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Victoria will operationalise isolation and testing requirements for COVID cases and contacts recommended by National Cabinet yesterday, with new pandemic orders taking effect from pm last night.


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If you have been told or you find out that you are a close contact of someone who has COVID, you must get tested and quarantine for 7 days. You are a close contact if you are a household member or a household-like contact of a diagnosed person. A household member is a person who ordinarily resides at the same premises or place of accommodation as the diagnosed person, and who are residing at the premises or place of accommodation at the time the diagnosed person receives their positive COVID test result. You do not have to be related to the diagnosed person to be considered a household member. A household-like contact is a person who has spent more than four hours with the diagnosed person in a house or other place of accommodation, care facility or similar. Note: a person is not a household-like contact if they are in a separate part of the house, accommodation or care facility that has a separate point of entry and no shared just date test areas, and if they do not have contact or interaction for more than four hours.

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Testing requirements update - 6 january

People in the following groups should be tested if they have new onset of other clinical symptoms associated with COVID including headache, myalgia, stuffy nose, nausea, vomiting or diarrhoea :. Clinical judgement and reasoning should be used, including consideration of epidemiological risk factors for acquisition and transmission.

Both confirmed and historical cases need to be notified to the Department of Health as soon as practicable by either:. People who have ly been diagnosed and managed overseas or in another Australian jurisdiction do not need to be notified as a confirmed or historical case.

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This resource is also listed in the popular resources section on the For health services and professionals - COVID. Patients without symptoms should not be tested except in special circumstances or where requested by the department:. For patients with fever or respiratory tract infection who are not hospitalised and who do not have an epidemiological link to a known COVID case, a single negative oropharyngeal and deep nasal swab plus sputum if possible is sufficient to exclude COVID infection.

Repeat testing especially of lower respiratory tract specimens in clinically compatible cases should be performed if initial are negative and there remains a high index of suspicion of infection. In unwell patients, consideration should also be given to a respiratory virus panel test, especially if the first COVID test is negative. Clinical judgement should be used to decide whether rhinorrhoea represents possible COVID requiring testing or allergic rhinitis.

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All patients should attend an emergency department if clinical deterioration occurs. If clinically required, ambulance transport should be used - advise operator of suspected COVID If you have a patient who meets the criteria for COVID testing and who does not have symptoms or s of pneumonia :.

If appropriate personal protective equipment is not available, direct the patient to the nearest COVID testing centre. Patients with symptoms and s suggestive of pneumonia should be tested and treated in hospital.

What happens if i get a positive rapid antigen test result?

If their test is negative, they should continue to isolate until the acute symptoms have resolved and they feel well. Some asymptomatic people will not be required to quarantine after testing, such as people tested as part of a surveillance testing or other targeted testing program. Molecular testing on a well-collected single throat and deep nasal swab is the current test of choice for the diagnosis of acute COVID infection.

A positive PCR result indicates current or very recent infection. Negative do not preclude SARS-CoV-2 infection, and interpretation of such should be combined with clinical observations, patient history, and epidemiological information.

Workers are tested prior to entry to the workplace by health professionals. If a worker tests positive to COVID using a rapid antigen test, the department will follow up to ensure a confirmatory PCR test is performed and matched against the positive rapid antigen test. These tests can be performed by health professionals, as outlined by the TGAoutside of the laboratory, and can give a result within 15 to 20 minutes.

The use of antigen-based screening is part of a responsive and adaptive testing system, and is determined by epidemiology and the phase of the public health response in Victoria. High-frequency screening for surveillance except in highest-risk settings where PCR testing is required where screening testing is repeated at least three 3 times per week.

A combined rapid antigen and Just date test test where an early antigen test result can assist with triaging people quickly while awaiting their PCR-result.

Victorian covid testing criteria

The Department of Health will continue to review this policy position as new evidence and experience emerges. Medical practitioners should notify the Department of Health of confirmed and historical cases as soon as possible by either:. General practitioners should ensure arrangements are in place for contacting the patient with their COVID test result, regardless of whether it is negative or positive. If the result is positive, notify the Department of Health by either calling or using the online COVID notification form.

Testing clinics and health services should ensure arrangements are in place for contacting the patient with their test result, regardless of whether it is negative or positive. If the result is positive, the health service infectious diseases lead, or senior clinician should notify the Department of Health by either:.

The department receives notification from laboratories of all positive and contacts confirmed cases people who test positive. The department may contact a patient before the treating doctor to inform the patient of their result — just date test ensures that case contact interviews, communications and contact tracing are timely. Even if the department has already contacted a patient with a positive COVID test result, the treating doctor or clinical team representative as appropriate should still contact the patient.

This is important to ensure that:. To provide any additional clinical information, clinicians should call the department on On this. Hay fever and asthma Assessment and procedures Assessing a patient with respiratory symptoms in a community setting Taking a COVID swab Do patients need to isolate whilst waiting for test ?

Other clinical symptoms People in the following groups should be tested if they have new onset of other clinical symptoms associated with COVID including headache, myalgia, stuffy nose, nausea, vomiting or diarrhoea just date test people who are most at risk of severe illness higher prevalence groups and settings settings with a high risk of transmission. Case definitions Confirmed case A confirmed case requires laboratory definitive evidence.

OR prior to the past 14 days epidemiological evidence. OR History of an acute respiratory infection for example, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat. Loss of smell or taste. Epidemiological evidence In the 14 days prior to illness onset: close contact with a confirmed case international travel workers supporting deated COVID quarantine and isolation services international border staff air and maritime crew health, aged or residential care workers and staff with potential COVID patient contact people who have been in a setting where there is a COVID case people who have been in areas with recent local transmission of SARS-CoV Notes There is possibility for false negative PCR polymerase chain reaction in children, who may mount a brisk immune response resulting in a lower viral load.

Antibody detection must be by a validated assay and included in an external quality assurance program.

For all serological responses to be counted as laboratory evidence, a person should not have had a recent history of COVID vaccination. The cycle threshold Ct value of a reaction is the cycle when the fluorescence of a PCR product is first detected above the background al. The lower the Ct value, the more virus is present in the sample being tested, as fewer amplification cycles are required before the threshold for detection is met.

A high Ct value generally indicates that more cycles are required to detect the virus, indicating that there is less viral RNA present in the sample. Ct values for one in-vitro diagnostic IVD device should not be compared with Ct values from other platforms. High Ct values are as defined in consultation with the responsible supervising just date test. A further swab collected at least 24 hours after the positive sample and serology testing can assist in distinguishing an acute from a historical COVID infection. If the person is symptomatic, a full respiratory panel for other pathogens should be done.

Key resources Please ensure you refer to the latest version of the guideline documents as guidance may change.

Who should do a rapid antigen test?

Case and contact management guidelines for health services and general practitioners — 15 April PDF Case and contact management guidelines for health services and general practitioners — 15 April Just date test This resource is also listed in the popular resources section on the For health services and professionals - COVID General practice quick reference guide — Version 25 - 22 February PDF General practice quick reference guide — Version - 22 February Word Testing criteria Who should not be tested for COVID?

Testing children The same testing criteria applies to adults and children of all ages. Hay fever and asthma Clinical judgement should be used to decide whether rhinorrhoea represents possible COVID requiring testing or allergic rhinitis. Factors that would make allergic rhinitis more likely include: history of allergic rhinitis in years at a similar time of year concomitant itchy nose and eyes response to usual treatments. Factors that would make COVID more likely include: other respiratory symptoms sore throat, cough, anosmia systemic symptoms such as fever, myalgia, anorexia no or minimal response to usual treatments.

People with known allergic rhinitis or asthma should have: their treatment optimised, including through having an up-to-date asthma action plan or hay fever treatment plan advice about what symptoms might suggest COVID infection and require them to immediately get tested for COVID and stay home until a negative result is received.

Assessment and procedures Assessing a patient with respiratory symptoms in a community setting Separate them from other patients. Place a single-use surgical mask on the patient.

What is a rapid antigen test (rat)?

Use personal protective equipment PPE when assessing the patient gown, gloves, eye protection and single-use face mask. Conduct a medical assessment, and focus on: date of onset of illness and especially whether there are symptoms or s of pneumonia contact with confirmed or historical cases of COVID precise travel history and occupation history of contact with sick people, travellers, or healthcare facilities work or residence in higher prevalence groups and settings, settings with a high risk of transmission or other priority just date test and groups co-morbidities — see 'People who are most at risk of severe illness' on Clinical guidance and resources - COVID Taking a COVID swab If you have a patient who meets the criteria for COVID testing and who does not have symptoms or s of pneumonia : Place a surgical mask on the patient and isolate them in a single room with door closed.

Use personal protective equipment PPE single-use surgical face mask, eye protection, gown and gloves. To conserve swabs, use the same swab to sample the oropharynx and for deep nose sampling that is, one swab per patient only. Oropharyngeal throat : swab the tonsillar beds and the back of the throat, avoiding the tongue. Deep nasal: Using a pencil grip, gently rotate the swab, while inserting the tip cm or until resistance is met into the nostril, parallel to the palate, to absorb mucoid secretion. Rotate the swab several times against the nasal wall.

Withdraw the swab and repeat the process in the other nostril. Place the swab back into the accompanying transport medium. Do patients need to isolate whilst waiting for test ? The Victorian Government is supporting adoption of rapid antigen screening for COVID in the following just date test High-frequency screening for surveillance except in highest-risk settings where PCR testing is required where screening testing is repeated at least three 3 times per week. Resources are available detailing how to implement rapid antigen testing: Guidance for the provision of rapid antigen testing for COVID screening in non-clinical settings Word COVID rapid antigen testing in the workplace — factsheet for employers Word COVID rapid antigen testing in the workplace — factsheet for employees Word Rapid antigen self-tests advice to Victorians on using and understanding rapid antigen tests in the home on the Coronavirus website The Australian Prostate Centre has developed a video and accompanying booklet guide to setting up and performing rapid antigen testing for COVID Share this Twitteropens a new window Facebookopens a new window LinkedInopens a new window.

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