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Novel Coronavirus information: Latest news for general practices

18 September 2020

While first published in January, this page is continually being added to and updated.

Novel coronavirus is an evolving international health concern. We are publishing regular updates on this page, but encourage health professionals to also view the Coronavirus for health professionals section of our website.

COVID-19 Statistics for our region

18 September Update:

Federal Goverment Extension to Medicare-subsidised Telehealth Services

The Federal Government has announced an additional $2 billion in funding to extend several COVID-19 health measures until 31 March 2021. These include (among others):

Bulk-billing will no longer be required for general practice telehealth consultations or services.

17 September Update:

Cases in Our Region

Two additional Blue Mountains Grammar School students and one close contact has tested positive for COVID-19. Contact tracing is underway senior school (years 10, 11, 12) has moved to online learning until after the school holidays.

People who were at the following locations are considered casual contacts and should watch for COVID-19 symptoms and get tested should symptoms develop. Close contacts are being contacted by NSW Health.

  • Springwood Sports Club, 1pm to 2pm Saturday 12/9/2020
  • Lawson Oval, Lawson, 10:30am to 12:45pm Sunday 13/9/2020
  • JB Hi-Fi Penrith Westfield, 4pm to 4:30pm Sunday 13/9/2020

The Blue Mountains Hospital drive-through Testing Clinic will be open for extended hours today, from 8am - 6pm. The Hazelbrook GP-led COVID-19 Respiratory Clinic is also open for testing Monday to Friday 8.30am - 12.30pm and 1.30pm - 5.30pm. 

Windsor Testing Clinic 

A new drive-through COVID-19 Testing Clinic operated by  Australian Clinical Labs has opened in the car park of Hawkesbury District Health Services, the clinic operates Monday - Friday 9.00am - 4.30pm.

COVID-19 Webinar with Dr Kerry Chant

The Chief Health Officer, Dr Kerry Chant, is inviting GPs and health professionals who are part of, or work with, Pacific Islander and Vietnamese communities in NSW to collaboratively discuss:

  • The central role of Medical Practitioners in providing trusted health advice for their patients
  • How NSW Health can better support early access to COVID-19 testing and dissemination of key COVID-19 messages to community members to reduce the risk of transmission

Pacific Islander - COVID-19 webinar with the Chief Health Officer, Dr Kerry Chant: Monday 21 September, 5.30pm - 6.15pm

Vietnamese - COVID-19 webinar with the Chief Health Officer, Dr Kerry Chant: Monday 21 September, 6.30pm - 7.15pm

To register, please send your email address to and include any COVID-19 questions you would like to ask Dr Chant.

11 September Update:

Updated COVID Posters from NSW Health

It’s important to have the latest COVID-safe key messages displayed in GP waiting rooms and at health facilities that patients visit. NSW Health has provided the following updated poster for practices: 

Please remove any out-dated posters and replace them with this new poster.

Some other useful posters include:

Posters and other resources are available on the NSW Health website. Many of these resources are available in multiple languages.

Chief Medical Officer Update

The latest update from Deputy CMO, Professor Michael Kidd sent Friday 11 September, includes: 

10 September Update:

Tracking Staff Attendance 

Reminder: this resource is available from the RACGP. Practices may want to consider reviewing their processes to ensure systems are in place to track for each day of operation which staff were in attendance and when, to assist with contact tracing should a patient or staff member test positive.

8 September Update:

Accessing COVID-19 Facts in Topbar

We have launched a new app in Topbar which allows practices to connect directly to the latest COVID-19 information on our website whilst using their clinical management system. Located in the middle of the Topbar ribbon, this app gives ease of access to the latest information without having to exit the patient record. To find out more about Topbar or to have this installed in your practice contact the Practice Support team.

4 September Update:

Please see the below advice provided by Queensland Health in relation to residents from the ACT, NSW and Victoria entering Queensland for essential healthcare: 

Chief Medical Officer Update

The latest update from Deputy CMO, Professor Michael Kidd sent Friday 4 September, includes: