Covid Messages from Russell

COVID Messages from Russell – 6 August

August 6, 2020

There is a great deal going on all around us at the moment, and there is a huge risk of information overload, with new restrictions being implemented on a daily basis this week.

I am aware that it has been very stressful for many of you as you work through the new restrictions and how these will apply to your household and family. Many of you have been contacting People and Culture to seek answers and the team is working very hard to respond. In this bulletin we are releasing further information to clarify these matters. CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL MEMO.

The number of COVID-19 cases in Victoria is expected to remain high for some time yet and we know that sadly, the number of deaths will also likely increase, based on the high number of Victorians who are currently hospitalised with coronavirus. However, I think we can feel encouraged that with the Stage 4 restrictions now in place and that over time, these will help to bring down the prevalence of the disease.

I would like to issue a message of great appreciation to the dozens of staff who are stepping in and taking on additional shifts; staying back to work additional hours when necessary; and being so generous in your commitment to supporting colleagues and our patients. It is this attitude and this commitment that is typically Western, that will get us through these difficult times.

Thank you to the staff who have supported the outbreak at Hazeldean – this continues to be difficult and your contribution is sincerely appreciated.

I am very mindful that we now have a number of staff who have tested positive to COVID-19 through a range of sources, including work and in the community. This can be upsetting for individuals and teams and I want you to know you are in my thoughts and I send my best wishes for your recovery.

One of the numerous Western Health teams who are doing exceptional work is the Critical Care Outreach team. Overnight they responded to the need for assistance for ten patients at Sunshine Hospital alone. These teams are helping us address the high level of acuity that we are seeing across the health service at present. Here are some images of the team at work recently:

While staff responding to COVID and acutely ill non-COVID patients is of a highly demanding nature, I want to also draw attention to the heavy load in Joan Kirner with 26 babies born yesterday. Well done to all.

I wanted to finish on something non COVID and say that I was greatly saddened, as I am sure many of us were, to hear of the terrible blasts that destroyed much of Beirut and killed or injured thousands of people in the city. Melbourne has close ties with Lebanon and locally to our staff and patients from the Lebanese community. Our thoughts and best wishes go out to all impacted by this disaster.





COVID-19 Daily Summary

Number of COVID tests undertaken by Western Health all sites yesterday: 623

Number of confirmed COVID inpatients: 87