Following the recent easing of restrictions Victoria-wide, Western Health’s COVID leadership team has again reviewed those that apply across our sites.
The most significant changes relate to visitor restrictions and the wearing of masks:
In line with Department of Health guidelines, staff working in administration areas such as staff offices or in meeting rooms will no longer need to wear masks, as long as physical distancing can be maintained. This means staff can work at their desks, and go to the bathroom or tearoom without a mask, provided staff don’t need to pass through patient-facing or public areas of the hospital.
Surgical masks must still be worn in all other settings at our hospitals. This includes all patient-facing and public areas at all sites.
All visitors are still required to wear masks.
A reminder also that masks are still required in many settings outside of work, such as in shopping centres, supermarkets and on public transport.
Western Health visitation rules have returned to the pre-Christmas rules.
This means that each patient can have two visitors each day, for an unlimited time between 12pm-8pm.
Refer to the Quick Reference Guide on the microsite for further details.
Today, I also want to remind staff about two other important updates since my last bulletin – the Auckland outbreak, plus the very exciting start to the vaccination program for Western Health staff:
Any staff who have visited Auckland, NZ in the last 14 days are asked to NOT attend work and contact COVID Staff Enquiries at firstname.lastname@example.org. Further advice will be provided prior to returning to work.
As part of COVID Screening, all patients, outpatients and visitors should be screened prior to entry and asked whether they have visited Auckland, NZ in the last 14 days.
All inpatients who have visited Auckland, NZ in the last 14 days should be tested and quarantined in a single room for 14 days since they last returned from Auckland (unless discharged earlier).
If a patient, outpatient or visitor discloses that they have visited Auckland, NZ in the last 14 days, please contact the De-isolation HMO on 8395 9048 or on switch 8345 6666 so further risk assessment can be conducted.
Staff COVID vaccinations
Highest priority staff will have started receiving invitations for their COVID vaccinations from last Friday. An example is shown below. This is a really exciting milestone, and I encourage staff to make a booking as soon as possible after receiving your direct invitation.
Our Sunshine Hospital vaccination hub opens this Thursday. This follows the very successful launch of the Western Health-run hub at Melbourne Airport, and today’s start to the Parkville hub.
I want to congratulate everyone involved in setting up and running these hubs.
It’s great to have the vaccination program to look forward to, after what was an extremely challenging year for everyone in 2020.
Thanks for keeping yourselves updated.