COVID Operations Bulletin – 15 July

July 15, 2020

As COVID cases remain high, Western Health continues to be at the epicentre of the outbreaks and the response to them.

We are managing an increasing number of COVID-19 positive patients in both appropriate ward settings and in our ICUs. This is layered on top of the very high load of acutely ill patients in multiple wards and the demands of urgent surgery, which is recognised and being addressed.

In addition to the work our teams are doing to test thousands of people across multiple sites, we are also playing a key role in responding to the needs of residents in aged care facilities in our catchment, where major COVID-19 outbreaks are occurring.

We are also supporting part of the response to a series of outbreaks in various workplaces in our region.

This is clearly a time when all staff must exercise maximum vigilance with prevention measures and the use of PPE. It is essential that you are following our requirements in these regards. It also minimises the risk of transmission if a staff member does contract the virus. This vigilance must extend to your break times when physical distancing is to be fully maintained and care is also required as you leave work as well as after work. We need to take every opportunity to keep ourselves and our families safe.

Measures that are also of utmost importance include the strict adherence to Teams A and B – with the aim of preventing a full team of staff requiring quarantine simultaneously in the event of a positive test. If you have not already implemented these arrangements within your teams, please do so as a matter of urgency.

If you as a staff member have the slightest symptoms and need to be tested, we would much prefer you to have this testing undertaken at the Sunshine Hospital Respiratory Assessment Clinic rather than at another external site. The staff test results from the Sunshine Hospital Clinic typically come back to us in a shorter timeframe than if you have had the test done externally. This can be very helpful in preventing staff from needing to be on COVID-19 leave for an extended period, while also providing timely reassurance.

We are aware that many very ill patients will come our way in the weeks ahead – we have very thorough surge plans in place to manage this and with your support, we will be able to get through those difficult days together.



Acting Executive Director Operations


COVID Summary - 15 July

  • Respiratory Assessment Clinic presentations yesterday: Melbourne Showgrounds plus Sunshine and Sunbury plus the popup clinics – 804 –
  •  Numbers of individuals tested for COVID-19 at Western Health to date:23,435 (does not include Showgrounds)
  • Number of individuals confirmed positive for COVID-19: 255
  • Numbers of current inpatients with COVID-19: 21