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Hunter New England LHD COVID-19 Policies, Procedures and Guidelines

CAUTION & ADVICE

The information contained in the following Policies, Procedures and Guidelines is courtesy of Hunter New England Local Health Network and are correct at the date noted below.

Last update: Friday 1 April 2022

COVID-19 Community Testing in HNELHD Testing Clinics

This guideline outlines the type of SARS-CoV-2 tests available and provides guidance on the most appropriate test for people requiring COVID-19 testing at community test clinics within HNELHD. A rapid antigen test patient information sheet is included.

COVID-19 Management in Surgery and Level 3 Procedures

COVID-19 poses a significant risk to patients requiring surgery. There is emerging evidence that recent or current SARS-CoV-2 infection, including asymptomatic or mild infection increases the risks of morbidity and mortality for patients undergoing level 3 procedures including surgery.

This guideline outlines the processes HNELHD has implemented to reduce the risks to patients, staff and visitors through screening, vaccination and consideration of delays to non-urgent surgery.

HNELHD CG 22 01 COVID 19 Management in Surgery and Level 3 Procedures

COVID-19 Surveillance and Testing in HNELHD Facilities

The appropriate use of SARS-CoV-2 testing and surveillance testing is required to ensure early diagnosis and management of patients with COVID-19, safety of staff, patients and visitors, and bed and patient management in health facilities.

The Communicable Disease Network Australia (CDNA) recommends enhanced testing criteria is used due to high levels of community transmission, which requires testing individuals who meet either the COVID-19 symptoms or epidemiological risks criteria.

This guideline outlines the type of SARS-CoV-2 tests available and provides guidance on appropriate use in specific clinical areas within HNELHD facilities.

HNELHD CG 21 71 COVID 19 Surveillance and Testing in HNELHD Facilities

Inpatient Clinical Management of COVID-19 in Adults

This clinical guideline applies to hospitalised patients with:

  • confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19 (i.e. with positive respiratory sample PCR for SARS-CoV-2) OR
  • provisional diagnosis of COVID-19 (i.e. a senior clinician considers it a likely diagnosis, not only that the patient meets testing criteria)

HNELHD CG 21 35 COVID 19 Inpatient Management

Inpatient Clinical Management of COVID-19 in Paediatrics

This clinical guideline applies to hospitalised patients with suspected or confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19.

HNELHD CG 21 38 Inpatient Clinical Management of COVID 19 in Paediatrics

Management of COVID-19 exposure incidents and outbreaks in HNELHD facilities

This document provides guidance on the assessment and management of COVID-19 exposure incidents and outbreaks within HNELHD healthcare facilities.

HNELHD takes the safety of staff, patient and visitors very seriously, and has developed the recommendations within this guideline according to current best guidance. HNELHD will continue to review emerging evidence and NSW Health requirements, and update guidance accordingly.

HNELHD CG 22 02 Management of COVID 19 exposure incidents and outbreaks

Maternity COVID-19 Virtual Care

Clinical guidance to provide maternity virtual care to pregnant women who are under isolation orders due to a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis.

This model of care is available to pregnant women across HNELHD and will be locally provided by nominated midwifery staff, including support from the Clinical Midwifery Consultant (CMC) team. The program will provide virtual care during business days and hours only. Where possible the woman will be provided with contact by the one clinician to support woman-centred midwifery care.

The objective of the Maternity COVID-19 Virtual Care Program is to maintain provision of antenatal care at a distance in collaboration with the COVID Care in The Home (CCITH) program, COVID Kids @ Home Team and Public Health Unit (PHU).

Risk Assessment: Staff identified as COVID-19 Cases or Contacts

This document provides guidance on the risk assessment and management of staff who are COVID-19 positive or exposed to COVID-19 and processes for balancing the risk of transmission in health care facilities and maintaining essential services. Risk assessment forms and checklists are included in appendices for staff who are COVID-19 positive or COVID-19 contacts returning to work.

HNELHD CG 21 62 Risk Assess Staff COVID 19 Contacts

Use of COVID-19 Disease Modifying Medications

The Therapeutic Goods Administration has provisionally approved a range of anti-SAR-CoV-2 monoclonal antibodies and antiviral medications for the treatment of patients in the early phase of infection with COVID-19 who are at risk of progression to severe disease.

This policy compliance procedure directs staff to the administration requirements for COVID-19 disease modifying medications in COVID-19 positive patients. It includes:

  • Sotrovimab
  • Nirmatrelvir and ritonavir
  • Molnupiravir

The indications for these medications are similar, but not identical. An individual patient assessment is to be undertaken to determine the appropriate medication including individual risk factors, criteria, drug guidance, access to supply and patient consent.

Where possible, a positive rapid antigen test (RAT) should be confirmed via PCR/rapid PCR prior to treatment. However treatment should not be withheld if there is a delay in receiving a PCR result.

PD2013 043 PCP 53 Use of COVID 19 Disease Modifying Medications

Managing COVID-19: Summary of processes for providing a safe environment for staff, patients and visitors
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