Covid Messages from Russell


August 18, 2020

Thankfully we have seen another decrease in the number of community transmission cases in Victoria today, down to 222, and a reduce in our inpatient load – both positive and suspected. Very sadly though, more families are grieving after another 17 COVID-related deaths were reported this morning. Many of those lives lost are linked to aged care facilities and Western Health staff are working incredibly hard to support many of the affected centres across Melbourne’s west.

I’d like to echo Tash’s comments from her Operations Bulletin yesterday in thanking our aged care in-reach team for their exceptional work in extremely challenging circumstances. Thanks to the ABC’s 7.30 program last night, these teams have been publicly acknowledged for their dedication. I’d encourage you to watch the story, if you haven’t already. It gives some insight into the extraordinary support and challenges the in-reach teams – and you all at Western Health generally – are providing to some of the most vulnerable members of our community.

I think the 7.30 program’s host, Leigh Sales, summed up the importance of our in-reach team’s work pretty well in her Twitter post below.



If you have been contacted by the Department of Health and Human Services via SMS in relation to being identified as a close contact of a confirmed COVID-19 case but not received a follow up phone call, can you please email the WH Covid Contact Tracing team on so they can confirm what is required with you.



A reminder to everyone that in order to keep our patients, ourselves and our colleagues safe from COVID-19 transmission we need to wear PPE correctly 100% of the time. This includes:

  1. Selecting the correct PPE items for the clinical context and scenario you are in
  2. Putting our PPE on and taking our PPE off in the correct order
  3. Maintaining good habits while wearing our PPE

We will be continuing to roll out new PPE strategies across Western Health in the coming weeks focused on supporting staff with PPE use.  A pilot in the use of mirrors at donning and doffing stations has commenced in a number of areas including the Respiratory Assessment Clinic and Ward 3E at Sunshine Hospital. If your clinical area is interested in being involved in this trial please get in touch with Lauren Guy:

I want to remind people that making a slip-up when wearing PPE is possible for any of us, especially when we are tired or in a hurry. Please have each other’s backs to ensure everyone is safe in their PPE by calling it out if you see a PPE mishap or helping your colleagues at donning and doffing stations as observers. We need to be able to rely on each other to keep safe.



Finally, I would like to once again thank each and every one of you for your dedication and commitment during the ongoing battle with COVID-19. It’s been said many times that getting through this pandemic will be a marathon, not a sprint. Staff across all areas of our organisation are certainly showing a lot of endurance, and I’m very grateful for that. But please also remember to look after yourselves and each other. Please take the time to rest and switch off when you get the opportunity. The safety and wellbeing of the staff here at Western Health is paramount .

Stay Safe.