Includes Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services (ACCHS), after-hours GP home visiting services, Medical Deputising Services (MDS), and Nurse Practitioner owned or led primary care practices
As supplies are limited, Adelaide PHN is distributing surgical masks to practices within the Adelaide metropolitan region with a demonstrated need, including:
- where there is no commercial supply available
- where practices are in a location where there may be community transmission of COVID-19
- where practices have an unusual number of patients presenting with respiratory symptoms
Adelaide metropolitan community pharmacies are eligible to access the supply for their staff to use when there is no available commercial supply, and:
- the pharmacy's staff are required to be in direct contact with patients/clients at less than 1.5 metres, and there may be community transmission of COVID-19 in their area
- the pharmacy's staff are have significant contact with people presenting with fever or respiratory symptoms (irrespective of level of community transmission of COVID-19)
Please note, supplied masks distributed through PHNs cannot be sold as commercial stock (anyone found to be onselling masks will be charged full cost for all stock and no further provisions will be made).
Adelaide metropolitan allied health professionals are now eligible for limited access to surgical mask supply for their staff when there is no available commercial supply and they are working in higher-risk clinical areas and with higher risk vulnerable patients or in areas where there may be community transmission of COVID-19.
Given the diverse nature of the allied health sector, when determining whether allocation of masks is appropriate, Adelaide PHN will consider:
- local transmission patterns of COVID-19 and whether or not SA Health currently recommend mask wearing in clinical settings
- the extent to which the allied health professional can manipulate their environment or practice method to minimise the chance of transmission (eg. due to the nature of their work, a diagnostic radiographer cannot easily change their mode of practice or environment whereas a dietitian or psychologist may be able to continue to provide services through telehealth)
In areas where there is no evidence or suspicion of community transmission, Adelaide PHN will consider:
- the likelihood of the worker having direct or close contact with high-risk patients who are presenting with fever and/or respiratory symptoms (eg. a respiratory physiotherapist working with patients with cough, sore throat and/or shortness of breath, as compared to an exercise physiologist who is likely to be working with well individuals)
- the relative vulnerability of the patients that the allied health professional is treating (eg. where the allied health professional is routinely treating patients who are immunocompromised, or those who are elderly or disabled)
Adelaide PHN will continue to expect that allied health professions will, where possible, not see patients with respiratory symptoms or at a higher risk of COVID-19 unless required to as part of their core business (eg. an optometrist may be able to defer seeing a patient with respiratory symptoms until that person is well).