Northern Queensland Primary Health Network (NQPHN)—helping northern Queenslanders live happier, healthier, longer lives  | 
18 June 2020

COVID-19 update


Information contained in this update is current as at 12pm, Thursday 18 June 2020.

Please distribute to all staff in your pharmacy.

COVID-19 pandemic: Mental health support for pharmacies

During this difficult time, pharmacy staff have delivered exceptional care for their communities.  In these busy times, it is easy to prioritise other peoples' care over our own self care. 

NQPHN would like to remind you that there are a number of support services available for pharmacists and pharmacy staff.

Pharmacists' Support Service

The Pharmacists’ Support Service (PSS) is a telephone helpline that pharmacists and pharmacy students can call any day of the year between 8am and 11pm. The service is provided free of charge by trained volunteers who are all pharmacists or retired pharmacists.

The number to call is 1300 244 910.

For more information and to find some useful resources which may be helpful, visit the PSS website.

Free wellbeing support for pharmacy staff

NQPHN is offering free EAP support for all pharmacy staff in response to the current COVID-19 pandemic.

To access this confidential service, please contact AccessEAP on 1800 818 728 and identify the following when calling into our service, starting with 'Northern Queensland Primary Health Network', then 'Chemist Staff'.

For more information on AccessEAP, visit their website at or download this flyer.

Aside from the above resources, there may be other EAP or counselling support programs available through your employer.

E-prescribing update for Pharmacies


ADHA webinar: Electronic Prescriptions for Providers

Electronic prescribing provides an option for prescribers and their patients to have a digital prescription as an alternative to a paper prescription.

In this webinar, the Australian Digital Health Agency discusses e-prescribing, and addresses the accelerated initiative announced as part of the COVID-19 National Health Plan.

Watch the webinar.

Video: Introducing Electronic Prescribing to Patients

Best Practice Software has developed a useful video to help answer patient questions about the new electronic prescribing process developed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and to help them understand the benefits of e-scripts.

Watch the video.

Digital Health Security Awareness: An eLearning course for people who work in healthcare

The Australian Digital Health Agency (ADHA) has announced that a new eLearning course is now available on the ADHA's training platform.

This free Digital Health Security Awareness course is designed for people who work in a variety of healthcare settings and roles. 

Current COVID-19 epidemiology

  • As at 9pm yesterday (18 May), there have been 7,370 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Australia.
  • There have been 23 newly-confirmed cases since 3pm yesterday.
  • Of the 7,370 confirmed cases in Australia, 102 have died and 6,870 have been reported as recovered from COVID-19.
  • 1,876,117 COVID-19 tests have been conducted across Australia.
  • Queensland has 1 new confirmed case of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, raising the state total to 1,066.
In North Queensland, the current total confirmed cases to date are:
  • Cairns and Hinterland 37
  • Mackay 15
  • Torres and Cape 0
  • Townsville 24 
As of 12pm today (18 June), there have been 8.06 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 across the world (118,502 new cases in the past 24 hours), and 440,290 deaths (World Health Organisation).

Queensland Health are now publishing detailed daily Queensland COVID-19 statistics.

For a summary of Australian admissions (including ICU admissions) and other current data, see this Australian Department of Health infographic.


NQPHN is committed to supporting you during this rapidly evolving situation, so please be assured we will update you with the relevant information from the Australian Government Department of Health and Queensland Health as and when we receive it.
To help you receive timely and clear information regarding COVID-19, NQPHN uses a subject line starting with ‘COVID-19:’ in all our email correspondence to you, so please prioritise accordingly.
NQPHN also recommends the following COVID-19 websites, so you can track the latest clinical advice and keep informed about COVID-19:

If you have any queries, questions, or concerns please do not hesitate to contact NQPHN at
Northern Queensland Primary Health Network acknowledges the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as Australia's First Nation Peoples and the Traditional Custodians of this land. We respect their continued connection to land and sea, country, kin, and community. We also pay our respect to their Elders past, present, and emerging as the custodians of knowledge and lore.
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