Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) information for primary health care.
Page last updated: 18 February 2020
The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) is asking health professionals across the sector to watch out for signs and symptoms of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in patients who may have travelled to areas affected by the emerging outbreak.
This is a rapidly evolving situation. Health professionals and primary health care providers should visit the Victorian DHHS and Australian Government Department of Health websites for up-to-date information including the current case definition.
Distribution of masks to general practices and pharmacies
North Western Melbourne Primary Health Network (NWMPHN) is working with the Federal Department of Health to distribute surgical and P2/N95 masks.
All practices in our region have received a pack containing one box of P2/N95 masks and information sheets. Practices in areas of highest risk also received one box of surgical masks.
If your practice has not received its masks, please email email@example.com
If your practice believes it is in a high risk area and is assessing a large number of patients for COVID-19 symptoms and requires more masks, please fill out this online form.
We are now working to distribute surgical masks to pharmacies in high risk areas. Pharmacies with a population that may be more likely to have been exposed to COVID-19 and/or have large numbers of patients presenting with respiratory symptoms will be prioritised.
Distribution of masks to pharmacies will begin on Tuesday, 18 February 2020.
If your pharmacy believes it is in a high risk area and is assessing a large number of patients for COVID-19 symptoms and requires more masks, please fill out this online form.
Important note on requests for masks
The above forms are not order forms and they do not guarantee you will receive more masks.
There is an international shortage of both surgical and P2/N95 masks and NWMPHN has a limited supply. We are closely monitoring the situation and can only distribute masks to areas of highest risk. Practices and pharmacies should submit one form only and wait for a response.
Please note these masks are not intended for sale.
Please refer to the Victorian DHHS website for guidelines for the use of masks.
Resources for primary health care
Please refer to the Victorian DHHS website for the most up to date information for primary health care workers in our region including guidelines for assessing patients.
The following resources will help you promote good management of potential novel coronavirus cases in your practice.
General practice resources
- 2019 novel coronavirus GP poster (PDF, 69.99 KB)
- 2019 novel coronavirus GP poster - Chinese (PDF, 132.04 KB)
- Wash your hands regularly poster
- Cover your cough and sneeze poster
- RACGP patient alert poster
Preparation and response resources
- Managing pandemic influenza in general practice (RACGP)
- Principles of infection prevention and control (RACGP)
Education and training
- Webinar – Infection prevention and control
- Webinar – Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Practical measures for general practice staff (below)