April 16, 2020

Today I would like to remind all staff of the importance of self-monitoring for symptoms of COVID-19 including checking your temperature twice a day.
As we’re all aware, the symptoms of COVID-19 are not always obvious, so temperature self-monitoring is an important measure for keeping staff and patients safe. This applies to both clinical and non-clinical staff.
If you do not have a thermometer at home, you can have your temperature checked by security at the public entrances to our sites, or in the ward environment. We thank you all for your cooperation.

Also today, I’d like to let you know about opportunities for the re-deployment of staff over the coming months. As part of our COVID-19 surge planning, some of Western Health’s services have necessarily expanded, while others have temporarily contracted. We now have a central point of contact if you have staff available for redeployment, or if you require extra staff. Please see the bulletin below for more details.

Thanks for reading.



COVID-19 Daily Summary

• Respiratory Assessment Clinic presentations yesterday: 108
• Numbers of individuals tested for COVID-19 at Western Health: 4078
• Numbers of individuals tested positive to date: 73
• Numbers of current inpatients with COVID-19: 4

Documentation for COVID-19 exposure incident

DHHS have recently released guidance on COVID-19 exposure and contact tracing which Western Health is following. In consideration of this, the following is the most appropriate action for wards/areas to take following a case of COVID-19 patient, visitor or staff exposure:

1. An overarching RiskMan entry be completed for the incident of exposure
2. A single RiskMan entry can cover patient, visitor and staff exposure when appropriate
3. Aligning with the DHHS guidelines for COVID exposure and contact tracing, the Infection Prevention team will collect individual patient, visitor and staff information that will be linked with the RiskMan entry.

Staff redeployment

As services across the organisation are modified to support preparation for the COVID-19 pandemic, staff may be identified for redeployment to other areas of demand at Western Health.

If you have staff available for redeployment or a service/task that you require staff for, please email your request to covid-19staffredeployment@wh.org.au.
Every effort will be made to match the right staff to required services or tasks.

COVID-19 Symptom Monitoring Platform

Staff in a number of high-risk clinical areas will receive an email over the coming days inviting them to join a two-week trial of a new initiative, the Western Health COVID-19 Symptom Monitoring Platform.

Staff who choose to sign up to this initiative will be prompted twice a day to complete a short survey which involves temperature recording and assessing other COVID-19 symptoms. The information provided will be monitored and assessed by the COVID-19 Response Team which is led by our Head of Infectious Diseases, Dr Marion Kainer. Based on the survey responses, the COVID-19 Response Team will be able to care for participants and provide healthcare guidance remotely.

At the conclusion of this trial, the COVID-19 Response Team look forward to opening this initiative up to all staff, and then later to at-risk patients.

Please email WeGuideCOVID19@wh.org.au for more information.

Twice daily temperature checks

All staff members – both clinical and non-clinical – are required to check their temperature twice every day. While we understand this may present some practical difficulties, we believe this precaution is achievable for all of us.

If you do not have a thermometer at home, you can have your temperature checked by security at the public entrances to our sites, or in the ward environment.
If you exhibit either of the following, you must contact our COVID-19 Staff Clinic Inquiry Line:

  • Temperature above 38C (unless there is a known cause, ie. cellulitis)
  • Respiratory symptoms, such as cough or sore throat

To contact the COVID-19 Staff Clinic Inquiry Line, email whscovid-19staffclinicenquiries@wh.org.au and a staff member will call you back. Please include your full name, role and area of work, mobile number and your query. Email is the best way to contact the service, NOT the switch.

No Western Health who are feeling unwell should be at work.

Transit routes

Western Health has developed designated transit routes to provide stakeholders with the expectant inpatient and staff pathways between wards and departments where COVID-19 is either confirmed or suspected.

Intra-hospital transfers may be required from emergency departments to the wards, from the general floor to intensive care unit, and from the wards to the radiology departments.

Special considerations must be made to avoid nosocomial spread.

Please contact Wes Hartley, Senior Team Leader, Safety, Risk & Improvement should you require any additional information pertaining to the transit routes.