COVID-19 (coronavirus)


Advice on this page will be updated as the situation evolves and new or changed information comes to hand. New information will be highlighted.
You should continue to return to this website for the latest information rather than  printing/ storing local copies of fact or information sheets.
Note: The information on this page is intended for clinicians only.

Latest updates

COVID-19 Telehealth items – Department of Health information page (29 March)

COVID-19 Telehealth items – Fact sheets and item summaries (30 March)

Case definition

Updated case definition and testing criteria – includes new definitions for ‘probable case’ and ‘suspect case’ (25 March 2020)

Confirmed case

A person who tests positive to a validated specific SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acid test or has the virus identified by electron microscopy or viral culture.

Probable case

A person 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) AND who is a household contact of a confirmed case of COVID-19, where testing has not been conducted.

Suspect case

A person who meets the following epidemiological and clinical criteria:

Very high risk

Epidemiological criteria

  • Close contact in the 14 days prior to illness onset with a confirmed case
  • International travel in the 14 days prior to illness onset
  • Cruise ship passengers and crew who have travelled in the 14 days prior to illness onset

Clinical criteria
Fever (≥38°C) or history of fever OR acute respiratory infection (e.g. cough, shortness of breath, sore throat).
Action
Test

High risk setting

Epidemiological criteria

1. Two or more cases of illness clinically consistent with COVID-19 (see clinical criteria) in the following settings:

  • Aged care and other residential care facilities
  • Military operational settings
  • Boarding schools
  • Correctional facilities
  • Detention centres
  • Aboriginal rural and remote communities, in consultation with the local PHU
  • Settings where COVID-19 outbreaks have occurred, in consultation with the local PHU

2. Individual patients with illness clinically consistent with COVID-19 (see clinical criteria) in a geographically localised area with elevated risk of community transmission, as defined by PHUs

Clinical criteria
Fever (≥38°C) or history of fever (e.g. night sweats, chills) OR acute respiratory infection (e.g. cough, shortness of breath, sore throat)
Action
Test (on site for aged care residents, where feasible)

Moderate risk

Epidemiological criteria
Healthcare workers, aged or residential care workers
Clinical criteria
Fever (≥38°C) or history of fever (e.g. night sweats, chills) OR acute respiratory infection (e.g. cough, shortness of breath, sore throat)
Action
Test

Background risk

Epidemiological criteria
No epidemiological risk factors
Clinical criteria
Hospitalised patients with fever (≥38°C) AND acute respiratory symptoms (e.g. cough, shortness of breath, sore throat) of an unknown cause
Action
Test

Source: Department of Health, CDNA National Guidelines for Public Health Units

Last Updated on


Information and resources

Find previous PHN public health alerts here



Older person with carer

Requesting masks

As supplies are limited, PHNs have been given the role of distributing surgical masks to general practices (including Aboriginal Controlled Community Health Organisations) with demonstrated need, including:

  • where there is no local supply available commercially
  • where practices have a population which may be more likely to have been exposed to the novel coronavirus
  • where practices have an unusual number of patients presenting with respiratory symptoms

Community pharmacies are eligible to access the supply for the use of their staff when there is no available commercial supply and they have significant contact with people presenting with fever or respiratory symptoms.

Masks distributed through PHNs cannot be sold as commercial stock or kept for personal use.

There is no need for the general public or health workers to wear masks unless they are dealing with symptomatic patients.

Eligible practices can complete a mask request form here.


HealthPathways


A dedicated COVID-19 Assessment and Management pathway has been created in HealthPathways as the key source of current, accurate information for health providers.
The page is directly informed by the State Health Emergency Coordination Committee (SHECC).
Templates for medical clearance certificates are now available on the HealthPathways COVID19 Assessment and Management page. Log in to HealthPathways and scroll down to ‘Management’ then use the template from the appropriate scenario.

If you don’t have a HealthPathways login, contact your local PHN HealthPathways officer.

Clinical toolkit for health providers


Patient resources and posters