COVID Bulletin – February 15

February 15, 2021

The Western Health COVID leadership team has implemented several changes, in line with the Victorian Government’s ‘Circuit Breaker’ Stage 4 restrictions over the state’s five-day lockdown period. These are the same range of measures we had in place during the Stage 4 restrictions last year, and they are outlined below:


  • Face masks mandatory for all staff at all times.
  • Tier 1 PPE mandatory. Surgical masks and eye protection (face shields where practical) are now required in all clinical settings.
  • Tier 2 PPE- as per standard precautions
  • Tier 3 PPE- when treating patients suspected or confirmed as COVID cases

Click here for more advice on the use of PPE at Western Health.

Staff, patient and visitor screening:

  • This continues daily. It is important that all screening includes reference to current DHHS exposure sites.
  • In addition, Western Health’s daily attestation and screening tool now includes a question regarding staff, patients and visitors who have worked in or volunteered at a hotel quarantine site and/or other port of entry (the airport) in the last 14 days, or been released from hotel quarantine in the past 14 days.
  • Conduct pre-operative COVID testing, where practical.


  • No visitors are permitted into health care settings, except for care, support and compassionate reasons, as a support partner for birth, or a parent to accompany a child.
  • Different rules are apply for Joan Kirner Women’s & Children’s as per previous stage 4 guidelines.

Elective Surgery:

  • Limited to Category 1 and urgent category 2 cases.


  • Telehealth is encouraged, where possible. Appropriate risk assessments should be undertaken based on epidemiological risk factors (primary or secondary close contacts of a COVID case or found to have visited listed exposure sites), and whether the patient has worked or volunteered at a hotel quarantine site or other point of entry(airport), or been released from hotel quarantine in the past 14 days.

Student Clinical Placements:

  • Medical, Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health student clinical placements can continue, with exceptions for high-risk areas where students are not permitted: ICU, ED and COVID clinical areas.

Those of you who are deemed to be able to work from home during the Stage 4 restrictions, are asked to once again work from home during this lockdown period. Please discuss with your line manager.

Hand hygiene and physical distancing must be meticulous across all of our sites. Remember the outdoors are the safest place to be.

Finally, I want to thank everyone who assisted in implementing these restrictions over the weekend and thanks to all staff for keeping an eye on and following these updates.