A healthy partnership continues to support the community
As the way the community lives with COVID-19 changes, so too does the way the local health service supports the community.
Public health clinicians in the Barwon South West have been supporting COVID-19 positive patients at home with antiviral medications and monitoring equipment to protect people who are vulnerable to illness.
Antiviral medications are now available for COVID-19 positive people at risk of severe disease.
Antiviral medications reduce the risk of severe disease, hospital admission and death. They may also reduce the risk of passing on COVID-19 to your household.
These medications must be taken within five days of symptom onset meaning timing is important to ensuring eligible people receive the medication as fast as possible.
Throughout the pandemic the Barwon South West Public Health Unit (BSWPHU) and Volunteering Geelong have developed a wonderful partnership which is continuing and evolving to support delivery to the most vulnerable people who do not have close family or access to private transport.
In 2021 the two organisations had previously partnered together to provide free transport to vulnerable members of the community to access the community vaccination centre in Norlane.
The partnership has continued to evolve to incorporate delivery of remote monitoring packs providing people at risk of hospitalisation due to COVID-19 with monitoring equipment such as pulse oximeters along with antiviral medications.
The COVID-19 Response Coordinator at the BSWPHU, Holly Wardlaw says this collaboration will help ensure health workers can be available where they are needed most,
“The support from these volunteers will help to ensure our health workers are able to care for patients. The deliveries have been vital in supporting people to manage COVID-19 at home,” she says.
Volunteering Geelong CEO Helen Hunter says it has been rewarding knowing their dedicated volunteers are making a real difference throughout the pandemic,
“Our volunteers have helped the most vulnerable people access vaccinations to ensure no one was left behind. This support has continued throughout the pandemic. It is really rewarding for our volunteers to play such an important part in supporting of our community in difficult times,” she said.
If you are COVID-19 positive and eligible, the best way to quickly get access to antiviral medication is by arranging a tele-health appointment with your GP and discussing this with them.
Prior to becoming unwell, the Barwon South West Public Health Unit recommends discussing your COVID treatment plan with your GP, should you be diagnosed with COVID.
If you are unable to contact your GP, you can contact a Respiratory Clinic for a telehealth appointment on (03) 9975 8401.