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COVID-19 Updates


25 February 2021 

National roll out of COVID-19 vaccine  

Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt said this week the government will have upwards of 4600 GP clinics helping administer COVID-19 vaccines across the country. It is expected to cover dental practitioners and staff, dependent on the vaccine’s anticipated rollout. 
Read more on COVID-19 vaccination FAQs here >
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18 February 2021 

Initial towns, suburbs and hubs for covid-19 vaccine

Australia’s COVID-19 Vaccination Program will commence from next week. People in priority groups who are most at risk and who need protection the most – will receive a vaccine first. 
The rollout will begin with the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, and following the approval by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) on Tuesday, will include the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine from early March.

The initial priority groups include aged care and disability care residents and workers, frontline healthcare workers, and quarantine and border workers.  Read more here >

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15 February 2021 

First Pfizer Vaccine Doses Arrive in Australia

More than 142,000 doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech COZVID-19 vaccine have arrived at Sydney airport in a major milestone in Australia’s response to the pandemic. This is the first shipment of 20 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine the Government has secured as part of Australia’s COVID-19 Vaccine and Treatment Strategy.

The doses have been securely transported from the airport. The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) will batch test the vaccines to ensure they meet Australia’s strict quality standards. Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the country was on track for the first and most vulnerable Australians to start receiving the vaccine from 22 February. Read more here >  

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27 January 2021

COVID-19 restrictions update

Restrictions will be eased across the Greater Sydney region following updated health advice from the Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant.

The following measures will be effective from 12.01am Friday, 29 January for the Greater Sydney region (including Wollongong, Central Coast and Blue Mountains):

  • Visitors to households will be increased to 30 guests – including children.
  • Outdoor gatherings will be increased to 50 people in total.
  • Weddings and funerals will be capped at 300 people (fully seated) subject to the 1 person per 4sqm rule with no singing or dancing (except 20 nominated people in the wedding party can dance).
  • All other venues including hospitality venues, places of worship and corporate event venues (fully seated with no singing or dancing) will be subject to the 1 person per 4sqm rule.
  • Smaller hospitality venues will be allowed at least 25 people.
  • Singing indoors including choirs or places of worship will be limited to five people.
  • Masks will be recommended but no longer compulsory at retail shopping venues.
  • Masks will remain compulsory for front-of-house hospitality staff, on public transport, in places of worship, hairdressers, beauticians and gaming rooms.
  • Aged care facilities and other health settings such as hospitals will receive tailored advice from NSW Health specific to their locations in relation to requirements around mask wearing.

Read further information here >
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Pfizer Vaccine Approved - Federal Government Media Release

25 January 2021 


The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has today provisionally approved the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for use in Australia. The Pfizer vaccine has met strict standards for safety, quality and efficacy. The TGA provisional approval is for individuals 16 years of age and older. Two doses will be required – at least 21 days apart.

A priority group of Australians are expected to now receive their first dose of the vaccine as soon as it can be received from Pfizer and the necessary checks are undertaken by the TGA, prior to its distribution. Read more here > 
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ADA ensures that dentistry is fully considered during COVID vaccine rollout

20 January 2021

As the Government continues to flesh out the details of the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine, the ADA is working closely with the Federal Department of Health to ensure they are fully considering the implications for dental practitioners and providing answers on questions specific to dentistry. Thus far, the ADA has confirmation that dentists and other registered dental practitioners will be included in Phase 1b of the Federal Government's COVID-19 vaccine roll-out roadmap

However, if a dentist provides services within a residential aged care facility, they may be required to receive the vaccine in Phase 1a; confirmation on whether this will take place will be provided once advice is given by the Department of Health. In Phase 1a and 1b, recipients will be given the Pfizer vaccine which will be administered in two doses, 21 days apart. This vaccine requires cold chain storage and will only be available via designated hospital hubs as distribution centres.  
  
While the Federal Government has indicated they will not mandate vaccination, State and Territory governments may issue public health orders that will require staff in settings considered high-risk to receive the vaccine. Read more here >
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6 January 2021

Promote that your practice is COVID-Safe with our free suite of 10 social media tiles:
www.adansw.com.au/COVIDSafe

Available for all ADA NSW members who have registered their dental practice as a COVID-Safe business.


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4 January 2021

Members are advised to regularly check the NSW Health website (see link below) for COVID-19 updates and for a full list of venues affected. 

 
ACT and NSW remain at Level 1 Restrictions and dentists need to maintain vigilance with screening patients, visitors and their teams to support with identifying and managing any COVID-19 risk. This also includes ensuring physical distancing can be maintained in shared indoor spaces and checking you have sufficient resources available, such as Alcohol Based Hand Rub and PPE.
 
Screening requires an awareness of current case locations. The daily list for your state/territory can be sent in advance and shown to each patient/staff/visitor on arrival, to ensure they have not been to a location of concern.

Please contact Practice Services if you have any questions or concerns, on (02) 8436 9927 or practiceservices@adansw.com.au
 

Pre-screening before patients arrive


Call or SMS each patient prior to attendance to pre-screen for COVID-19 risk criteria. 
 
Where risk criteria are identified, dental practices should ensure systems are in place to manage patients appropriately.
 

Screening patients again at the dental practice

 
On arrival, re-screen each patient for symptoms when they are checked in and as part of your routine clinical assessment. 

Recommended screening questions:
- Have you had any symptoms in the last 14 days that are new:   

  • fever (37.5° or higher)

  • cough

  • sore throat

  • shortness of breath (difficulty breathing)

  • runny nose

  • loss of taste

  • loss of smell.

- Have you been in contact with anyone diagnosed with COVID-19 or who has travelled internationally within the last 14 days?
Have you travelled to an area within Australia or NSW that is considered a higher risk area for community transmission in the last 14 days (areas include the Cumberland and Northern Beaches LGAs, some suburbs in the Canterbury LGA*, Mount Druitt and Rooty Hill (suburbs). If yes, review the list of venues identified on the NSW or ACT website.
*Canterbury LGA suburbs include Ashbury, Belfield, Campsie, Canterbury, Clemton Park, Croydon Park, Earlwood, Hurlstone Park.
 

Mandatory face masks indoors

 
In Greater Sydney, Central Coast and Wollongong areas, it is mandatory to wear a face mask in some indoor venues. Premises that are used for the purpose of providing health services are not retail premises or business premises. Click here to see the full list of indoor settings where a face mask (fitted face covering) is mandatory.

 

QR Codes and electronic check-in guidance 

 
As of 1 January 2021, hospitality venues and hairdressers are required to use the NSW Government QR code system. This does not include dental practices. Click here to see the full list of businesses, organisations and events that must use electronic check-in.

Consider implementing a QR code system for any visitors that are not listed within your appointment book. 

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18 December 2020 

NSW Public Health Advisory 

Due to increasing COVID-19 case numbers associated with the Avalon cluster, NSW Health is issuing a strong advisory for all people in the Northern Beaches LGA to wear a mask at all times when in indoor areas. This includes Healthcare Facilities. This is effective immediately and lasts for 72 hours. Read more here > 

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18 December 2020

NSW Health has confirmed a growing number of COVID-19 cases in the Northern Beaches area, with Greater Sydney also asked to stay alert for more cases.

The source of these new infections is under investigation. To see the full list of venues and for more details, click here.

NSW Health is continuing stringent tracing processes. ADA NSW reminds you it is imperative that you and your Practice Manager check updated NSW Health information on confirmed COVID-19 cases. This information is available here.

ADA NSW’s Advisory Services team of experienced dentists is happy to assist with any COVID-19 questions you may have, including screening processes, waiting rooms, infection control and other protocols. If you have any queries or need to double-check you are compliant with current guidelines, contact the team on 8436 9944 or email advisory@adansw.com.au

ADA NSW continues to work closely with NSW Health and other relevant stakeholders at this time.

For regularly updated information on COVID-19, please visit www.adansw.com.au/covid19

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18 December 2020


ACT members should note that ACT Health is continuing to update its health and travel advice to all Canberrans due to increasing numbers of COVID-19 cases in the Northern Beaches area of Sydney. This includes advice that any Canberrans who have been in the Northern Beaches area from Friday 11 December 2020 need to immediately self-quarantine and get tested.

ADA NSW reminds you it is imperative that you and your Practice Manager check updated ACT Health information on COVID-19.

In addition, anyone who has been in an affected location identified by NSW Health should contact the ACT Communicable Disease Control team on (02) 5124 9213 for further advice.

ADA NSW’s Advisory Services team of experienced dentists is happy to assist with any COVID-19 questions you may have, including screening processes, waiting rooms, infection control and other protocols. If you have any queries or need to double-check you are compliant with current guidelines, contact the team on (02) 8436 9944 or email advisory@adansw.com.au

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17 December 2020

 

Northern Beaches COVID-19 Update

NSW Health has issued a Public Health Alert for people who live in Sydney's Northern Beaches area.   

The source of these new infections is under investigation. At this stage, no links have been identified to other known cases. The cases are a woman in her 60s and a man in his 70s who are close contacts of each other. The cases visited a number of venues in the Northern Beaches area while infectious. To see the full list of venues and for more details, click here.

NSW Health is continuing stringent tracing processes, ADA NSW reminds you it is imperative that you and your Practice Manager check updated NSW Health information on confirmed COVID-19 cases. This information is available here.

ADA NSW’s Advisory Services team of experienced dentists is happy to assist with any COVID-19 questions you may have, including screening processes, waiting rooms, infection control and other protocols. If you have any queries or need to double-check you are compliant with current guidelines, contact the team on 8436 9944 or email advisory@adansw.com.au

ADA NSW continues to work closely with NSW Health and other relevant stakeholders at this time.

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9 December 2020 

ACT and NSW remain at Level 1 Restrictions and dentists need to maintain vigilance with the enhanced measures which are required in addition to standard precautions. This includes screening, hand hygiene, physical distancing, pre-procedural mouthrinse, environmental cleaning, and so on. These have become the ‘new normal’ in dental practice. 

Screening requires an awareness of current case locations. The daily list for your state/territory can be sent in advance, or shown to each patient/staff/visitor on arrival, to ensure they have not been to a location of concern.
 
NSW case locations >
(includes links to all interstate and New Zealand locations)
 
ACT case locations >
If a patient has travelled in the previous 14 days, it is important to check the case locations for the state, territory, or country from which they have come. Currently these are in South Australia and New Zealand.
 
Please contact Advisory Services if you have any questions or concerns, on 02 8436 9944 or advisory@adansw.com.au.

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23 November 2020   

QR Codes and Dental Practice

A NSW Government media release of 11 November 2020 (Mandatory customer check in for NSW venues | NSW Government) mentions compulsory digital check-ins is now required for visitors to certain NSW businesses. You will see that health services are not listed.

However, it is clear that a digital record of relevant information (names, contact details, times, etc.) would be required for all attendees at the practice (staff, patients, others), in addition to screening. (Note: Records are not required for customers or visitors collecting takeaway items or dropping off goods).

QR codes are one way of obtaining this information. However, it would seem that alternative methods of collating the information (e.g. via the dental practice software downloads) would be acceptable in the case of dental practices. If you use practice software downloads for the patient information, make sure you also add the staff and visitor information to that list before saving it each day.

The key point is that practices need to be sure that they can provide all required information promptly, in a digital format, when required.
 
For NSW Govt advice: see Customer Record Keeping
 
If you would prefer to utilise QR codes to collect this information:
The NSW Government is recommending utilising the Service NSW app and QR code. To find out how to get a COVID Safe Check-in QR code, see NSW Govt - QR Codes

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18 October 2020

ADA NSW Communications during COVID-19

ADA NSW is continuing to alert members via Electronic Direct Mail (EDM) if there are widespread COVID-19 outbreaks in their local area. Members are advised to follow advice in the EDM and are recommended to contact our Advisory Services team immediately if they have any questions.    

Members are also recommended to monitor ADA NSW's social media channels, including Facebook, for latest COVID-19 information. Visit www.facebook.com/adanswbranch/ for more information.

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25 September 2020

NSW Health advises that COVID-19 continues to circulate in the community. There are currently no reported cases in the ACT. With school holidays approaching, increased travel could result in further community transmission. It is therefore important for dental practitioners to remain vigilant. 
To help stop the spread of COVID-19, all dental practices should: 

  • Routinely screen all visitors to the practice (including staff, patients and others)
  • Remember that dentistry remains at Level 1 restrictions and enhanced infection control measures must be employed for all patients.

 ACT and NSW members can obtain more detailed information by contacting Advisory Services on (02) 8436 9944 or via email to advisory@adansw.com.au.

Local Hotspots
Click here for NSW Hotspot and local cluster areas
Click here for ACT Hotspot information 


 

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