For the past month Alecto have been assisting with the placement of GPs to assist at COVID-19 pop-up testing sites in Victoria. We have been overwhelmed with the response from GPs wishing to assist with the pandemic and would like to thank all of those who have contributed.
One of the most common questions we had from GP was how they should answer the questions when asked if they have been in contact with a COVID positive person. The RACGP has confirmed the below:
I can confirm that, as per guidelines coming from the Department of Health, health professionals who have been in contact with a COVID19 case while wearing the correct PPE are not considered to be close contacts, and therefore do not need to isolate for two weeks. If of use, you can find this information on the DoH website here under ‘when can staff come to work’.
What is it really like working at a testing site?
To answer this questions, we asked some of the GPs who have been helping out what their thoughts on the experience were
“I did Covid.-19 testing at the drive thru centre. I was initially nervous as I had never done it before but when I met the clinical lead and it was explained to me how to use the PPE, I relaxed. There is good guidance on how to use the PPE and clear instructions on how to conduct the testing. I was testing with a nice sociable group of paramedics, army medical officers, naval and Air Force medical officers and it was great to meet people from other medical backgrounds in Australia. The day was well organised and we worked as a team to give each other breaks and help each other out if we were overloaded with a large family in one car. There was a great community spirit and many of the patients at the centre thanked us for our service. I decided to work at the centre as I wanted to help out with the great testing effort that is going on in Australia, so we can hopefully stamp out Covid-19 once and for all. Overall it was a satisfying experience and I would be happy to recommend it to a colleague.” – Doctor 1
I wasn’t sure how exactly how it would be set up beforehand but I felt the location and facilities were good (staff room for breaks, drive through tent set up). Full PPE was provided, no problems and easy to use. Their was a continuous focus on ensuring procedures to protect workers. It was a good overall experience, good mix of people working with paramedics, Australian Defence Force and nurses. Plenty of tea, coffee and lunch provided which was also good. I felt that I was doing something that had an impact on the community. I had spare days available from work at my usual clinic and felt it would be an interesting experience and change of working environment. – Doctor 2
These opportunities are ongoing in Victoria and we are looking for GPs who are willing to take shifts and assist the community during this time. If you are interested in working at the COVID-19 testing sites or know someone who may be, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org