Coronavirus: the Important things you need to know about COVID-19
At the forefront of Australian and worldwide news, are the reports of a pandemic spread of a novel infectious disease (in this case the Coronavirus – COVID-19).
None of us has been in this unique situation before and the unknown can be very scary, especially for those people who are most vulnerable to COVID-19.
Since we are a low volume environment, we have been advised by the government that it is business as usual for us at the moment.
So, to help answer any questions you may have in relation to recent developments regarding the Coronavirus (COVID-19), we have developed this Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) article.
If you have any additional questions that are not answered in this article please contact your local GP for further information or look online.
This FAQs document will be live and we will be regularly reviewing the contents to ensure that we are providing you with accurate and up-to-date responses.
What is the Coronavirus (COVID-19)?
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that can make humans and animals sick.
They cause illnesses that can range from the common cold to more severe diseases. Coronavirus (COVID-19) was first reported in December 2019 in Wuhan City in China.
What are the symptoms of Coronavirus (COVID-19)?
Many people who contract COVID-19 will suffer only mild symptoms.
However early indications are that the elderly and people with pre-existing medical conditions are more at risk of experiencing severe symptoms.
The most common symptoms reported include:
- Breathing difficulties such as breathlessness
- Sore throat
- Fatigue or tiredness
Who is at risk of COVID-19?
Most cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) are in Wuhan City in Hubei Province, China.
In Australia, the people most at risk of getting the virus are those who have:
- Travelled or transited through Iran, mainland China or South Korea
- Had close contact with a confirmed case
- Travelled internationally
- People who feel unwell
- The elderly or people who have pre-existing medical conditions:
- people with compromised immune systems (e.g. cancer)
- elderly people
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, as they have higher rates of chronic illness
- people with diagnosed chronic medical conditions
- very young children and babies*
- people in group residential settings
- people in detention facilities
At this stage, the risk to children and babies, and the role children play in the transmission of COVID-19, is not clear.
However, there has so far been a low rate of confirmed COVID-19 cases among children relative to the broader population.
How does COVID-19 spread?
There is evidence that the virus spreads from person-to-person.
The virus is most likely spread through:
- Close contact with an infectious person
- Contact with droplets from an infected person’s cough or sneeze
- Touching objects or surfaces (like doorknobs or tables) that have a cough or sneeze droplets from an infected person, and then touching your mouth or face
How is Complete Podiatry preparing for COVID-19?
We want to provide a safe environment for our team and clients to attend for their podiatry care so we are currently working really hard to minimise the risk of cross-infection in our clinics.
Working with GPs
The first thing we are doing to help at this time is connecting with all our local General Practitioners to offer our help.
The one thing we know for certain at this time is that GPs will be under an increasing burden with more and more cases of COVID-19 emerging.
We will be offering to help our GPs manage more healthy clients who may be suffering from conditions like sprained ankles, foot and heel pain and ingrowing toenails for example.
We are hoping this will help to reduce the strain on the health service AND help to keep relatively health clients out of Doctors waiting rooms and away from potential exposure to COVID-19.
An even more strict focus on hygiene
- Access to hand sanitizers for clients,
- Increasing the frequency of cleaners attending the clinic
- All team members have re-done our online handwashing learning module (normally done once per year in November).
- We will practice social distancing by not offering to shake hands and maintain minimal person to person contact
- We wipe down all flat surfaces in our clinic between clients
- Our excellent, up-to-date Magazines have been removed from our Welcome Room to reduce to risk of cross-contamination
- Our ever-popular welcome room treats have been removed but don't worry, we still have these for our clients however removing the bowl will reduce the potential risk of cross-contamination
- Set up Free WiFi in clinics for clients to use on you mobile device while your Podiatrist finishes caring for their previous client
- All team members are advised not to attend work if they feel unwell to prevent infection of other employees (as you should in any flu season),
- All clients are advised not to attend appointments if they feel unwell to prevent infection of team members (as you should in any flu season),
- We take great pride in running to schedule, so our clients are advised to come in at their appointment time and minimise time spent in our welcome rooms
- Attend your appointment alone where possible to minimise other’s time in our welcome room
On-line podiatry consultations
We are currently in the process of investing in technology that will allow us to run on-line Podiatry consultations and hope to have this ability up and running as soon as possible.
This would certainly be a big change in the way we help our clients, however, with the possibility of forced shutdowns for weeks or more looming, we are looking into every way we can continue to serve our clients and provide you with the best level of care we can.
We will keep you informed about this exciting opportunity for our clients in the next few days.
Learn More About Online Podiatry Consultations
What to remember about COVID-19.
If you feel sick, isolate yourself and call your general practice.
Cover your cough.
Wash your hands often.
And remember, we will be here to help in any way we can.
Director of Complete Podiatry