DOORS ARE LOCKED: The Gayndah Medical Practice has gone to new lengths to minimise the spread of coronavirus in the region. Picture: Sam Turner
DOORS ARE LOCKED: The Gayndah Medical Practice has gone to new lengths to minimise the spread of coronavirus in the region. Picture: Sam Turner

Burnett GP locks doors amid virus crisis

THE front door of the Gayndah Medical Practice has now been locked to the community, to minimise the risk of spreading coronavirus.

As of March 23, patients who arrive for an appointment will have to phone the practice to alert them of their arrival, or knock on the door.

Upon their arrival they will be screened from behind the locked door to assess their risk.

Any patients arriving without an appointment with respiratory symptoms will be triaged, and asked to wait outside until a doctor can assess them, or to schedule a telehealth consult.

Gayndah Medical Practice manager Fiona Meyer said these new precautions were in place due to the small size of their practice.

“The issue with our practice is that we only have one entrance, and because of where we are, we’re not always at the front desk when someone walks in,” Mrs Meyer said.

“For people to be sitting in among other patients causes a risk to others, to our doctors and to our staff.

“So we’ve eliminated that risk.”

The warning signs outside of the Gayndah Medical Practice. Picture: Sam Turner
The warning signs outside of the Gayndah Medical Practice. Picture: Sam Turner

Since this has been in place, Mrs Meyer believes they’ve asked just over half a dozen patients to be triaged outside.

“The doctors are wearing personal protection equipment when they are assessing patients outside as well, which includes wearing things such as gloves and masks.

“It’s all about minimising risk.”

Since this has been a fast moving situation, Mrs Meyer said they’ve been trying to stem the flow of misinformation, and what the requirements are to be tested for coronavirus.

“Once it’s explained what the criteria and symptoms are, people have been quite accepting of why they won’t be tested.

“We’ve swabbed perhaps six patients that might’ve met the criteria who were health workers, and they’ve all come back negative.”

The practice has also introduced limited seating to allow for the appropriate distance between patients, and have offered extra sanitation.