COVID Operations Bulletin – 24 July

July 24, 2020

This is a time when it is more important than ever that we stand side by side to meet the challenges before us. It is fantastic to see the strength and commitment of staff across the health service at this time and I know that you are putting in every effort to support our patients in their time of great need.

I am so pleased to hear comments such as these from graduate nurse Demcee Davies, who has spent the last six months on 3F at Sunshine, caring for a range of patients including those with COVID.

“Be cautious, be vigilant and do the job that you love. Don’t let it wear you down…our patients are still beautiful.”

Also these comments from Nicole Comito, 2C Footscray:

“We are ready for this. We have an amazing team of healthcare workers and we play a vital role in keeping ourselves, each other and our community safe. We can get through this together”.

Hear more from Demcee and Nicole in the videos below.

It has been pleasing to see a significant improvement in the use of PPE by staff across sites. This is essential and the resources are there. Please use them to help keep yourself and others safe.

I would like to remind all staff to be very careful not to allow opportunities for transmission when sharing use of equipment or work areas. If you have been using a WOW or a desktop and keyboard or a chair or a recliner for taking brief rest breaks – every single item must be wiped down with a Clinell wipe after use and before it is available for your team mates to use.

At the start of the pandemic, we instituted a guideline to minimise any risk of transmission through the organisation. This was based on minimising cross campus travel, minimising face to face contact where possible and for teams to develop ‘teams A and B’ who were kept separate. These need to be in place consistently to minimise any crossover infection risks among teams. You should also feel able to encourage any colleague to keep their physical distance.

While our numbers of COVID patients continue to rise steadily, our well laid plans for how to respond are gradually being implemented. One of these is the change to how we use 2G at Sunshine, which is now a dedicated COVID ward.

Today we are implementing the new visitation guidelines set down by DHHS – please familiarise yourself with these and what they may mean for your area. More information in the links below.

From today we are distributing cloth face coverings across the organisation for use by family members in the community. We are incredibly grateful to our volunteers and community members for their support in making these items.

Thank you for reading.






COVID-19 Summary

Number of Respiratory Assessment Clinic presentations yesterday – all  sites: 964

Number of confirmed COVID-19 inpatients: 49

Wise words from Demcee and Nicole

Demcee Davies, graduate nurse 3F Sunshine

Nicole Comito, 2C Footscray

New visitation guidelines - Maternity

In line with updated DHHS Visitation Guidance, the visitor rules for Joan Kirner have now changed:

One partner or support person is permitted for women admitted for pregnancy assessment, induction of labour or birthing with no time restrictions.

Women on levels 7 and 8 are permitted one visiting partner or support person per admission between 8am and 8pm ONLY for a maximum of 2 hours.

Children under 18 years of age can only have one parent or guardian visit at any one time. There are no time restrictions to the duration of visits to children.

At the current time, visitation for the rest of Western Health will remain unchanged, given provision for each hospital to impose additional requirements, conditions or restrictions for entry to keep vulnerable patients safe.

Updated visitor guidance can be found in the Quick Reference Guide section, under V for Visitation Factsheet.

PPE - Face masks and eye protection guidance FAQs

This week we have released an updated version of the PPE-Face Mask and Eye Protection Guidance and FAQ. This is located under P for PPE in the QRGs.) Changes are highlighted and include new information about non-medical cloth face coverings which can be used by staff outside of the work environment (or by their family members) in the community.  All staff are encouraged to please read and share with their colleagues.

Cloth face coverings - guidance and collection

The Department of Health and Human Services now requires people wear a mask or a cloth face covering whenever leaving their home unless an exception applies.  Western Health is supplying each staff member with two cloth face coverings to assist in compliance with this requirement. These are available thanks to the generosity of our community.

Cloth face coverings are not defined as PPE so are unsuitable to be worn in the work setting, but they do play a role in preventing exposure to COVID-19 and reducing its transmission.

Please refer to the Department of Health and Human Services website for more advice about masks and cloth face coverings in the community.

All Department Managers are asked to please email the COVID-19 PPE Team at  to advise them of the number of cloth face coverings required for their teams (2 per staff member), hospital site and name of person responsible for collection. (We know many of you have already provided this information, thank you.)

Cloth face coverings will be available to collect at each site during the designated days and times below.

Footscray Hospital: Collection Point – Foundation office, Gd Flr, until 4pm today and on Monday 1-4pm

Sunshine Hospital: Collection Point – Level 2 PPE Room (adjacent to Old Children’s Ward – formerly interpreters’ office), until 4pm today and on Monday 12pm-2pm

Sunbury Hospital: The COVID-19 PPE Team will deliver directly to your area.

Williamstown Hospital: The COVID-19 PPE Team will deliver directly to your area once they have received the email request from the department manager

Click here to download some simple guidance on using and caring for cloth face coverings, which is also available on the microsite in the QRG section, under C for Cloth Face Coverings.