21/11/2021 | Steven Marshall MP | Stephen Wade MLC | Better Services

South Australians who test positive to COVID-19 will be supported at-home by remote monitoring and online support from qualified health staff, enabling the vast majority of people to be safely cared for at home.

Premier Steven Marshall said that with the vast majority of COVID-19 cases experiencing mild to moderate symptoms, providing support to people in their home was more convenient, comfortable and safe for the patient.

“These extra supports are another enabler for us to safely open up our borders, and in doing so reunite South Australians with family, friends and colleagues from interstate while further protecting local jobs and boosting our already strong economy,” Premier Marshall said.

“There are more South Australians employed now than ever before in the history of the state and the next phase of our COVID-Ready plan will continue to ensure we keep our state safe and our economy strong.”

“We have worked hard to ensure that South Australia is COVID-ready when our borders open on Tuesday, ensuring our health system is ready to support people with the healthcare they need, when they need it.

“Once we start to see COVID cases in South Australia, we will be ready to manage the vast majority of active cases, their families, and close contacts, from the comfort of their home.”

Our nation-leading home quarantine app, which has now assisted over 1,000 people to return safely to South Australia and quarantine, is the foundation of the HealthCheck SA app and will form a valuable part of the new at-home monitoring ‘toolkit’.

HealthCheck SA has been built to safely manage up to 50,000 people, which will include active cases, their families and close contacts, linking them to health and wellbeing supports to ensure they receive the care they need, when they need it.

The HealthCheckSA app will act as a toolkit and include a testing and quarantine schedule to help plan and manage time spent in quarantine, with multiple randomised location check-ins, daily symptom checks and health and wellbeing resources.

People being cared for at home will be monitored centrally by qualified health staff from the COVID Response Care Team (CRCT). The team will monitor patients’ temperature and oxygen saturation through virtual clinical care equipment, such as oximeters and temperature probes, which will be provided to those at home who need it.

1,500 home monitoring kits are being made available for regional and rural South Australians to remain at home or in a supervised care facility, to avoid unnecessary transfers to Adelaide.

Minister for Health and Wellbeing Stephen Wade said that significant planning has been undertaken in preparation for when the borders reopen, ensuring people with COVID-19 can be safely managed at home.

“South Australia is fortunate to be in a position to be able to learn from the recent management of the highly infectious Delta strain interstate,” said Minister Wade.

“We anticipate that around 85 percent of positive COVID-19 cases will be safely supported through home-based care and monitoring through the new HealthCheck SA app, freeing up beds in our hospitals for more acutely unwell patients.

“The new COVID Response Care Team (CRCT) will be a SA Health-led, multi-disciplinary team that will oversee and coordinate clinical, social and wellbeing support for COVID-19 positive patients and those who are in quarantine.

“South Australians can be assured that our healthcare system is prepared for borders to open and COVID cases in our community.”

Deputy Chief Public Health Officer, Dr Emily Kirkpatrick, said the HealthCheck SA app will play a major role in how we care for COVID-19 patients at home and in quarantine, providing a safe, sustainable and cost-effective alternative to traditional medi-hotel quarantine.

“Cases will be risk-assessed to determine whether it is safe for them to stay at home, or whether they will need a higher level of care and support in a dedicated COVID-19 care facility such as a medi-hotel or hospital,” said Dr Kirkpatrick.

“Not every situation or home environment will be suitable for quarantine and isolation at home, and people who do not have access to a phone or the HealthCheck SA app will be provided with tablets to monitor their symptoms and assist with their quarantine period.

“Keeping families and households together wherever possible will be one of our highest priorities, as it is well recognised as a critical component of meeting disease management and care needs.

“South Australians should feel confident that, as we continue to push our high vaccination rate higher, we will be in the best position to ensure the community receives the care they need going forward into the pandemic.”