practice – 3 part document (RACGP):
To receive the latest updates and health alerts, please ensure you are subscribed to NQPHN’s mailing list. Contact us if you would like to receive these updates, or to update your contact details.
GP Respiratory Clinics
Coronavirus (COVID-19): GP-led Respiratory Clinics
In response to COVID-19, the Commonwealth Government is funding GP-led Respiratory Clinics in each region to assess suspected cases of COVID-19, influenza, and pneumonia, and provide early treatment to patients. These clinics are established within, or adjacent to, General Practices.
GP-led Respiratory Clinics in North Queensland
These clinics can conduct COVID-19, influenza, and pneumonia assessments, testing and patient follow-up.
Patients must make an appointment online or by phone prior to attending a GP Respiratory Clinic.
Patients do not need a GP referral before attending the clinics, but community members will be directed back to their usual GP for ongoing care.
The clinics are free of charge to all patients.
North Mackay Respiratory Clinic
24 Central Drive
Andergrove QLD 4740
Phone: (07) 4863 1273
Fax: (07) 4955 0993
How to book an appointment: Community members experiencing respiratory symptoms such as fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat or fatigue can book an appointment at North Mackay Respiratory Clinic by calling (07) 4863 1273 or online.
Opening hours: Monday–Friday: 8.30am-4pm, Saturday: 9am-1 pm
Townsville Respiratory Clinic
Upper Ross Medical Centre
1199 Riverway Drive
Rasmussen QLD 4815
Phone: (07) 4774 0299
Fax: (07) 4789 0267
How to book an appointment: Community members experiencing respiratory symptoms such as fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat or fatigue can book an appointment at Townsville Respiratory Clinic by calling (07) 4774 0299 or online.
Opening hours: Monday–Friday: 8am-4.45pm, Saturday: 8am-11.45am
Cairns (Woree) Respiratory Clinic
SmartClinics Woree Family Medical Centre
14/600 Bruce Hwy
Woree QLD 4868
Phone: 0491 874 640, 1300 411 748
How to book an appointment: Community members experiencing respiratory symptoms such as fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat or fatigue can book an appointment at Cairns (Woree) Respiratory Clinic by calling 1300 411 748 or online.
Opening hours: Monday–Friday: 8am-12pm & 1pm-5pm
Charters Towers Respiratory Clinic
Gold City Medical Centre
1 Gill Street
Charters Towers QLD 4820
Phone: (07) 4787 7203
How to book an appointment: Community members experiencing respiratory symptoms such as fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat or fatigue can book an appointment at Charters Towers Respiratory Clinic by calling (07) 4787 7203 or online.
Opening hours: Monday–Friday: 9am-1pm
Distribution and use of face masks
Supply of surgical face masks
The Australian Government Department of Health has made surgical face masks available, and NQPHN has been distributing these face masks to general practices, Aboriginal Medical Services, and pharmacies across the region on behalf of the Department, according to approved guidelines.
How to order
NQPHN has a limited supply of surgical face masks available for distribution.
Please complete this simple online ordering form to submit your request.
If you are in short supply of surgical face masks and we cannot fulfil your request, please let us know and NQPHN will continue to advocate on your behalf for extra supply – contact us at email@example.com
HealthPathways for COVID-19
HealthPathways have been developed for COVID-19 for the Northern Queensland Primary Health Network (NQPHN) region:
The COVID-19 HealthPathway is regarded as the key source of truth for clinicians relating to COVID-19.
If you are a clinician and don’t have access to HealthPathways, please contact the HealthPathways coordinator in your area.
Free NBN upgrade for telehealth providers
As an essential service, telehealth providers are eligible for complementary upgrade offers from the NBN.
Telehealth providers on 12/1Mbps can be upgraded to 25/5Mbps (wholesale speed tiers) and those on plans based on the 25/5Mbps to 50/20Mbps, or Fixed Wireless Plus (wholesale speed tiers), where available. This offer is available for six months, starting from May 2020.
Telehealth providers can also receive an enhanced fault rectification service that ensures faults are fixed within a specified timeframe. In addition, this comes with prioritised connections and fault resolutions case management through the NBN Co’s Business Operations Centre.
These offers are available for qualified telehealth service providers in registered business premises, providing one or more of the below services by voice, and or internet, via the NBN Network:
- GP services
- Medical specialist services
- Nurse practitioner services
- Mental health treatment
- Chronic disease management
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health assessments
- Treatment of eating disorders
- Pregnancy support counselling
- Treatment of patients in aged care facilities
- Disability services.
For anyone interested in this offer, the NBN has a team of community engagement specialists around the country.
Read the NBN flyer for more information, and how to access the offer.
- Visit the Australian Government Treasury website for information on the Government’s economic support package for affected workers, businesses, and the broader community.
- The National COVID-19 Coordination Commission (NCCC) has created an online planning tool to help businesses develop a plan to keep their workers, customers, and the community safe as they reopen or increase their activities in the weeks and months ahead. The NCCC has also developed a useful checklist to help businesses develop safe work practices, and consider how they can reconfigure their operations to adapt to ongoing restrictions.
- Find coronavirus information and assistance for business and industry from the Queensland and Australian Governments
Aged and Community Care
Coronavirus (COVID-19) advice for the aged care sector
- The Australian Government Department of Health (DoH) produces a daily COVID-19 newsletter ‘Protecting Older Australians’. Subscribe to DoH aged care sector announcements and newsletters here. For the latest edition, click here.
- Coronavirus (COVID-19) advice for the health and aged care sector is available here.
- Coronavirus (COVID-19) resources for health professionals, including aged care providers, pathology providers and healthcare managers, are also available here.
- Queensland Government Checklist for Residential Aged Care Facility (RACF) preparation for COVID-19 prevention and outbreak management.
- Queensland Aged Care Direction No.4 (21 May 2020): The purpose of this direction is to slow the spread of COVID-19 by changing the way we visit our loved ones in residential aged care facilities. The Direction has been updated to allow: a resident of an aged care facility to leave the facility to attend a funeral or on any other compassionate grounds; a resident of an aged care facility to apply for an exemption from the Chief Health Officer to leave the facility on compassionate grounds; a support person of a prospective resident of a facility to enter the facility. This direction replaces the former Aged Care Direction (No. 3) made on 8 May 2020.
- An Industry Code for Visiting Residential Aged Care Homes during COVID-19 has been released by aged care peak bodies and consumer advocacy organisations.
- Hunter New England and Central Coast PHN has developed a learning program – COVID-19 Aged Care Training – for Residential Aged Care Facilities (RACFs). This seven-module training program includes a suite of useful toolbox videos and resources to help RACFs manage their COVID-19 response.
- Latest NQPHN update (26 May 2020) for RACFs, including information on free mental health support for RACF residents.
The Australian Government Department of Health has published a range of specific resources on COVID-19 for aged care providers, including those providing in-home care. You should continue to refer to these resources for information about what to do.
Further information is available from:
- Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) – Advice on residential aged care facilities
- Australian Government Department of Health – Coronavirus (COVID-19) advice for the health and aged care sector
- Australian Government Department of Health – Coronavirus (COVID-19) resources for health professionals, including aged care providers, pathology providers and healthcare managers
- Australian Government Department of Health – Coronavirus (COVID-19) COVID-19 infection control training
- Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission – COVID-19 (Coronavirus) information
- Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency – COVID-19 updates.
Personal Protective Equipment
Aged care providers that require Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) must now email firstname.lastname@example.org for all requests.
All requests will be triaged by the Department of Health with priority given to facilities, programs and workers where there has been a confirmed case of COVID-19.
For more information visit the Department of Health website.
- Fact sheets for aged care staff, residents and families can be found on the Department of Health’s COVID-19 resource page.
- The Department of Health has developed a new webpage: Providing aged care services during COVID-19.
- The Communicable Diseases Network Australia (CDNA) have developed these national guidelines for the prevention, control and public health management of COVID-19 outbreaks in residential care facilities in Australia.
- A letter from the Chief Medical Officer to aged care providers regarding COVID-19 (13 March 2020)
- Subscribe to aged care announcements and newsletters from the Department of Health.
- Supporting safe, quality care for aged care consumers during visitor restrictions relating to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic – Advice for residential aged care services
- Inform the Federal Department of Health of any confirmed COVID-19 cases via agedcareCOVIDcases@health.gov.au – this will facilitate Australian Government support for PPE and staff supplementation.
- Four modules are available for completion as part of the Department of Health’s new eLearning Infection Control program for Aged Care workers. Click here to register and access the training modules. Modules are:
- Module 1: Personal Safety
- Module 2: Families and Visitors
- Part A: Residential Care Facilities
- Part B: In Home Care
- Module 3: COVID-19 and Aged Care
- Module 4: Outbreak Management
- The Australian Government has released the Australian COVID-19 Management and Operational Plan for people with disability.
- Coronavirus (COVID-19) flu vaccination poster for aged care facilities
- For those with moderate or severe disease, the National COVID-19 Clinical Evidence Taskforce has developed living guidelines to support clinical care in Australia.
- The Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission’s Chief Clinical Advisor has written to residential aged care services providers on the subject of screening people entering residential aged care facilities.
- Guidance has been developed by the Communicable Disease Network of Australia (CDNA) and endorsed by the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) on monitoring COVID-19 symptoms.
- Safe Work Australia has released advice by the aged care industry to help minimise the risk of COVID-19 exposure and transmission in the workplace.
- Respite services continue to be available for carers. Emergency respite can be accessed through the Carer Gateway, and planned respite can be organised by calling My Aged Care on 1800 200 422.
- The ‘It’s okay to have home care’ factsheet has been created to assist the providers of in-home care, including community respite service providers, to allay some community concerns around having an aged care worker visit a person at home.
- Coronavirus (COVID-19) Guide for Home Care Providers. This guide is for providers of aged care and disability services who offer home care and support services to older people living at home and people with disability living in the community. It provides information and guidance on how to stay safe from coronavirus (COVID-19).
- These COVID-19 flowchart posters have been developed to supplement the CDNA National Guidelines for the Prevention, Control and Public Health Management of COVID-19 Outbreaks in Residential Care Facilities in Australia.
- Coronavirus (COVID-19) Essential Items Checklist
- Subscribe to get the latest news from Disability Connect Queensland about all things disability and COVID-19 in Queensland, including the NDIS, disability policy, events and initiatives.
- Community Recovery Hotline – 1800 173 349: People who have no other means of support can call the Community Recovery Hotline for assistance. The hotline has been activated by the Queensland Government to assist people who have been advised to quarantine at home by a medical professional, Queensland Health, or through government direction, and have no other mechanisms for support.
- Queenslanders wanting to volunteer for the Care Army should also contact the Community Recovery Hotline on 1800 173 349 or visit www.covid19.qld.gov.au/carearmy
- The Department of Communities, Disability Services and Seniors is partnering with Queenslanders with Disability Network (QDN) to develop easy-to-access information resources on COVID-19. This information has been tailored to support people with disability, their family and carers on the facts about COVID-19 in easy to ready formats.
- The Queensland Government has released a factsheet which provides guidance on how the current COVID-19 Queensland Public Health Directions apply to people with disability, organisations, workers and volunteers providing support services to people with disability in Queensland.
- An information sheet that outlines the COVID-19 responses for Queensland Government and how to access details on Australian Government measures and assistance. This factsheet provides information on areas relevant for the sector such as the Care Army, help available for the community sector along with business continuity resources, support available for seniors and for people with disability.
- The Centre for Palliative Care Research and Education (CPCRE) have developed an online collection of useful palliative care resources related to COVID-19.
- Funeral protocol is for any individual, family, group or organisation that would like more than 10 people plus three funeral officials in attendance at a funeral in Queensland.
- To help build community health resilience and preparedness in the face of COVID-19 impacts, the Queensland Government is offering a $27.75 million COVID-19 Grant Fund to community healthcare sector service providers.
- The Department of Communities, Disability Services and Seniors has published an updated factsheet and FAQs – these can be found on the COVID-19 information for service providers, workers and volunteers page.
- The Department of Health has provided translations of its PPE in aged care flowchart – which shows staff how to wear PPE properly – in Arabic, Chinese, Filipino, Greek, Italian, Korean, Persian, Spanish and Vietnamese.
National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA)
- The NDIA has produced a range of information and resources in a variety of formats including easy read and Auslan video. Access all of the NDIS information here, including:
- General advice for participants on their circumstances in a new What happens when page
- An easy English translation of the new measures to support participants and providers
- FAQs for providers relating to COVID-19
- Detailed advice for providers.
- The Queensland Community Engagement team is here to help you stay informed during this time. Please contact them on email@example.com should you wish to arrange an online Q&A or NDIS information session for your teams.
- The NDIS has developed a webpage: Using your budget during COVID-19.
- An Industry Code for Visiting Residential Aged Care Homes during COVID-19 has been released by aged care peak bodies and consumer advocacy organisations.
- Community Services Industry Alliance (CSIA) is working with industry on ways to accelerate business continuity planning and have developed a range of resources to help community-based organisations:
- People with Disability Australia is regularly updating its COVID-19 Hub on its website with information and resources and update on advocacy for the needs and rights of people with disability at all levels throughout the crisis.
- In response to the coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak, Dementia Australia has released four Help Sheets outlining tips for people living with dementia, carers, families and friends of people living with dementia, residential care providers and home care providers.
- Services Australia has made a number of upgrades and enhancements to the new Aged Care Provider Portal (ACPP).
- End of Life Directions in Aged Care (ELDAC) is regularly updating its COVID-19 website with information for aged care, General Practitioners, older people and their families and people who speak languages other than English. The latest edition of its ELDAC News newsletter can be read here.
As a nation, as a community, and as individuals we are facing an extraordinary time, with many of us feeling unsettled and uncertain as we work together to stop the spread of COVID-19.
While we are keeping physically distant, it is more important than ever that we remain socially and emotionally connected.
Mental health organisations, experts, and leaders have come together to launch #InThisTogether – a national conversation that everyone can join in on, sharing practical tips online to support the mental health and wellbeing of Australians during COVID-19.
Fifteen social media tiles have been developed for #InThisTogether that focus on tips on ways to stay mentally and physically healthy during this time.
For more mental health information and resources, visit the Australian Government Department of Health’s Head to Health website.
If you need to talk, these free support lines are here to listen 24/7:
- Lifeline 13 11 14
- Beyond Blue 1300 22 4636
- Kids Helpline 1800 55 1800.
Protecting yourself and others from COVID-19
The Australian Government Department of Health has information about protecting yourself and others from COVID-19. Novel coronavirus is transmitted from person to person, usually when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Transmission may occur from contaminated surfaces, so it is important to frequently wash your hands.
To protect yourself and others from infection practice good hand and respiratory hygiene including:
- cleaning your hands with soap and water or alcohol-based hand rubs
- covering your nose and mouth with a tissue or flexed elbow when coughing or sneezing
- avoiding contact with anyone who has symptoms such as fever, a cough, sore throat, fatigue, and shortness of breath.
- staying home if you are unwell.
View the how to wash and dry hands fact sheet.
Public Health Unit contacts
Please contact your Public Health Unit for any further queries
Public health unit Location Telephone (general enquiries) Fax (generalenquiries) Report notifiable conditions Tropical Public Health Services (TPHS) William McCormack Place 2, Level 7, 5 Sheridan Street, Cairns Qld 4870
PO Box 1103, Cairns Qld 4870
(07) 4226 5555 (07) 4226 3095 Use general contact details Townsville Public Health Unit (TPHU) 242 Walker Street, Townsville Qld 4810
Locked Bag No 4016, Townsville Qld 4810
(07) 4433 6900 (07) 4433 6901 Use general contact details
Previous NQPHN COVID-19 updates
Previous NQPHN COVID-19 updates
- 29 May 2020 — COVID-19: GP Update (29 May) – Clinical update | Directions hotline | ADHA training | COPD helpline
- 28 May 2020 — COVID-19: GP Update (28 May) – Indigenous health | AOD survey | HealthPathways | Older persons
- 27 May 2020 — COVID-19: GP Update (27 May) – Accreditation | Pandemic report | RACGP resources | Domestic violence
- 26 May 2020 — COVID-19: GP Update (26 May) – Surgical face mask supply | Mental health support for aged care residents | Webinars
- 25 May 2020 — COVID-19: GP Update (25 May) – CDNA guidelines | Elective surgery | Deputy CMO update
- 22 May 2020 — COVID-19: GP Update (22 May) – Clinical update | GP study | COVID-19 taskforce | Free telehealth
- 21 May 2020 — COVID-19: GP Update (21 May) – New Public Health Direction | Wills regulation | COVID-19 hub | AJGP resources
- 20 May 2020 — COVID-19: GP Update (20 May) – Public Health Directions | Clinical update | EAP support
- 19 May 2020 — COVID-19: GP Update (19 May) – Digital prescribing | ADHA guide | COVID-19 clinics | Webinars
- 18 May 2020 — COVID-19: GP Update (18 May) – Digital prescribing | Deputy CMO update | Mental health | Webinars
- 15 May 2020 — COVID-19: GP Update (15 May) – Clinical guidelines | PPE supply | Business planning | Mental health hub
- 14 May 2020 — COVID-19: GP Update (14 May) – Shortage notice | Physical distancing | Free Telehealth service
- 13 May 2020 — COVID-19: GP Update (13 May) – Free NBN upgrade | Locum Tenens | Video campaign | Grant fund
- 12 May 2020 — COVID-19: GP Update (12 May) – Clinical update | Clearance certificates | Free telehealth training
- 11 May 2020 — COVID-19: GP Update (11 May) – Public Health Directions | Deputy CMO update | Surgical face masks supply
- 8 May 2020 — COVID-19: GP Update (8 May) – Clearance certificates | Restrictions eased | Telehealth privacy checklist
- 7 May 2020 — COVID-19: GP Update (7 May) – Public Health Alert No.13 | Hospital visitors | Free telehealth service
- 6 May 2020 — COVID-19: GP Update (6 May) – Clinical guidelines and advice | HealthPathways | Medicare change | COVIDSafe
- 5 May 2020 — COVID-19: GP Update (5 May) – Breastscreening recommences | HITH | Immunisation app | Kidney transplants
- 1 May 2020 — COVID-19: GP Update (1 May) – Healthcare workers | Public Health Directions | Deputy CMO update
- 30 April 2020 — COVID-19: GP Update (30 April) – GP telehealth service | Maternity care | Senate inquiry | Pathology service
- 29 April 2020 — COVID-19: GP Update (29 April) – Free telehealth service for GPs | Public Health Directions | Clinical update
- 28 April 2020 — COVID-19: GP Update (28 April) – Clinical update | Infection control | RACGP campaign | Suspected patients
- 27 April 2020 — COVID-19: GP Update (27 April) – Public Health Alert | Case definition | Practical tips | COVIDSafe app
- 24 April 2020 — COVID-19: GP Update (24 April) – Testing criteria change | Deputy CMO update | Digital prescriptions
- 23 April 2020 — COVID-19: GP Update (23 April) – CHO Direction | Clinical update | Elective surgery | Free GP tool
- 22 April 2020 — COVID-19: GP Update (22 April) – Fever clinics | Mental health | RACGP flowcharts | Nurses guidance
- 21 April 2020 — COVID-19: GP Update (21 April) – MBS changes | Ethical Framework | Aged care | New resources
- 20 April 2020 — COVID-19: GP Update (20 April) – PPE decision tree | Clinical Guidelines | TPHS GP Update
- 17 April 2020 — COVID-19: GP Update (17 April) – Confirmed Cairns case | PIP/WIP Update | Clinical Guidelines
- 16 April 2020 — COVID-19: GP Update (16 April) – Public Health Alert No.11 | Digital prescriptions | Surgical face mask requests
- 15 April 2020 — COVID-19: GP Update (15 April) – Non-inpatient care | MBS items | Media tips
- 14 April 2020 — COVID-19: GP Update (14 April) – Public Health Alert No.10 | Free NBN upgrade | Latest webinars
- 9 April 2020 — COVID-19: GP Update (9 April) – Webinar for all NQ GPs | Mask requests | Mental health launch
- 8 April 2020 — COVID-19: GP Update (8 April) – Epidemiology update | NQ GP Forum | e-Prescribing changes
- 7 April 2020 — COVID-19: GP Update (7 April) – Public Health Alert No.9 | GP online forum | PIP update
- 6 April 2020 — COVID-19: GP Update (6 April) – NQPHN GP webinar | Expanded testing – Cairns | MBS update
- 3 April 2020 — COVID-19: GP Update (3 April) – Prescription update | Immunisation program | New COVID-19 GP resources
- 2 April 2020 — COVID-19: GP Update (2 April) – Surgical face mask supply | MBS update | Breast screening suspended | ARF/RHD resources
- 31 March 2020 — COVID-19: GP Update (31 March) – Public Health Alert No.8 | Free EAP support | Deputy Chief Medical Officer update | Coronavirus app
- 30 March 2020 — COVID-19: GP Update (30 March) – Telehealth overview | Public Health Alert No.7 | Surgical face mask supply | Infection control training
- 26 March 2020 — COVID-19: GP Update (26 March) – Surgical face mask supply | GP accreditation | Elective surgery
- 25 March 2020 — COVID-19: GP Update (25 March 2020)
- 24 March 2020 — COVID-19: GP Update (24 March 2020)
- 23 March 2020 — COVID-19: GP Update (23 March 2020)
- 20 March 2020 — COVID-19: GP Update (20 March 2020)
- 19 March 2020 — COVID-19: GP Update (19 March 2020)
- 18 March 2020 — COVID-19: GP Update (18 March 2020)
- 17 March 2020 — COVID-19: GP Update (17 March 2020)
- 16 March 2020 — COVID-19: GP Update (16 March 2020)
- 14 March 2020 — COVID-19 (Coronavirus) General Practice Survey
- 27 February 2020 — Important Public Health Alert: Recommendations For Testing For COVID-19
- 14 February 2020 — Coronavirus Update | Special Broadcast From Prof Keith McNeil
- 14 February 2020 — Novel Coronavirus: Face Masks Distribution To Pharmacies
- 10 February 2020 — Updates To Queensland Health’s Clinician Webpage For Novel Coronavirus
- 30 January 2020 — Novel Coronavirus: Face Masks Distribution
- 28 January 2020 — Important Public Health Alert: Novel Coronavirus
- 24 January 2020 — Pneumonia cluster – Wuhan, Hubei Province China
- 13 January 2020 — Public Health Alert: Pneumonia Cluster
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