June 10, 2020

I’m very pleased to begin today’s bulletin by letting you know there are currently no known COVID-19 positive patients across Western Health’s sites. While a number of inpatients are awaiting swab results and remain in isolation, this is an important milestone and one worth celebrating.

At the same time another major milestone was reported by the World Health Organization overnight, and it’s one that is a reminder of the need for continued vigilance. Yesterday, more than 136,000 cases of COVID-19 cases were reported globally — the most in a single day so far. WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said: “The biggest threat is now complacency… more than six months into this pandemic, this is not the time for any country to take its foot off the pedal.”

I urge all Western Health staff to consider this message. Whilst we are in the process of gradually relaxing restrictions across our sites and are working towards reintroducing the full suite of services for our communities, the threat of COVID-19 outbreaks remain.

We can all help protect our patients and each other by maintaining high standards of hand hygiene, checking our temperature twice daily, and keeping a minimum physical distance of 1.5m. As social restrictions across Victoria ease, and we begin to come into increased contact with others, please take extra care in self-monitoring for even the mildest COVID-19 symptoms. If you have any concerns, Western Health’s latest guidance on self-screening for COVID-19 symptoms can be found here. Thank you all for your ongoing patience.

Finally, today we have a video update from Head of Unit, Infectious Diseases, Dr Marion Kainer.






COVID-19 Daily Update

  • Respiratory Assessment Clinic presentations yesterday: Sunshine – 87; Sunbury – 48
  • Numbers of individuals tested for COVID-19 at Western Health to date: 12,873
  • Numbers of individuals tested positive to date: 126
  • Numbers of current inpatients with COVID-19: 0

Sunshine Cafe

After a short trial that made tables and chairs available to staff at the Sunshine cafe, it has been decided that the cafe will return to a takeaway-only service for the time being. This is due to the challenges of adhering to the necessary physical restrictions in such an open area.

Libraries and education areas

A reminder that the Footscray and Sunshine Hospital libraries have re-opened.

With physical distancing rules in place, there is reduced seating space at both libraries. For this reason, entry is restricted to Western Health staff, and students on current clinical placement. Cleaning products have been provided for use in hot desk areas, and is located at library staff desks.

You can contact the libraries for more information on: 8395 8036 or 8345 6655 or email wh.libraryenquiries@wh.org.au

Our COVID-19 leadership team is now also reviewing the use of Western Health’s education spaces, with the aim of re-opening these areas while adhering to physical distancing and capacity guidelines. We will keep you updated.

Instructional Videos – De-isolation for suspected COVID-19 patients

Last week we released two instructional videos to further support staff as we move towards a unit-led COVID-19 de-isolation process:

VIDEO – COVID-19 De-isolation Guide – This video will help to increase familiarity with following the revised COVID-19 De-isolation Guideline

VIDEO – Reviewing COVID-19 results in the EMR – It is essential that all medical staff continue to thoroughly check for Pathology results in the EMR, as some patients may be awaiting outstanding test results. For this reason, all staff are asked to please check both the results review and the orders page in the EMR. Both this video and an EMR Quick Reference Guide are available for further direction on how to verify you have the latest results.

It is important to note that after following the De-isolation Guideline, please continue to adhere to the steps below for all suspected COVID-19 patients under consideration for de-isolation.

  1. During hours (8am – 4pm, Monday-Friday; 9.30am – 5.30pm, Saturday-Sunday) please call the de-isolation HMO via Switchboard on 8345 6666
  2. For all other times, if there is an urgent requirement, please contact the After Hours Administrator via Switchboard for further guidance.

In the coming weeks we will commence unit specific information sessions to ensure teams are prepared for the transition to the unit-led COVID-19 de-isolation process.

Operating theatre workflow for patients suspected of COVID-19

A document has been prepared that outlines the operating theatre workflow for patients suspected of as having COVID-19 as per the case definitions for testing and quarantining. Click here to access. Further guidelines are currently being prepared.