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COVID-19 Lower Hume weekly update 

Welcome to the first edition of the Lower Hume PCP weekly COVID-19 update. We hope this weekly newsletter assists in collating useful COVID-19 resources and local information across Mitchell & Murrindindi Shires.

We would love to hear any feedback or share resources that you think would be useful for other people working in health and community services across Lower Hume. You can unsubscribe from these emails through a link at the bottom of the page. 

Keep well,
The Lower Hume PCP team

Service updates 

We're working together to help
Health and community services are working together in these uncertain times to support the community.
Mitchell Shire
By calling (03) 5734 6200 Mitchell Shire Council's Customer Service Team can connect you to the right service provider. We're working together flyer
Murrindindi Shire
By calling (03) 5772 0333 Murrindindi Shire Council's Customer Service Team can connect you to the right service provider.

Pharmacy home delivery service
Australia Post has designed a service that allows pharmacies to make next-business day deliveries to at-risk customers, safely.
The Pharmacy Home Delivery service allows vulnerable members of the community - people who have been advised by a doctor to self-isolate, are 70 years old and over, or have a chronic health condition - to get free delivery on medication and other essential supplies (under 500grams), once a month.
For more information or to register your pharmacy for this program click here.

Magistrates Courts of Victoria 
All Magistrates’ Courts are open. Family violence matters – including Family Violence Intervention Orders – continue to be heard, with urgent and high-risk matters being prioritised.
Telephone appearances for family violence matters will be introduced where appropriate, and support services will be provided over the phone where possible. Applications for family violence intervention orders can be made via the Magistrates' Court of Victoria website if it is safe to do so. Applications can still be made in person at Court if that is the safest option. 
Please see frequently asked questions during coronavirus on the Magistrates' Court of Victoria website.


Health & community sector news / resources  

A Safe Place To Escape Family Violence During Coronavirus 
Minister for the Prevention of Family Violence Gabrielle Williams and Minister for Housing Richard Wynne announced on Friday 10 April that the Victorian Government will invest $40.2 million in crisis accommodation and specialist services for people suffering or at risk of family violence. $20 million will be invested in short-term accommodation for family violence victim survivors who do not feel safe isolating or recovering from coronavirus at home, with the remainder going to Victorian family violence services to help meet the expected increase in demand during the coronavirus pandemic.  
For further information please see the Victorian Government media release

Making it easier for people with diabetes to get their feet checked
FootForward is a new program designed to help people with diabetes understand the importance of getting their feet checked. The program also supports training on foot checks and early detection of diabetes related problems. 
NADC’s Foot Forward resources including a foot services/podiatrists map will be going live today.  
If your foot service is not on the map you can add service details at the bottom of the webpage

International Diabetes Federation home-based exercise against COVID-19 
In response to the current COVID-19 pandemic, governments in many countries have restricted the movement of their citizens, confining them to the home environment. Yet, daily physical activity is an integral part of diabetes management and should be maintained. Here are some home-based exercises you can get people with diabetes to do. 

Murray PHN COVID-19 webpage updates
Murray PHN COVID-19 webpage has been updated with recent changes and additional resources to help you get important information quickly. Updates include business support links on the clinical resources page and updated testing criteriaMBS and telehealth pages. 

New Murray PHN COVID-19 HealthPathways 
Two new pathways have been added to Murray PHN's existing six COVID-19 related pathways.  
Note that you must be registered and logged in to access the direct links below. Click here to request access, or if you are experiencing issues logging onto pathways while working from home email for assistance.  

The telehealth pathway is a step-by-step guide, which includes:  

  • new COVID 19 telehealth bulk billing item numbers with direct links to MBS online  
  • equipment and technology requirements  
  • interpreter services  
  • patient confidentiality and consent  
  • frequently asked questions guide patient resources, such as HealthDirect's COVID-19 Symptom Checker tool.

Mental Health  

New Beyond Blue Coronavirus Mental Wellbeing Support Service 
Beyond Blue's website will be regularly updated with information, advice and strategies to help you manage your wellbeing and mental health during this time. And you can stay up-to-date by joining our email community.
They also have some tips on how you can look after your wellbeing on a daily basis. 

Staying connected online 
Enliven have created an Easy English resource to assist people to Stay Connected with WhatsApp  (for Android / Google phone and tablets).

That Discomfort You’re Feeling Is Grief 
This article explains how we are all feeling a number of different griefs. We feel the world has changed, and it has. We know this is temporary, but it doesn’t feel that way, and we realize things will be different. This is hitting us and we’re grieving. Collectively. 

Additional funding for Mental Health System 
A $59.4 million package has been announced to support Victoria’s mental health system, which has experienced a significant increase in people seeking help. The package is designed to assist those who already struggle with mental illness, as well as those who are experiencing it for the first time due to measures that are in place to help flatten the curve of coronavirus.
The DHHS website has a range of resources related to mental health and coronavirus. 


Family Violence / Gender Equity 

Dhelk Dja flyer  
A MESSAGE FROM THE HUME DHELK DJA REGIONAL ACTION GROUP for all Hume Dhelk Dja members and Aboriginal community members, services and partners throughout the region. 

Family violence community information session
This month's session will be general information to help you understand how Uniting's Men's Behaviour Change Program recognises and respects the experience of women and children as victims and survivors of family violence.  The program challenges male privilege and entitlement by recognising the gendered nature of family violence - that male family violence is an expression of gendered power, which men have individually and collectively over women. Information about local services will also be available.
More information or to register 

Seeking safety during COVID-19
Information and advice from Safesteps

Self isolation and COVID-19
Information and advice from 1800RESPECT

Applying a gender lens to COVID-19 Response
Casey City Council have developed three resources to assist with applying a gender lens to COVID-19 responses:

These resources can be adapted for use by other councils, with acknowledgement of Casey City Council. These resources are available on the MAV website (under "council tools and initiatives").

Disaster is no excuse for family violence 
The context that increases family violence post-disaster is echoed now with the COVID-19 shut-down, as families are locked in. The Disaster is No Excuse for Family Violence resource provides steps and service information to support people who may be experiencing family violence. 
The Gender and Disaster Pod are currently working to adapt all our resources to this pandemic. 

Communicating the gendered drivers of violence against women
DVCRV's Partners in Prevention have released a new resource Unpacking the Gendered Drivers of Violence Against Women. The 4 tip sheets have been designed to convey the complexity of what drives violence against women in an easy-to-understand resource. 

If you or anyone you know needs immediate help with family violence call 000 or for some advice contact Safe Steps on or call 1800 015 188
Safe steps is the statewide access point for those who need to leave a violent situation and access emergency crisis accommodation. Call safe steps on 1800 015 188 for help 24/7

Aboriginal & Torress Strait Islander

VACCHO's coronavirus (COVID-19) information hub
Information for Aboriginal communities and organisations through daily and weekly updates on the coronavirus (COVID-19) information hub

NACCHO's coronavirus (COVID-19) updates and information
Coronavirus (COVID-19) is an evolving global health concern. This page will be updated with the latest information as it becomes available.

Healthy Eating & Physical Activity

Online activities for fitness, fun and family 
Even though Mitchell Shire Council's doors are closed, you can still stay connected through their online classes. The Leisure and Libraries teams are hosting free online sessions to keep community members fit and focused during the COVID-19 restrictions. Mitchell Shire Leisure Services will stream classes such as yoga, pilates, and high-intensity interval training at various times via the Leisure Facebook page. Libraries will livestream their popular StoryTime sessions on the Mitchell Shire Council Facebook page twice each week at 10.30am on Mondays and Wednesdays. 

VicHealth’s Be Healthy blog for COVID-19
The VicHealth Be Healthy blog is full of tips and advice on staying healthy during COVID-19. Topics include healthy eating, physical activity, mental wellbeing and reducing harm from alcohol and tobacco products. 

Stay updated with VicHealth’s Health Promotion COVID-19 Resource Hub
The COVID-19 resource hub is for use by health promotion organisations and practitioners. It was created as a ‘one-stop-shop’ for the latestCOVID-19 resources from DHHS and other organisations like Heart Foundation, Cancer Council Victoria, Diabetes Victoria, Stroke Foundation and many more. 

Keep it Moving
The Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute has launched a campaign which includes some simple exercises that can be done in a home office, kitchen or living room. As we know keeping active during this time is very important. 


Digital health tools for health professionals during COVID-19 and beyond - improving care coordination
Tuesday 21 April 6.30pm-8pm More information or to register

Providing virtual care in allied health
Apr 21, 2020 06:00 PM
More information or to register

Feet, Diabetes and COVID-19 experiences from a GP on the frontline
Wednesday, 22 Apr 2020, 12:30 PM. More information or to register

From the frontlines: Virtual care and telehealth in action 
24 April 2020, online via Zoom 
Join us to hear from expert clinicians and advisors on the frontlines who are innovating at pace in response to COVID-19. Price $250. CPD Earn 5 hours of CPD credit 

Working with children and families during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak
30 April 2020 7:15—8:30pm AEST More information or to register

Revised testing criteria
Testing is now based on the clinical symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) which are:

  • Fever OR chills in the absence of an alternative diagnosis that explains the clinical presentation
  • Acute respiratory infection that is characterised by cough, sore throat or shortness of breath.
Note: In addition, testing is recommended for people with new onset of other clinical symptoms consistent with COVID-19* AND who are close contacts of a confirmed case of COVID-19 or who have returned from overseas in the past 14 days.*headache, myalgia, runny or stuffy nose, anosmia, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea 

Extension of Restrictions
The Prime Minister announced that the current restrictions will stay in place for another four weeks.
 The Premier has extended Victoria’s state of emergency until 11 May 2020 to continue the measures designed to ‘flatten the curve’ of coronavirus.
 Details on the current restrictions can be found here and in the Stay At Home rules.

Budget timelines extended 
The Minister for Local Government has announced an extension for 2020/21 Council budgets until 31 August and for annual reports to 30 November. Councils are usually required to adopt their budgets by 30 June and submit an annual report by 30 September. The Commonwealth budget has been deferred until 6 October. The Victorian Premier has stated that the Victoria budget will be delivered later this year and we anticipate this will happen after the Commonwealth budget. 


Support for Dads 
Dads Group have moved their groups online and developed an Online Engaging Fathers Program info pack, available upon request. Further information on Dads Group is available on their website. 

COVID-19 Telehealth consulting and conferencing: Privacy and security
Online meetings introduce privacy and security risks for attendees and organisations, as sensitive information is often shared through video or audio. Unauthorised or uninvited persons may access your call. Please follow the guiding rules developed by the Department of Health and Human Services (the department) to protect the security and privacy of your sessions 

Beyond Lockdown 
Andrew Hollo, Director Workwell Consulting shares daily short videos to continue to get us thinking in a strategic mindset. Watch his video on hosting strategic meetings online Subscribe to the daily newsletter   

Telecross checking on people who live alone
Telecross is a Red Cross initiative that provides a daily telephone call to check on people who live alone and are at risk of an accident or illness that may go unnoticed. 
In particular, people who: 
- are frail and aged 
- have a disability 
- are housebound
- are recovering from an illness or accident.

#Viral Kindness
#Viral Kindness is a hub for the community care groups across the country to support people in need or in self-isolation during the COVID-19 crisis. Whether it’s shopping for food, picking up medicine or a regular check in call. 

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