June 11, 2021

Great news this morning with the first day of zero locally acquired COVID cases reported since the beginning of Victoria’s latest outbreak. This also coincides with the lifting of several lockdown restrictions.

However I would like to remind all staff that there have been no changes to the restrictions that apply to our health service. Western Health, like all metropolitan Melbourne health services, still has a Code Active (Red) rating, under the Department of Health’s new system that helps health services assess the risk of COVID. This means that our guidelines, including around PPE and visitation, remain unchanged.

If you’re not working over the weekend, I hope you and your families can enjoy the lifting of some restrictions, as announced by the State Government. However, just wanted to request you all to please remain vigilant in regards to hand hygiene, mask use and physical distancing as the risk of COVID continues in our communities. Please also regularly monitor the exposure sites.

If you or a household contact have been at one of the Tier 1 exposure sites, please follow the directions on the Department of Health website regarding isolation and testing. Do NOT attend work and contact COVID Staff Enquiries at whscovid-19staffclinicenquiries@wh.org.au.
Full details of Western Health’s testing sites (and hours over the long weekend) can be found in the bulletin below.

Thanks again everyone for your hard work over what continues to be a challenging time. If you’re not working over the weekend, please take the opportunity to have a break.




Asymptomatic testing

Western Health continues to offer asymptomatic staff COVID-19 testing to all staff.  In line with Department of Health guidelines, we are particularly encouraging staff who provide direct care to high-risk, suspected COVID cases to undertake weekly asymptomatic testing.  Asymptomatic staff participating in the testing are not required to isolate and can continue to come to work as normal.  Further information can be found in this QRG.

COVID testing sites and hours

Showgrounds:  Open every day. 9.30am-5pm (last car entry at 4.30pm/4.40pm)

Sunbury: Opening hours: 10am-5.30pm.  Closed Saturday and Sunday.  Open Monday 14 June, 10am-5.30pm.

Sunshine:  Opening every day (including Monday’s public holiday). Public and staff 10am-5.30pm.  *Please note there is no staff-only hour (9am-10am) over the long weekend.

Footscray and Williamstown asymptomatic testing: Closed over the long weekend, but returns to normal hours on Tuesday, June 15, as below:

  • Footscray – private consulting rooms, reception area 2, 7.30am-4.30pm
  • Williamstown Hospital – Emergency Department, 8am-12pm

Virtual visits

The current visitor restrictions mean that many patients are very socially isolated during inpatient admission. Social chats with family members are essential to support patient wellbeing, engagement and recovery.

Allied Health are currently implementing strategies for our isolated and vulnerable patients on most wards to help increase the access of families to their loved ones through virtual visiting via video or telephone call. Read the QRG here.

During this current short lockdown Allied Health are re-implementing strategies on most wards to help increase the access of families to their loved ones through virtual visiting via video or telephone call. Virtual visiting will only be available during this lockdown period for patients with significant vulnerability and isolation. Patients are allowed visitors for compassionate and caring reasons, as well as discharge planning.

Please direct questions regarding Virtual Visits to your local Allied Health lead (details have been sent to NUMs) or the Allied Health ASPIRE team at rebecca.tivendale@wh.org.au or 0403 770 497, OR Matt Thorpe at Matthew.Thorpe@wh.org.au or 8345 1250.