Update on COVID-19
Contacting GPTQ during this time
Our offices are currently open and we continue to be available via phone, email and various tele-conferencing systems. This enables us to continue to provide all services, education and support during this challenging time.
GPTQ will continue to closely monitor developments and is prepared for any service-delivery interruptions due to COVID-19. We will post regular updates to various stakeholders involved as follows:
- Registrars, practices and supervisors on MyGPTQ.
- Staff on the GPTQ Staff Portal.
- External stakeholders and contractors on the GPTQ website.
If you are a GPTQ Registrar, Practice Manager or Supervisor and would like to contact us, here are your first points of contact.
|Brisbane North District:||BN@gptq.qld.edu.au|
|Brisbane South District:||BS@gptq.qld.edu.au|
|Gold Coast District:||GC@gptq.qld.edu.au|
|Darling Downs & West Moreton District:||DDWM@gptq.qld.edu.au|
|Hospital Based Placements / Leave / Other:||firstname.lastname@example.org|
Practices and Supervisors: email@example.com
COVID-19 is a respiratory illness caused by a novel (new) Coronavirus discovered in late 2019. Coronavirus (CoV) belongs to a large family of viruses known to cause respiratory tract illnesses and is closely related to Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV).
Symptoms can range from a mild illness to a severe pneumonia, and include fever, flu like symptoms such as cough, headache, fatigue, shortness of breath, sore throat and may include gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea or diarrhoea. Some people will recover quickly and others may get very sick very quickly. People with COVID-19 may not have symptoms but may still pass the virus on. If you experience any of these, please contact your GP immediately.
Updates and latest information
The health and wellbeing of our staff and stakeholders is paramount and GPTQ is taking every precaution to ensure a safe and healthy work environment. As we continue to monitor COVID-19, we’d like to keep you posted on developments and advice available. For latest information on the outbreak and its spread, please refer to the WHO website, Australian Department of Health and Queensland Health websites.
General health advice and looking after yourself
How is COVID-19 transmitted?
COVID-19 is transmitted through contact with droplets that contain the virus. This can happen through the air – when someone coughs or sneezes or through contact with surfaces that have the virus on them. This is why it is important to cover coughs and sneezes, why handwashing is important and why avoiding touching your face is important. Droplet spread also occurs when you are in close or intimate contact with someone – for example kissing or sharing utensils.
How can I protect myself?
- Wash your hands – frequently with soap and water (for at least 20 seconds – the time it takes to sing happy birthday). Alcohol sanitiser is an alternative but not as effective as soap and water. Wash before and after eating, after visiting the bathroom, after coughing or sneezing and when you change workstations.
- Avoid touching your face – especially your nose, eyes and mouth (where the bugs get in!)
- Cover your sneezes and coughs (into your elbow or tissue) and dispose of tissues immediately (no hankies!!)
Avoid close contact (hugs and kisses) socially – foot tap away!
What do I do if I am sick?
Do not come to work if you have a fever above 37.5◦C or a cough that is producing sputum. If you are unwell – please use sick leave. If you are mildly unwell and are unsure about coming to work – please discuss working from home with your line manager. Advice on self-quarantine is changing rapidly and we will keep line managers informed on current practice.
There is evolving information on who should be tested for the virus – please check Australian government advice or call your own local GP for guidance (call ahead if you have a fever for appropriate triage). The department of health has a Coronavirus hotline – 1800 020 080 or you can speak with a nurse by calling health direct on 1800 022 222 both these services operate 24/7 and are free to access.
You do not need to wear a face mask unless you develop symptoms of COVID-19
Is there advice for people who smoke?
There are some indications that people who smoke may be at higher risk of both acquiring COVID-19 and a more severe illness if infected. If you smoke and are considering stopping – now would be a good time.
Should I have a flu Vaccine?
It’s a good idea to have the flu vaccine. Although the COVID-19 virus and influenza are very different viruses, they can cause similar symptoms and it would be best to avoid having the viruses together or one after another.
I’m feeling anxious about a pandemic – who can I speak with?
Speak to your supervisor. If you do not feel comfortable or do not wish to do so, contact Access EAP and speak confidentially to a counsellor https://www.accesseap.com.au/. Your local medical education team will also provide opportunity to debrief.
Government & other health advice websites
Resources on Telehealth
- Guide for prescribers: Interim arrangements for prescriptions to support telehealth
- Factsheets on MBS Telehealth items and descriptors
- BMJ article on COVID19: a remote assessment in primary care
Resources on Mental Health and Wellbeing
- Importance of self-care planning during Coronavirus (Black Dog Institute). Download as PDF
- Managing your mental health while working from home (Black Dog)
- Watch a video on Covid19 and mindfulness (F.A.C.E.C.O.V.I.D.) by Dr Russ Harris. Download a PDF version here.
- ActCompanion: The Happiness trap by Dr Russ Harris (currently free)
- Thrive inside (Smiling Mind)
- A blog article on how mindfulness can help during Coronavirus (Smiling Face)
- Don’t bring it home (advice for healthcare workers)
- Coronavirus Mental Wellbeing Support Service (Beyond Blue)
- Better Together: Resources on Wellbeing, lifestyle and self-care from ASLM