Lane Cove Covid 19 Update 24th March 2020

Please see below our daily update regarding Lane Cove and other important Covid 19 news.  If you have elderly or vulnerable people in the community who do not have access to social media then please ask them to sign up to our newsletter and we will provide information to them via our newsletter.  Our newsletter is popular with this demographic. Sign Up here.

Telstra Update

Many areas in Lane Cove, Riverview and Longueville do not have internet or landlines. It appears that an underground cable was cut by a third party. Best guess is back tomorrow.

There is also apparently scheduled maintenance for some parts of Lane Cove on Thursday 26th March 2020.

If you are trying to phone a 13 Number or 1800 number Telstra has said there is a nationwide issue and they are working on this.

Many local businesses have no landlines at the moment to help you.

If you can’t contact a business by landline then please send them an email or a message through Facebook as many are hotspotting with their phones.

Garbage Collection Earlier Start Time

The Lane Cove Council has advised that due to operational changes, garbage collection will start approximately 60-90 minutes earlier in some areas commencing this week, for example, 5:00 am start instead of 6:00 am. Most of these earlier starts will commence on or near major arterial roads. Your understanding of any inconvenience during this time is appreciated.

Lane Cove Library Opening and Closing Times Changed

From  Tuesday 24 March 2020, Lane Cove Library will close at 5:00 pm on weeknights. For opening hours, visit the Library webpage.

Lane Cove Library is operating a pick-up or “grab and go” service only. Reserve your item/s online or if selecting an item from the shelves please minimise browsing time. Meeting rooms, tables and chairs will not be available to use. Library to Your Door will continue to operate as normal. Keep yourself entertained with books, magazines, DVDs and audiobooks delivered directly to your home.

Coles Introducing Priority Shopping Times for Health Workers

From March 26, the first hour of Tuesday and Thursday trade at Coles supermarkets will be for emergency workers. They will need to show an Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency card, workplace ID or be wearing their work uniform to gain entry.

Elderly or Vulnerable People Priority Online Shopping

If you are elderly or vulnerable you can arrange for priority shopping with Woolworths. Coles is working to introduce their priority home deliveries by the end of this week.

Woolworths has introduced Priority Assistance home deliveries to help the elderly, people with disability, those with compromised immunity and those in mandatory isolation. To apply for Priority Assistance delivery, please complete the form at woolworths.com.au/priorityassistance

Coles Online has been temporarily diverted to the Coles Online Priority Service (COPS), allowing them to focus on delivering food and grocery essentials to elderly and vulnerable members of the community, including retirement and nursing homes. They will shortly announce how customers can access COPS; please check www.coles.com.au for more details.

Sydney Community Services (9427 6425) is a central source for anyone in Lane Cove or Hunters Hill who either need to self-isolate or choose to not go outside as they worry they are at risk of the Corona Virus.

If you are a neighbour of someone who may be at risk please check they are ok and let Sydney Community Services know if they need to be on the vulnerable list.

They are putting together a database of people who are in isolation but they also need volunteers who are able to help others who need emergency supplies, or even just give social contact, through a phone link.

They will take referrals by phone on 9427 6425. You can also email [email protected] with your details.

Lane Cove Council Local Business Support

ITC asked Lane Cove Council to provide details of how they will be helping out our local businesses.

A Lane Cove Council Spokesperson advised as follows:

“Council is considering various options to support local businesses. Council has an existing Debt Management and Hardship Policy.  Council has arranged extra cleaning in the Plaza and is encouraging social distancing.

“Keep 1.5m distance” signs are being put up in the Plaza and public parks this week, some of these signs are already in place.

Council is offering free laminated A3 signs to local food businesses with two signs available “keep 1.5m distance” and “take-away only.”  These have been dropped direct to some business and any food-based business which would like signs can email or call Council and we will arrange for them to these to be left at the customer service desk for collection.

Council is looking at other options to support local businesses and already has a Debt Management and Hardship Policy in place.

Financial support has been made available to individuals, households and business by the Federal Government. Links to these initiatives and other Government services are now on Council’s website.

Council encourages everyone to follow the health and hygiene guidelines from state and federal governments.”

Early Childhood Centres

There has been confusion over the government’s advice on sending children to early child care centres.  The following is an extract from the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee.

“The Australian Health Protection Principal Committee met on Wednesday 18 March to consider the issue of childcare centre closures in relation to the community transmission of COVID‑19. The Committee’s advice is that pre‑emptive closures are not proportionate or effective as a public health intervention to prevent community transmission of COVID-19 at this time.”

If you have removed your child from care, there are usually notice period before charges will not apply. The Early Childhood Australia Cheif Executive told the ABC the following:

“The childcare subsidy, on average, makes up 60 per cent of the centre’s fee, with parents paying the rest. While the changes mean centres do not have to charge for the gap, Early Childhood Australia (ECA) chief executive Samantha Page said most would not be able to absorb the loss. Services will be allowed to waive the fee but then their revenue will be down by that percentage, so that is going to put jobs at risk — unless there is more support coming,” she said.

Parents in temporary financial hardship can apply for the full fee to be covered by the childcare subsidy, so we encourage parents to do that if they have lost work and household income.”

If you are looking for some entertainment for younger children a virtual playgroup has been set up.  Playgroup At Home Facebook page, is live-streaming children’s entertainers, and regular storytime segments at 10:30am.  They are also providing advice for parents about maintaining emotional wellbeing.

Private Health Funds Fee Waiver

Private Healthcare Australia Chief Executive Dr Rachel David said health fund members experiencing financial distress as a result of the COVID 19 pandemic should contact their health fund to discuss their options.

“Health fund members who have been severely impacted by job loss or underemployment as a result of the COVID 19 pandemic are urged to contact their fund directly as they may be eligible to have their premium waived for an extended period. Health funds are currently putting programs in place to provide support for members,” Dr David said.

“The primary focus of health funds is to meet the needs of the community and members in these challenging and uncertain times and offering financial support by way of premium waivers is an important first step.

Health funds are also fast tracking access for members to teleconsultations with psychologists while Australians’ movements are restricted by the COVID 19 pandemic.

“Individual telehealth consultations with psychologists are well supported by the evidence and health funds want to make sure people are able to continue with their treatment, as it is obviously a very stressful time for many Australians, said Dr David.

The majority of health funds have agreed to provide coverage for teleconsultations provided by psychologists from Monday 30 March subject to the conditions listed below. *

TeleHealth

Telehealth will be expanded as per below.

STAGE COVID-19 MBS telehealth Items
Stage 1
13 March
  • The Government began progressively opening access under the Medicare Benefits Schedule to telehealth for many consultations between patients and their GPs, mental health providers and medical specialists, where patients or GPs were required to self-isolate, or patients were considered vulnerable
Stage 2
WC 16 March
  • Expansion of MBS telehealth items for midwives and recognise a general practice for continuity of care practises (rather than an individual GP)
Stage 3 – CURRENT STATUS
WC 23 March
  • From today, the Government will allow all vulnerable GPs and other vulnerable health professionals who are currently authorised to use telehealth item numbers to use telehealth for all consultations with all their patients. This includes health care providers who are:
  • aged at least 70 years old
  • Indigenous and aged at least 50 years old
  • pregnant
  • a parent of a child under 12 months
  • immune compromised
  • have a chronic medical condition that results in increased risk from coronavirus infection.
Stage 4
Moving towards
  • The Government is consulting with the AMA, RACGP ACRRM, RDAA to co-design stage four of our telehealth whole of population response. The co-design will look to the best practise expansion of telehealth items for all patients, with or without COVID-19, to see GP, medical specialist, mental health or allied health professional during the COVID-19 health emergencyCGP ACRRM, RDAA to co-design stage four of our telehealth whole of population response. The co-design will look to the best practise expansion of telehealth items for all patients, with or without COVID-19, to see GP, medical specialist, mental health or allied health professional during the COVID-19 health emergency

 

Local Doctors Implementing New Patient Procedures

Before going to your local doctor check to see if they have implemented new patient procedures.

The Lane Cove Doctors Medical Centre have implemented new procedures. Here is an extract of an Email sent to patients

“In light of the developing COVID-19 Pandemic, our practice will be making some significant changes to our appointment bookings and on-site access.

Since Monday 16th March, we have been actively offering Telephone Consultations to all existing patients of the practice. These can now be booked upon request, over the phone or online via Hotdoc. The feedback and support from patients have so been overwhelmingly positive and we want to continue offering this service on a large scale.

From Monday 23rd March, the following changes will be in place:

  1. All patients will be offered a Phone Consultation with the Doctor. The Doctor will assess the need for a physical appointment only once it has deemed it safe for the patient and practice to do so.
  2. The practice will remain open between 8am-6pm, but restricted access to the practice will be in place. The front doors will be locked, and patients will need to call reception from outside the practice to confirm their identity and go through the Triage questions to gain physical access to the practice.
  3. Between 8am-2pm Weekdays and all Weekends, the practice will be conducting only Phone Consults and we anticipate the vast majority of consultations can be managed adequately by remote. A Doctor may offer a Physical Consult at the practice for cases that are deemed safe and appropriate. The Phone Consult Fee is $45.00 and your Doctor will inform you if you are eligible for Medicare Bulk-Billing. Medicare has a strict criteria for Bulk Billing and this criteria may change over the coming weeks leading to further changes in our policies.
  4. Between 2pm-6pm Weekdays, Appointments will be reserved for Physical Consults with strict adherence to social distancing in the waiting room and our Doctors and Nurse wearing Protective Personal Equipment.

The first two hours (2pm-4pm) will be specifically reserved for vulnerable patients (e.g. pregnant mothers, childhood immunisations, susceptible patients).

These Physical Consult bookings must firstly be approved by the doctor after a thorough COVID-19 screening process has been conducted (no Fever or Cold/Flu symptoms, no recent overseas travel/contact with confirmed Covid-19/Covid-19 testing). The existing Practice Fee Schedule applies for all Physical Consults.

  1. Between 2pm-3pm (Monday, Wednesday and Friday) we will be running a dedicated baby vaccination clinic. These will also require a phone consultation with a doctor or nurse before the appointment to assess the risk of infection.”

New Procedures at Figtree Vet

Local Business Who Deliver Food/Groceries and Other Services

If you are self-isolated (for example you have returned from OS).  We have put together a list of businesses who can deliver to your door.  Read more here.

Self Isolation and Self Distancing Tips

Donations Wanted for Delvena Women’s Refuge

Delvena Women’s Refuge is located in Lane Cove.  There are also service several families who have been relocated to houses in Lane Cove.  They have put the call out for the following items:

  • Hand Sanitiser
  • Glen  20
  • Nappies for babies over 3 months
  • Rice
  • Pasta

If anyone can donate these items, please drop them off to Sydney Community Services at Little Street (you can park underneath).  Please label them as donations for Delvena (Sydney Community Services is also taking donations for the elderly).

 

NSW Covid 19 Health Statistics

Closest Covid 19 Testing Clinic

There is a Covid 19 Testing Clinic at Royal North Shore. These clinics are currently assisting with the assessment and testing of people with fever, cough or flu-like symptoms who are returned travellers or a contact of a confirmed case.

NSW Health has stressed these clinics are for those most at risk with respiratory symptoms or fever, those returning from overseas or in contact with a COVID-19 case, or people like health workers. People without symptoms do not need to be tested.

It is vital that these respiratory clinics are not overwhelmed with people who are not in the high risk groups, which could result in delays identifying those most vulnerable.

NSW Department of Health Advice on Social Distancing

Everyone should practise social distancing, as it reduces the potential for transmission.

Social distancing is an effective measure to reduce the potential for transmission, but it is recognised that it cannot be practised in all situations.

While practising social distancing, people can travel to work,including on public transport. For non-essential activities outside the workplace or attendance at schools, universities and childcare – social distancing includes:

  • avoiding crowds and mass gatherings where it is difficult to keep the appropriate distance away from others
  • avoiding small gatherings in enclosed spaces, for example, family celebrations
  • attempting to keep a distance of 1.5 metres between themselves and other people where possible, for example when they are out and about in public place.
  • avoiding shaking hands, hugging, or kissing other people
  • avoiding visiting vulnerable people, such as those in aged care facilities or hospitals, infants, or people with compromised immune systems due to illness or medical treatment.

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2 COMMENTS

  1. Do you have any update on masks.?
    Several other countries use them extensively and are very effective.
    We have to do everything and anything to stop the virus reaching our face.
    Originally they were stated as ‘not needed’. This had been translated into ‘not effective’.
    I know people who have them but won’t use them for this reason.
    It appears that one of the reasons not to use them was that there were none available and people would panic.
    It would seem that any barrier would be better than none even if hand made.
    Even just to stop fingers touching the face. They certainly can’t do any harm.
    We must assume that everyone we meet now is a carrier. If everyone wore a mask then there would be 2 masks between each person.
    The government has been very silent recently and needs to state it’s position.
    If we maintain our complaceny the exponential growth will continue and the government will be forced into a home quarantine in the next couple of weeks.
    Masks would certainly help and delay this. Look at China, EVERYONE even the premier wears one, and their numbers have plummeted.
    Who do you believe.?

    • WHO Advises as follows
      If you are healthy, you only need to wear a mask if you are taking care of a person with suspected 2019-nCoV infection.
      Wear a mask if you are coughing or sneezing.
      Masks are effective only when used in combination with frequent hand-cleaning with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.
      If you wear a mask, then you must know how to use it and dispose of it properly.
      How to put on, use, take off and dispose of a mask

      Before putting on a mask, clean hands with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.
      Cover mouth and nose with mask and make sure there are no gaps between your face and the mask.
      Avoid touching the mask while using it; if you do, clean your hands with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.
      Replace the mask with a new one as soon as it is damp and do not re-use single-use masks.
      To remove the mask: remove it from behind (do not touch the front of mask); discard immediately in a closed bin; clean hands with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.