Northside Health NT

COVID-19 Information.

Please see coronavirus.nt.gov.au for up-to-date information including NT data, quarantine info and testing info.

The new normal means: anyone with cold, flu or fever symptoms must be tested for COVID and stay isolated at home until symptoms are gone.

Even if you don't think you could have COVID, if you have a cold, you must get tested.

Even if your COVID test is negative, stay at home until better.

If required, a medical certificate can be issued to you by one of our GPs using a Telehealth consult.​

TESTING.

In the Territory, anyone with the following symptoms can access testing for coronavirus (COVID-19):

  • a recent, acute respiratory infection (e.g. cough, shortness of breath, sore throat)

  • a fever (37.5°C or higher) or history of fever (e.g. night sweats, chills)

  • loss of smell or loss of taste.

If you are not displaying these symptoms then you don't need to be tested for coronavirus.

IF UNSURE, DISCUSS WITH YOUR DOCTOR ANY SYMPTOMS AND THEY WILL DECIDE WITH YOU WHETHER TO PROCEED WITH TESTING.

Testing can occur at the dedicated testing centres listed below.

Testing procedure: a long cotton bud swab is inserted deeply into your nose and also throat. The swab is sent for processing at RDH lab. As a precaution, your testing doctor is required to wear full PPE of mask, gloves, gown and goggles.

Results: are generally available in 24-48 hours.

All respiratory clinics are by appointment only.  Do not turn up to any clinic without an appointment. 

TESTING APPOINTMENT PHONE NUMBERS:

8919 8919- Respiratory Clinic & COVID TEST CENTRE at Palmerston GP Super Clinic.

8942 5303- Respiratory Clinic & COVID TEST CENTRE at Danila Dilba.

(Both of these can perform testing and provide a medical consult about your respiratory symptoms).

1800 008 002- Centre For Disease Control COVID Hotline. They can book you for a test at the RDH Pandemic Clinic which DOES NOT provide any medical consults, just testing.

WE CONTINUE TO OFFER TELEHEALTH

(PHONE OR VIDEO CONSULTS).

WE ARE OFFERING CONSULTS IN PERSON AT THE CLINIC OR VIA PHONE & VIDEO.

During a Telehealth consult, if the GP decides that they need to see you in person, they will ask you to book in for a face-to-face consult on the same day or another day.

TELEHEALTH FEES.

All fees for Telehealth consults are the same as our existing fees.

Medicare rebates are exactly the same however Medicare has set the requirement that to receive a rebate you must have been into the clinic for a face-to-face consult in the 12 months prior to your Telehealth appointment.

All Care Plans and Mental Health Care Plans can be performed by Telehealth.​

Medical certificates can be emailed to you.

Prescriptions, specialist referrals and pathology forms can be sent to your chosen provider.

HOW DOES TELEHEALTH WORK?

You will receive the usual SMS reminder with your appointment time.

Please use this as a guide- your GP may not call at exactly this time.

KEEP YOUR PHONE WITH YOU AND BE READY.

Prepare a clear list of what you want to achieve in the consult.

You will have your consult via phone with your GP.

We may use other video platforms to contact you on your phone. These do not require any special Apps, just your phone camera.

Just click on the link we send you in an SMS.

If your doctor decides they need to see you in person, you will be asked to attend the practice that day or book for another day. Some examples of this might be a rash or skin lesion of concern. 

Medical certificates will be emailed to you.

Prescriptions and pathology forms will be sent to your chosen provider.

Naturopath and psychologist consults use Zoom video link. Please install the Zoom App on your device before your first consult.

OUR WAITING ROOM AND WHAT TO DO IF YOU HAVE A COLD:

  • Anyone with any respiratory symptom is no longer able to wait in the waiting room. Please use your car as a private waiting room.

  • This includes: cough, cold, flu, sore throat, fever, runny nose, sneezes, sore ears, sore eyes, sinusitis, conjunctivitis or red eyes and anything else to do with your airways.

  • We are implementing various strategies in the waiting room to lower infection risk, such as removing reading material, the water bubbler and placing Perspex screens at reception.

  • Please remember that everything we are doing is designed to protect you, and very vulnerable people who may be in the waiting room, and the practice staff who need to remain well to keep providing essential care into the future. We all need to be understanding and considerate towards each other at this time.​​​​​

What if I am coming to the clinic for something else and I happen to have cold symptoms?

      PLEASE DO NOT ENTER THE WAITING ROOM. Call reception. The consult can occur by telephone, to you in your car in the carpark, and scripts or paperwork brought out to you.

HOW TO MANAGE A MILD COLD OR FLU AT HOME.

  • Sleep and rest are very important. Implement the basics- healthy food, plenty of water, minimise sugar, caffeine and junk food.

  • Immune support: use zinc, vitamin C and herbs that you are familiar with using such as ArmaForce, olive leaf or echinacea. 

  • Symptom relief as required: decongestant nose sprays, cough lozenges and paracetamol. 

  • If required, a medical certificate can be issued to you by one of our GPs using a Telehealth consult.​

FLU VACCINES- AVAILABLE NOW.

  • We remind all people who are eligible for free flu vaccines to book for vaccination NOW (over 65 years old, ATSI, pregnant women, or with a chronic health condition).

  • Fluvax stocks are now very good.

  • Avoiding the flu will keep your immune system stronger if you do catch COVID-19.

  • Private flu vaccines for all other people are also available now.

  • Pneumococcal vaccine is also recommended and is free for those over 70, ATSI over 50 or with specified chronic health conditions.

 

WHAT DOES COVID-19 CAUSE?

  • Studies indicate that many of those infected are asymptomatic. The exact numbers are not known.

  • Studies indicate different rates of frequency for symptoms but they generally include:

    • fever

    • dry cough

    • sore throat

    • fatigue or muscle ache

    • loss of taste and smell

  • Around 80% are considered mild infections.

  • Around 15% are severe and 5% are critical.

  • The disease usually becomes severe around Day 7 or 8, not earlier.

  • PLEASE REMEMBER THAT IF YOU DO CONTRACT COVID-19, EIGHT OUT OF TEN PEOPLE WILL ONLY HAVE A MORE MILD FLU-LIKE ILLNESS. (Though flu can still feel terrible).

  • So self-isolation at home for any cold/flu at the moment is the most sensible approach to take. If it is COVID-19, the odds are that it will affect you mildly and the most useful action you can take is not spreading it to others.

  • It is very important that you take action immediately however, if your mild flu or cold becomes more severe. Any sign of your lungs being affected such as difficulty breathing, shortness of breath and chest pain, particularly with fever, requires an urgent visit to RDH ED, no matter what time of day or night.

PHONE HOTLINES.

 

1800 008 002: NT COVID-19 phone line.

 

1800 020 080: The national COVID-19 hotline for general advice.

KINDNESS.

Perhaps the silver lining at this stressful time is how much creativity and kindness is being shown.

Check out “The Kindness Pandemic” Facebook group, with over 400,000 members sharing positive stories about hope and kindness occurring all over the world. A little bit of kindness goes a long way at this very challenging time; and remember, we are here to do our best for you.

WEBSITES.

COVID-19 Current Situation and Case Numbers (Australian Government Department of Health): detailed graphs, charts and up-to-date Australian data.

Northern Territory Government COVID-19 information.

 

An Australian GP’s Guide to Self-Isolation or Quarantine with COVID-19.​

 

The Kindness Pandemic (Facebook group): positive stories.

 

Home Schooling due to Virus and School Closures in Australia” (Facebook group): resources and ideas for families at home.

The Coronavirus Sanity Guide: free meditations, podcasts, blogs and talks.

COVID-19 Support: mental health supports and ideas.