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COVID Information and CFWA Support

 COVID Information & CFWA Support

We have compiled some COVID information including; information from the hospitals, government updates, changes to our services and available support and lots of useful links and resources.

CFWA Services

Visiting the Office

Our office staff have now returned to our normal working arrangements and the Niche office is staffed Monday to Friday, other than in exceptional circumstances. If you would like to call in, we’d be pleased to see you. If the front counter doesn’t appear to be attended, please call or ring the doorbell to let us know you’ve arrived.

A number of our staff work part-time or from home on certain days. If you wish to meet a specific staff member or have a particular support need, please contact us on 08 6224 4100 so we can book a suitable time.

CFWA Community Support Workers

Please be assured we will continue to have risk management practices in place.  If a CSW is COVID positive, a 7-day isolation period is our default position as per the requirements from the WA government. If a CSW becomes a close contact, they will also communicate with you prior to visiting, as details will depend on circumstances. If a CSW is unwell or has symptoms, your visit will be rescheduled or moved to remote if practicable. Please let your Community Support Worker know if you have any queries or concerns regarding this. As always, if someone in your household tests positive, is unwell or has symptoms; or is a close contact, please contact your Community Support Worker. We will work with you to provide the support you need safely.

We thank you for your patience and understanding throughout the year.

Other CFWA Services

  • Other CFWA support, including financial subsidies, is still available
  • CFWA snack packs are available on the ward at PCH so don’t forget to ask when you are in. If you would like to receive an inpatient hospital bag, please get in touch and we can deliver to you outside the hospital.
  • Adult inpatient food packs are available. You can order yours when you are in at the link here Adult Food Packs
  • Mental health support still available. Click here for more information.

Hospital & Clinic Visits

Individual advice regarding clinic visits and admissions will be provided by your CF team, for any enquiries please contact your clinic directly.

COVID infection may increase pressure on hospital beds so admissions may be delayed in some cases. Your CF team will ensure you get a bed as soon as possible. If you have significant concerns that a delay or rescheduling may impact your/your child’s health, please contact your CF clinic team to discuss.

If you or your child are extremely unwell, go to Emergency for assessment or dial 000 in an emergency.

Perth Children’s Hospital

PCH have created a COVID information hub to help you stay as up-to-date and informed as possible on the current restrictions, changes and information about COVID and what that means for your child. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Charlotte Burr at PCH.CF@health.wa.gov.au

Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital

The SCGH CF team have put together a plan that will be individualised to each person’s needs. Please keep in contact with the team and do not hesitate to get in touch if you are unwell.

  • The aim is to manage people at home for treatment. Telehealth and phone calls are available with the CF team, as well as face to face if required.
  • Hospital access will still be available if required. If you need to be admitted, there will be a COVID ward and Non COVID ward.
  • Home spirometry is encouraged, contact Sue Morey if required.
  • If you contract COVID, please advise your CF team immediately (even if you do not have symptoms)
  • If you have not been fully vaccinated (2x vaccines + 1x booster) or are immunocompromised (post-transplant), and have COVID, Antiviral treatment may be available within 5 x days of infection (administered based on State policy criteria)

Fiona Stanley Hospital

Fiona Stanley Hospital (FSH) have provided the following information on outpatient appointments during COVID.

The FSH website also has the following COVID advice for immunocompromised patients information.

The team at FSH have put together a useful COVID fact sheet for people who are post transplant or otherwise immunocompromised. COVID information for people who are immunocompromised (post-transplant) Fact Sheet.

Lung transplant recipients should ensure their home spirometer is in working order and perform regular checking of spirometry. Contact the Transplant Unit through Sharon Lawrence if you are in need of a new spirometer.

Please contact the hospital team directly for further information or if you have any concerns.

COVID Care at Home

The COVID Care at Home program is now available. Please note, people with CF who are COVID positive can register for this program, but you should also inform and have contact with the specialist CF team.

The COVID Care at Home program has been designed for people who test positive for COVID and who have other underlying health conditions, such as the immunocompromised, those with significant chronic heart and/or respiratory disease or diabetes, which may place them more at risk.

For more information click here.

Vaccination & Boosters

For the latest information please visit the Healthy WA website.

Children (Under 18) Vaccination and Boosters

Children Vaccinations

  • Children aged 5 to 11 are eligible to roll up for a COVID-19 vaccine from 10 January 2022, using a smaller dose. Bookings are required, with bookings for State-run clinics already open via VaccinateWA; or vaccines available via participating GPs and pharmacies.
  • Children with CF (5-11 years) are now eligible to have their COVID vaccinations at a shortened interval of 3 weeks between dose 1 and dose 2. Please contact Charlotte or Ali at pch.cf@health.wa.gov.au and request an eligibility form that will need to be completed by your child’s specialist team.

Children Boosters

  • Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) approves Pfizer boosters for 16-17 year olds. Click here for more information. If you have any queries, please contact your clinic.
  • Advice from PCH CF team is that children with CF 12-15 years of age are not eligible for a booster dose as they are not considered immune compromised and not at increased risk for complications from COVID unless they have very severe lung disease.
  • If you’re visiting PCH for an appointment or stay, your child can be vaccinated at Stan Perron Immunisation Centre. This include inpatients and outpatients and their siblings.

Adult Vaccination and Boosters

  • ATAGI statement on recommendation of Winter booster (Department of Health)
  • Booster shots now available for over 18’s after 3 months – More information
  • ATAGI released new recommendations on the use of a third primary dose of COVID-19 vaccine in individuals (5 years and over) who are severely immunocompromised (post lung transplant with immunosuppressive therapy).
  • ATAGI recommends that severely immunocompromised people aged 16 and over who have received 3 primary doses of a COVID-19 vaccine are also recommended to have a booster dose in line with the timing for the general population, (3 or more months after their primary course). People who are severely immunocompromised are encouraged to speak to their treating specialist about a booster dose.
  • Novavax Vaccine: On 24 January 2022, the ATAGI recommended that Novavax COVID-19 vaccine can be used for the primary course of COVID-19 vaccination in people aged 18 or older.

Book your Vaccination and/or Booster

Symptoms

Healthdirect have produced a COVID-19 symptom checker that may be useful if you are experiencing symptoms.

If you or the patient are experiencing any of the following: central or crushing chest pain lasting more than 10 minutes, unconsciousness or a seizure (fit), severe difficulty breathing or turning blue, severe bleeding or inability to control bleeding with pressure, sudden inability to move or speak, or sudden facial drooping, the effects of a severe accident, Call triple zero (000) immediately.

Getting Tested

If you have cold or flu symptoms, you should get tested for COVID. Visit the Healthy WA website for up to date information on testing.

You can also take an at home Rapid Antigen Test (RAT). If you return a positive RAT, you need to register the result online here at Healthy WA.

Rapid Antigen Testing

WA Free RAT Program

As part of the WA Free RAT Program, every WA household is eligible for fifteen free RATs. To register for your household’s free tests, please read through the information on this webpage. More information.

Federal RAT Concessional Access Program

The Australian government is introducing a temporary Rapid Antigen Test Concessional Access program. This new program starts on 24 January 2022 and ends on 30 April 2022. If you have a valid, eligible Commonwealth concession card, you can access up to 10 rapid antigen tests through participating community pharmacies, at no cost to you. For more information click here.

Being Prepared at Home

Here are a few simple ways you can prepare your home for potential wider community spread of COVID.

  • Make sure you stock up on masks and hand sanitiser now to avoid missing out if there is a rush once the borders open
  • Ask visitors to your home to practice hand hygiene as this is the best defence we have against COVID. More information
  • You may want to pick up some Rapid Antigen Test (RATs). Each household in WA can register to receive 15 free Rapid Antigen Tests. More information.
  • CFWA may have stock available in an emergency if you are unable to source elsewhere, please contact us.
  • It may be helpful to prepare a “COVID kit” with paracetamol, electrolyte drinks, two weeks of any prescription medications, hand sanitiser and masks

COVID Ready Plan

There is also a useful COVID Ready Plan you might like to download and fill out. The plan lists important information about you, your family and the people in your household which you can share with people who may be helping you if you test positive for COVID, such as your doctor/healthcare providers, family/friends, carer and community support services.

N95 Masks

If you’re looking to buy N95 masks, we have found a stockist, Kleen West Distributors in Wangara, who sell a 5 pack of certified N95 masks for $15.40. They can be contacted at sales@kleenwest.com.au or on 9303 2882.

We can reimburse you for these masks under your Adult or Family Support subsidy. For more information see our Financial Support page.

Mental Health Support

The impacts of COVID can cause us to feel anxious, overwhelmed and increasingly stressed which makes it even more important to be aware and take care of our mental as well as physical health.

To access counselling and general support contact our Senior Therapist deidre.gorrie@cfwa.org.au or our Youth Social Worker Haylee is also available to support young people and can be contacted at haylee.riddell@cfwa.org.au.

Mental Health Resources

Some useful resources offering specific tools and advice for managing your mental health and wellbeing during COVID:

Financial Support

We know some people may experience additional financial strain due to COVID. Many people are feeling the effects on the economy, work hours, the cost of housing etc, on top of out of pocket costs for healthcare and medications. If you are experiencing hardship or struggling with basic, daily living; please contact us.

Deidre will work with you to understand your circumstances and how we might be able to support you. This might be financially, through equipment/supplies or vouchers or through linking you with other organisations for additional support. We obtain grants and donations that change all the time. Often we can help, whether it is a longer term need or just some short term support. Please get in touch with Deidre at deidre.gorrie@cfwa.org.au to find out how we can currently help.

CFWA Support Purchasing PPE

If you need assistance purchasing Rapid Antigen Tests or masks, please note you can now use your Adult or Family Support Subsidy to cover these costs. Click here for more information or to apply.

People with CF & COVID

Evidence shows people with CF are not more susceptible to COVID and overall do not seem to fair worse. The exceptions to this would be those with low lung function and post-transplant.

  • Vaccination is recommended for all people with CF who are eligible.
  • Click here for Global CF Registry COVID and CF data
  • Click here for a recent study on people with CF and COVID
  • Click here for some information on COVID and CF from Telethon Kids Institute

Resources & Links

COVID Information

CF and COVID

Masks and PPE

Children and Families

Mental Health

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