Coronavirus Update - 20/3/20

To all of our patients,

We want to reassure you that we are taking your health seriously. We have now implemented a number of changes at our practices to ensure we do all that we can to reduce the spread of diseases at our practices.

Here’s what has changed in our practices:

  • We now have a “Red Zone” set up at our reception counters that are marked out in red tape on the floor – we ask you to please not enter the Red Zone unless a receptionist asks you to approach the reception counter.
  • In order to maintain social distancing, we have removed chairs from our waiting rooms and have placed chairs outside for patients who would prefer to wait outside. If you would prefer to wait in your car for your doctor, we will be more than happy to facilitate this for you, you will just need to give us a call when you arrive in the carpark
  • We have removed all toys and magazines from our waiting rooms as these items can be a source of virus transmission. We have also removed our Self Check-In Kiosks. We apologise for any inconvenience.

We have also changed some of our procedures, including how we manage potentially infectious patients:

  • Our reception team are now screening all patients on the phone to find out whether they have cold or flu-like symptoms. These symptoms include fever, cough, fatigue, runny nose, sore throat and shortness of breath. Patients that have any of these symptoms will now not come into the surgery in the first instance, but will receive a phone consult with their doctor and the doctor will determine the appropriate actions to be taken. Please note that if you do not fit Medicare’s eligibility criteria for a bulk-billed phone consult, there will be a $50 fee (your doctor will tell you if you are eligible prior to your phone consult).
  • Our reception team are screening all patients who have travelled overseas or have been in contact with someone who has been confirmed or is suspected of having Coronavirus. Patients who fit the criteria for Coronavirus testing (see Page 2) will be advised to go to a Coronavirus Testing Clinic

We would like to ask for your patience and understanding at this time, as we have been overwhelmed with phone calls and this has meant times for waiting on hold and waiting in our practices have increased. These are unprecedented times with changes being introduced daily.

We are trying to make the surgery as safe as possible for all of our patients and our team, and we are thankful for your help in achieving this.

Here are our latest updates:

Coronavirus and Testing

Who is eligible for Coronavirus testing?

  • If you have travelled overseas in the last 14 days and have respiratory/flu-like symptoms such as cough, shortness of breath, or fever; OR
  • If you have had close contact with a confirmed case of Coronavirus.
  • If you are a healthcare worker with direct patient contact and have a fever and an acute respiratory infection (e.g. shortness of breath, cough, sore throat).

Where are the Coronavirus testing clinics?

There are now dedicated Coronavirus testing clinics operating around Australia. These sites include the Royal Adelaide Hospital, Lyell McEwin Hospital, Flinders Medical Centre and the Women’s and Children’s Hospital.  The closest to EAHC is the Royal Adelaide Hospital COVID-19 Testing Clinic and clinic is open 7 days a week from 9am until 8pm and is located at the North-East corner of the hospital.

Patients do not require a referral form to attend one of these testing clinics. If you meet the above criteria, we encourage you to attend one of these testing clinics as soon as possible. If you have one, please wear a face mask before attending the testing clinic.

When should you go to the Emergency Department?

If you have returned from overseas in the last 14 days and are experiencing severe respiratory symptoms or high fever, please go to your nearest Emergency Department. Call before attending to advise the hospital of your symptoms and travel history.

No Coronavirus Clearance Test

There is no “Coronavirus Clearance” test. Businesses are sending employees to GPs for a clearance certificate to be tested for Coronavirus before returning to work. GPs will not be supplying clearance certificates or undertake unnecessary testing to ensure swabs are reserved for people who meet the testing criteria. If you are unwell but do not fit the criteria for Coronavirus testing, you will be offered a phone consult.

More Information

For further information, we have attached details about the Coronavirus provided by the Department of Health. If you are worried but well or have any questions, please call the Coronavirus Health Information Line on 1800 020 080. More information is available at or click here.

Flu Vaccines

We have not had confirmation on when we will be receiving our flu vaccinations but we know we will not have our vaccines before Easter.  Please call us around Easter to find out more information, or follow our website for updates. We are hopeful that they should be available by the end of April. Once we receive confirmation we will begin taking bookings.

Infection Control

We aim to practise a high standard of infection control, and to do this we require your help. At this time, we are also asking all of our patients to let us know in advance if they have travelled overseas in the past 14 days or have cold or flu-like symptoms so that we can implement our infection control procedures as required.

When you let us know that you may be infectious, we can implement our infection control procedures and focus on reducing the spread of disease within our surgery.

Some common symptoms that may mean you are infectious:

  • Cold or Flu-like symptoms - a fever, cough, runny nose, sore throat, muscle aches.
  • A rash
  • Vomiting or diarrhoea

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you may be infectious, and you could transmit this infection to other patients and staff while you are in the practice. Please help us reduce the spread of disease at our practices by letting our receptionists know if you have these symptoms when you book your appointment.

At this time, all patients who have cold or flu-like symptoms (including fever, cough, fatigue, runny nose, sore throat and shortness of breath) will now not come into the surgery in the first instance, but will receive a phone consult with their doctor and the doctor will determine the appropriate actions to be taken

Now is also the time to remember that practising good hand hygiene is the best defence against most viruses. You should:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water before and after eating as well as after going to the toilet.
  • If unwell, avoid contact with others (including touching, kissing, hugging, and other intimate contact).
  • Cough and sneeze into a tissue and dispose of it after use, or use your elbow if a tissue is not available.
  • Avoid touching your mouth or face if you have not followed proper hand hygiene procedures.

We appreciate your help in assisting us reduce the spread of disease in our practices and helping us keep you healthy.

Thank you for taking the time to read this and be on the lookout for further updates which will also be shared on our website.


The East Adelaide Healthcare Team


Current as at 20th of March, 2020