Covid-19 Updates

All information provided here is current on the 10/07/2022 but this may change

Click here for information about COVID-19 Testing, Treatments & Managing COVID-19 @ Home

Victoria Harbour Medical Centre is committed to ensuring the health and safety of all patients and staff.  We are here to help and have temporarily changed our service model to better manage your healthcare needs during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Whether you are worried about symptoms of COVID-19 or any other type of health problem, our GPs are still on hand to answer your questions and provide care.  We encourage you to continue consulting your regular GP for any health matter.  Safe in-person (face-to-face) consultations or Telehealth appointments are available.   Dorevitch Pathology collection services remain open within our facility.

Our COVIDSafe Plan & Entry Screening:

As part of our COVIDSafe Plan routine screening questions will be asked when you book or attend an appointment.  Pre-entry screening is also being carried out.  Please read door signage and follow instructions.  You will always be informed of your options when you book or attend an appointment.

We remain open for your health needs but as conditions of entry, all patients and visitors must:

  • wear a face mask (those >8 years old)
  • perform hand hygiene upon entry/exit
  • observe all patient alert signage and posted placards
  • answer pre-entry screening questions truthfully and to the best of your knowledge

DO NOT attend our medical centre if:

If you have a booked appointment and you are unwell with fever or flu-like respiratory symptoms please advise us and DO NOT attend your appointment. Even if you have mild symptoms you should get a COVID-19 test and isolate as per current Department of Health guidelines.

Booking an Appointment:

You can make an appointment online or call reception during business hours on tel (03) 9629 1414

Before booking or attending an appointment you MUST CALL and ADVISE us if you have symptoms or risk factors for COVID-19.  This includes:

  • fever
  • cough
  • sore throat
  • runny nose
  • shortness of breath
  • loss or change in sense of smell or taste
  • your are a COVID-19 contact with someone who is a confirmed case of COVID-19 OR awaiting test results

If you have symptoms or risk factors for COVID-19 OR if you have fever or flu-like respiratory symptoms you will FIRST be offered a Telehealth phone consultation with one of our GPs.  During this phone consultation our GP will assess and provide you with further advice.  This advice may be to not attend our medical centre but to manage your symptoms at home OR get tested for COVID-19If you need urgent medical care always call Emergency 000 (Triple Zero).

Telehealth:

Click here for information about our Telehealth service. Consultation fees apply.

COVID-19 Testing:

Everyone’s first option should be to use a Rapid Antigen Test (RAT).

If you have symptoms or you are a contact, and you can’t access a RAT, you should get a PCR test.

If you can’t access either test at the moment, isolate at home until you can.

If you test positive using a RAT you are officially a COVID-19 case.  You are required by law to report your positive RAT result as soon as you can to the Victorian Department of Health. You can also report your result to the Coronavirus Hotline at 1800 675 398.

CLICK HERE to report your positive RAT test.

Our medical centre does not offer COVID-19 testing.

  • Click here for a list of COVID-19 PCR testing centres in Victoria.
  • RATs can be purchased from supermarkets, pharmacies or online from selected suppliers.
  • Eligible Commonwealth concession card holders can access free RATs through the concessional access program.

Oral treatments for COVID-19:

COVID-19 oral anti-viral treatments are now available.

Treatment should be commenced within 5-days of symptom onset.

If you test positive for COVID-19 book an urgent Telehealth appointment with your GP to discuss your eligibility and treatment options.

These medications are for the treatment in the early phase of COVID-19 infection for people with eligible chronic health and high-risk factor conditions for developing severe disease.

Managing COVID-19 @ Home:

Most people recover well from COVID-19. However, if you’ve had a positive COVID-19 test and you’re isolating at home, it’s important to protect those around you and monitor your symptoms.

GP Respiratory Clinics:

GP respiratory clinics are open across Victoria. If you have COVID-19 symptoms please visit a nearby Respiratory Clinic.

COVID-19 Vaccines:

Our COVID-19 vaccination clinic is currently closed. Refer to the Department of Health for alternative locations.

Vaccination after COVID-19 infection:

Click here to learn about COVID-19 vaccination after a COVID-19 infection, when you need to get one and who it’s recommended for.

Domestic & International Travel:

Click here to find out about information about domestic and international travel.

Click here for information about pre-departure travel COVID-19 testing.

Both lines operate 24/7 and will connect you to a registered nurse if needed. 

For translating or interpreting call 131 450 first and tell them your language.

Our medical centre does not offer COVID-19 testing. 

Everyone’s first option should be to use a rapid antigen test (RAT). They are quick and highly accurate, particularly if you have symptoms or if you have been in contact with someone who has COVID-19.

If you have symptoms or you are a contact, and you can’t access a rapid antigen test (RAT), you should get a PCR test. If you can’t access either test at the moment, isolate at home until you can.

Click here for information about how to use home rapid antigen tests (RAT).

Click here for a list of COVID-19 assessment and PCR testing centres in Victoria.

Click here to find out more about The Call-to-Test service for vulnerable Victorians.  This service will enable some of our most vulnerable to get tested for COVID-19 at home with a qualified health clinician. The service will provide access for people who cannot leave home due to injury, mobility or other eligible reasons.

You can also call the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Hotline on tel 1800 675 398 which operates 24/7.

Our COVID-19 vaccination clinic is currently closed. Refer to the Department of Health for alternative locations.

Victoria Harbour Medical Centre is a COVID-19 vaccination site.

Click here for more information about our COVID-19 vaccination clinic.

If you are > 8 years old you are required to wear a face mask when attending our medical centre.

Click here for updated Department of Health information about wearing face masks in Victoria.

Click here for information about how to access financial support if you are a Victorian individual or business impacted by COVID-19.

For translated resources to support culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities during COVID-19 refer to these links:

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious respiratory disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus called SARS-CoV-2.

COVID-19 affects different people in different ways.  Most people infected with the COVID-19 virus will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without requiring special treatment.  Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer are more likely to develop serious illness.

COVID-19 is spread person-to-person from close contact with an infected person or from surfaces contaminated by a person with the infection.  Given COVID-19 is a new disease there is no existing immunity in our community.  This means that COVID-19 can spread widely and quickly. 

The symptoms to watch out for are:

  • Loss or changes in sense of smell or taste
  • Fever
  • Chills or sweats
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Shortness of breath
  • Runny nose

In certain circumstances headache, muscle soreness, stuffy nose, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea may also be considered.

Anybody can get COVID-19 if they have had close contact with an infected person.  Click here to help you better understand your risk of COVID-19 and precautions you need to take based on your personal circumstances.

Click here to find out how to stay safe and well. Remember:

  • Get a COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Stay home if you are unwell.
  • Wear a face mask as directed by local public health advice.
  • Good hygiene like coughing and sneezing into a tissue or your elbow and regular hand washing.
  • Social (physical) distancing like keeping at least 1.5M distance between yourself and other people.
  • If you have a COVID-19 swab test go straight home and stay at home until you have your test results.

You should also follow current restricted activity directions issued by the Victorian Department of Health.

The COVIDSafe app can speed up contacting people exposed to COVID-19.  For information on the COVIDSafe app go to the RACGP Fact Sheet

The Australian Government COVID-19 WhatsApp channel or the Coronavirus Australian app can also help keep you informed on the latest on Australia’s response to COVID-19.

Isolation and quarantine rules for COVID-19 have changed.

See the Department of Health Your COVID Checklist for more information.

Our medical centre is committed to ensuring the health and safety of all patients and staff. 

We have temporarily changed our service model to better manage your healthcare needs during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

We remain open for your health needs but as conditions of entry, all patients and visitors must:

  • wear a face mask (those >8 years old)
  • perform hand hygiene upon entry/exit
  • observe all patient alert signage and posted placards
  • answer pre-entry screening questions truthfully and to the best of your knowledge

Safe in-person (face-to-face) appointments or Telehealth phone consultation are available by appointment.  As part of our COVIDSafe Plan routine screening questions will be asked when you book or attend an appointment.  Pre-entry screening is also being carried out.  Please read door signage and follow instructions.  You must CALL and ADVISE us if you have symptoms or risk factors for COVID-19 before attending the medical centre.  You will always be informed of your options when you book or attend an appointment.

Our already strict infection prevention and infection control procedures have been enhanced with more frequent environmental cleaning and surface disinfection.  

Aerosol generating procedures eg: spirometry (lung function testing) have been temporarily suspended. 

Other changes you may notice include:

  • Pre-entry screening: Read door signage and follow instructions
  • Hand sanitisation stations: Perform hand hygiene upon entry/exit
  • Reception: Screens are in place to help safeguard you and our team
  • No cash payment: Contactless payment only accepted via EFTPOS
  • Waiting room: Spaced seating. Floor markings. Magazines and toys have been removed
  • Physical distancing: Respect the space around you and keep 1.5M apart from others
  • Face Masks & PPE: All staff will be wearing face masks and other approved PPE when needed

This service is not for emergency care.  For urgent medical care call emergency 000 (Triple Zero) or go to an emergency department at a hospital.

Click here for more information about this service at our medical centre.

Victoria Harbour Medical Centre is now electronic prescription (ePrescription or eRx) enabled. 

If you are registered with Medicare or DVA, your GP will now be able to deliver an electronic prescription to you via email or to your smart phone as a SMS.  You will receive a unique QR barcode known as a “token”.  A “token” is not a legal prescription, but it can be used by an authorised dispensing pharmacy to unlock the legal prescription.  Electronic prescriptions are not mandatory; you still have choice to receive either an electronic or a paper prescription from your GP (but not both).  Electronic prescriptions comply with all relevant Commonwealth and State and Territory privacy, digital security and legislation requirements. 

Click here for a RACGP fact sheet about electronic prescriptions.

There is currently no public health requirement for a clearance medical certificate to return to work, childcare, school or university.  COVID-19 testing guidelines are set by the Department of Health.  There is no current recommendation to test outside of these guidelines in the community.  Therefore, a definitive clearance medical certificate for COVID-19 cannot be provided for people presenting with non-COVID symptoms.

We encourage employers to keep updated with current local public health guidelines found via the following links:

It is important to look after your mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

If you reside in the north, central or western Melbourne area, free 24/7 professional counselling services are available via CAREinMIND

For urgent help 24/7 call:

If you are experiencing an emergency always call 000.

Click here for a full list of mental health support services listed on our Clinic News.

If you are experiencing family violence or know someone who is experiencing family violence refer to Safe Steps or call 24/7 the family violence response phone line on 1800 015 188.

The Orange Door is a free service for adults, children and young people who are experiencing or have experienced family violence and families who need extra support with the care of children.

Information and considerations specific to people with a disability and people caring for them is available here.  You can also refer to the NDIS.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are considered at higher risk for COVID-19, making it even more important to get tested – even if there are only mild symptoms.  We encourage you to click on the links to check out the messages encouraging COVID-19 testing for the Victorian Aboriginal community:

Refer to the Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (VACCHO) COVID-19 info hub here.

The Victorian Aboriginal Health Service is offering cooked meal deliveries to Aboriginal people, especially seniors and elders, who live in the Darebin, Moreland, Hume and Whittlesea local government areas. Click here to register for this service.

A new 24-hour crisis line for Aboriginal Men has been set up to provide extra support during the COVID-19 pandemic. Call the Brother to Brother Hotline 24/7 on 1800 435 799.

You can also refer to the Victorian Department of Health resources here or the Australian Department of Health resources here.

Older people are at greater risk of more serious illness from COVID-19, so it is important for them to take extra steps to protect themselves.  Find more information on support services for your older patients on the Department of Health website.

There is no evidence so far to suggest that people living with HIV, who are on effective anti-retroviral therapies with undetectable viral loads, are at increased risk of getting COVID-19 infection or developing severe disease.  However, as HIV infection can result in suppression of the immune system and other comorbidities, people living with HIV should be considered a higher risk group than the general population.  Older people living with HIV who have pre-existing medical conditions and advanced immunosuppression are likely to be more at risk.  Refer to Thorne Harbour Health and the WHO website.

Refer to the Smart Traveller website.

Click here to find out about information about domestic and international travel.

Click here for information about pre-departure travel COVID-19 testing.

Available via the WHO website. The WHO includes a Myth Busters section which may assist in addressing misinformation about COVID-19.

We encourage you to continue consulting your regular GP for any health matter.  Safe in-person face-to-face consultations are still available.  Refer to the RACGP Expert Advice Matters website for more information.