NALHN Staff information during COVID-19
- is current and will be updated whenever there are changes to obligations and procedures.
- has been authorised and approved by Andrew McGill, NALHN COVID-19 Program Lead
- Last update 16.03.23
COVID vaccination for NALHN employees, contractors, students, and volunteers:
NALHN Staff Health is now offering the Pfizer Bivalent vaccination as a booster dose. This is available at Staff Health during business hours at LMH Monday to Friday and at Modbury Monday to Thursday.
The original primary course Pfizer vaccine is still available at both sites and Novavax is available at LMH if preferred.
RAT and PCR testing
ALL NALHN employees, contractors, students, and volunteers MUST report COVID positive results to Staff Health for furlough risk assessment and contact tracing. The NALHN COVID Hotline 0466 429 359 is available 7 days a week, between the hours of 0830 -1600.
Staff MUST undertake a RAT at the commencement of any symptoms
- (Symptoms include runny or blocked nose, sore throat, aches and pains, cough, feeling more tired than usual, headache, loss of or change in taste and smell, loss of appetite or nausea, vomiting or diarrhoea, (less than 4 times per day), fever or temperature above 37.5 degrees Celsius, shakes or shivers, dizziness or light-headedness, mild shortness of breath when walking briskly, upstairs or coughing)
If the RAT is positive, you are deemed to be COVID-positive.
- You will no longer require a follow-up PCR.
- Call the Staff Health COVID Hotline 0466 429 359 (7 days, 0830-1600) for risk assessment and RTW date.
- If you can’t get through to the COVID phone during office hours or you get notified of positive results after hours please complete the online COVID-19 Positive Notification Questionnaire. Staff Health will contact you within 24 hours to undertake your risk assessment.
If the RAT is negative (and you have symptoms)
- You must undertake a PCR test within 24 hours
- If the PCR is positive, call the Staff Health COVID Hotline 0466 429 359 (7 days, 0830-1600) for risk assessment and RTW date.
- If the PCR is negative and you still have symptoms, call the Staff Health hotline for further advice.
Accessing tests and contacts
- Staff will have access to a box of RATs, to be used only as outlined above.
- The NALHN Staff Health COVID hotline 0466 429 359 is open between 0830-1600 every day for you to for all COVID-related questions, to report close contacts and discuss testing requirements
- RAT/PCR testing will continue to be utilised for wards/units in response to a localised internal COVID outbreak
All employees, contractors, students on placement and volunteers who test positive to COVID-19 are directed to:
- Notify their manager and discuss work arrangements.
- Not attend the workplace for 7 days for the purpose of undertaking employment-related duties
- Follow local workplace policies and protocols – call the NALHN Staff Health COVID Hotline 0466 429 359 (7 days, 0830-1600) to report and undertake risk assessment. RTW details will be provided during the call. Contact tracing may be required.
- If you can't get through to the COVID phone during office hours or you get notified of positive results after hours please complete the online COVID-19 Positive Notification Questionnaire. Staff Health will contact you within 24 hours to undertake your risk assessment.
All employees, contractors, students on placement and volunteers who are close contacts are directed to notify their manager and seek permission to return to the workplace from NALHN Staff Health 0466 429 359 (7 days, 0830-1600).
It is also recommended close contacts:
- Follow testing policies and protocols as listed and as instructed by Staff Health COVID Hotline 0466 429 359 (7 days, 0830-1600)
Wear a fit-tested D95 mask in the workplace always noting that close contacts are required to follow enhanced PPE and testing regimes.
- Stay home and get tested if symptoms develop (as per RAT/PCR testing protocol above)
- Self-PCR test kits are available via Staff Health (LMH and ModH)
- While awaiting the result of your PCR, you must remain in isolation until the PCR results are back.
- Contact Staff Health COVID Hotline to discuss 0466 429 359 (7 days, 0830-1600)
COVID-19/COLD and Flu symptoms - Staff must not attend work whilst symptomatic at any time.
Q. When working across different networks, which rules do I follow?
A. Staff will need to adhere to the rules of the site where they are working (except for SA Pathology, which has overarching rules for their workforce).
Some Networks will have different rules for different situations, please call the Staff Health COVID Hotline 0466 429 359 at each site to discuss specifics.
Any staff member who tests positive for COVID-19 that has worked at a NALHN site within the preceding 48 hours must call the NALHN COVID-19 hotline to report so that contact tracing can occur.
All staff must use the hand sanitiser that is available at all NALHN entry points. Hand Hygiene must also be performed as per the 5 moments for hand hygiene in the clinical area.
Masks and other PPE
Staff must continue to don a surgical mask upon entry to the hospital, and continue to wear it when using corridors, elevators and any location that is used by patients and visitors.
Surgical Masks must be worn by all staff* caring for patients in all clinical areas and in offices contained within clinical/patient zones – unless D95 is required as part of transmission-based precautions.
* includes any staff member entering or transiting through a clinical ward/unit etc
Surgical Masks are no longer required for staff in non-clinical, back-of-house environments.
(This includes offices outside of wards/zones or areas where patients are seen or treated)
Treating Patients with suspected, probable, or confirmed COVID-19?
Enhanced PPE (D95 + Goggles / Face shield is) required for all staff providing care for COVID or Suspected COVID patients AND when entering a designated Outbreak ward/unit. Staff must wear additional PPE such as gowns and gloves as per transmission-based precaution signage outside the patient rooms.
Do Visitors Require Masks?
Visitors are to continue wearing a surgical mask on entry to a NALHN site and continue to follow instructions from staff regarding wearing enhanced respiratory precautions when visiting a COVID+/Suspected COVID patient.
Surgical masks will continue to be
available on entry to a NALHN acute site.
NB: Staff are to continue to follow the Enhanced Respiratory Precautions found in the COVID-19 Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Decision Matrix (PDF 255KB)
- all staff should maintain physical distancing where and when possible and this includes offices, hot desks, and workstations.
- please do not gather in staff kitchens or form large groups in lunch areas.
You’ve had COVID-19 before and are exposed again to someone with COVID-19
If you have previously tested positive for COVID-19, you will not be considered a close contact for 28 days after your release from isolation. After 28 days, you will be considered a close contact if you are re-exposed to COVID-19 and meet the close contact definition. You will need to quarantine and get tested. Call the Staff Health COVID Hotline 0466 429 359 (7 days, 0830-1600) for advice, if required.
Patients and colleagues with COVID-19
When you have worked alongside someone who is COVID-19 positive
- staff contact tracing will be completed by Staff Health and anyone identified who meets the close contact exposure rules will be contacted as part of this process
- Infection Prevention &Control Service (IPCS ) will undertake contact tracing for patients. Please notify IPCS if any patients return a positive PCR or RAT to allow contact tracing
- please ask the identified COVID-19+ colleague to notify Staff Health via either 0466 429 359 (7 days, 0830-1600) if they are positive to ensure contact tracing is completed in a timely manner or staff may complete the COVID-19 Positive Notification Questionnaire. For those completing the questionnaire, Staff Health will contact you.
- if you were wearing the correct PPE at all times (mask and goggles) and there were no breaches, no further action is required however staff are invited to call the COVID Hotline for clarification.
Back from overseas:
NALHN Staff returning from overseas travel can return to work following a negative PCR test, but must adhere to the following:
- have a PCR test immediately upon return to South Australia – results must be negative prior to your first shift.
- repeat PCR tests on day 6 and 13
- take a daily RAT up to and including day 13.
- wear a fit-tested N95/D95 mask whilst on site at all times.
- must be asymptomatic and if symptoms present at any time, do not attend work, and have a PCR test. Notify Staff Health hotline.
- staff who test positive to COVID-19 while overseas must notify Staff Health immediately on return to SA and provide evidence of positive test. Details will be collected for reporting purposes and safe RTW dates will be discussed during the risk assessment. PCR upon return will not be required if evidence of COVID-19 is produced.
Contacting Staff Health – COVID-19 Hotline 0466 429 359
- the NALHN Staff Health COVID Hotline 0466 429 359 is available from 8:30 am to 4:00 pm, seven days per week
- Please leave a message with mobile number if you wish to have your call returned.
- if you are in urgent need of COVID-19 related advice or support (e.g., if you are unwell and need urgent advice), please follow the testing and isolation advice provided here until you have spoken to Staff Health
- for urgent support outside of these hours and up until 8:00 pm, please contact the Duty Coordinator, who can determine if Staff Health assistance is required and can contact them on your behalf
Patient and visitor related information:
COVID-19 & SCOVID patient management resources
- NALHN PPG for COVID-19 policies and procedures – search COVID-19
- NALHN IPCS intranet page
- all patients to have the MR314 completed on admission
- for close contacts please use symptom checker form MR314.1 twice a day
- OWI 5220 Criteria to release Inpatients with Confirmed COVID-19 from Isolation
- OWI 5235 COVID-19 Pathway for Patients with Recent COVID-19
- OWI 5221 Suspected COVID-19 Management including positive Rapid Antigen Test pathway
COVID-19 &SCOVID-19 patient management resources can be accessed on the Inside Northern intranet and PPG. You need to be signed into the SA Health Network to access Inside Northern.
Information about visitors
- There is no restriction on the number of visitors to general inpatient areas
- Limits may apply to specialty areas across the Hospital.
At the Lyell McEwin and Modbury Hospitals, volunteers will assist with wayfinding, encourage mask wearing and hand hygiene on Monday to Friday between 8:00 am and 9:00 pm.
There will be a security concierge at the entrances to both hospitals between 4:00 pm and 10:00 pm Monday to Friday and between 8:00 am and 10:00 pm on weekends.
All visitors to our sites are required to wear a face mask in a high-risk setting (Hospital).
Surgical masks and hand gel will be readily available near these signs and throughout both sites with our wonderful volunteers assisting with access to a mask for our visitors.
Please refer to the Inside Northern intranet for information sheets pertaining to:
- new Conditions of entry across NALHN acute care sites
- (OWI05199) COVID-19 Management of Visitors / Consumers (including exemption process)
All staff should be familiar with the contents of these documents and follow the procedures explained therein.
COVID-19 signs and symptoms
The following are all symptoms of COVID-19. Any patients with any of the below symptoms must be placed in a single room (door closed) with ensuite/dedicated bathroom and have appropriate COVID-19 testing:
- fever (a temperature of 37.5˚C or higher) or chills
- loss of taste or smell
- sore throat
- tiredness (fatigue)
- runny or blocked nose
- shortness of breath (difficulty breathing)
- nausea, vomiting or diarrhoea
- muscle or joint pain
- loss of appetite
- patient to be managed under airborne transmission-based precautions (single room with the door closed)
- PCR testing is required (Respiratory Pathogens NAT test if respiratory symptoms, COVID-19 only screening PCR if other symptoms)
- transmission-based precautions (TBP) cannot be lifted based on RAT results
Contacting IPCS – 0478 402 036
- NALHN IPCS is available during standard business hours (8.00 am – 4.30 pm) Monday – Friday
Staff well-being and contacts
Employee Assistance Program
Your wellbeing is important to us, and we want to reassure you that our Employee Assistance Providers, Access Programs, Human Psychology and Australian Institute for Loss and Grief are available to support you through this uncertain time.
Access Programs, Human Psychology and Australian Institute for Loss and Grief have transitioned to a telephone counselling model. Staff will be able to access telephone appointments in lieu of all face-to-face counselling appointments.
To make an appointment you may call them directly on the following numbers:
- Access Programs: 1300 66 77 00 (free call)
- Human Psychology: 1300 277 924 (free call)
- Australian Institute for Loss and Grief: (08) 8341 5557
The 24/7 after-hours on-call crisis counselling via the above phone numbers will continue as normal.
Culturally sensitive counsellors are available for Aboriginal employees and their families. Please make this request upon making a booking.
NALHN staff support
In addition to EAP support, assistance is available for the following:
- Staff Health – 0466 429 359, 8.30 am to 4.00 pm, 7 days per week
- Work Health and Safety – (08) 8133 2318, 9.00 am to 5.00 pm, Monday to Friday
- Spiritual Care – (08) 8182 9093
- Human Resources – (08) 8182 9078 or Health.NALHNHRGeneral@sa.gov.au, 9.00 am to 5.00 pm Monday to Friday
Telephone and online support services
- SA COVID-19 Mental Health Support Line - 1800 632 753
- Beyond Blue - 1300 22 4636
- Lifeline Australia - 13 11 14
- Regional Access Program (country areas) 24 hours a day, 7 days a week - 1300 032 186
- Lived Experience Telephone Support Service (LETSS) 5.00 pm – 11:30 pm (a peer mental health support line) 1800 013 755
- Doctors’ Health SA (24/7 support) – (08) 8366 0250
- 1800RESPECT (Domestic Violence) - 1800 737 732
For people under 25 years of age
- Youth Beyond Blue - 1300 224 636
- eheadspace — 1800 650 890
- Yarn Safe (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Service) — 1800 650 890
For pregnancy and new parenthood information
Pandemic Kindness Movement
The Pandemic Kindness Movement was created by clinicians across Australia, working together to support all health workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. We have curated respected, evidence-informed resources and links to valuable services to support the wellbeing of the health workforce.
Find all the resources at Pandemic Kindness Movement website.
Accessing information from home
Staff who have a valid HAD login (email address and password) can access their work emails through an internet browser via the Outlook Web Access (OWA) email interface.
See the current visitor guidelines.