January 13, 2021

As many of you will be aware, Victoria has introduced a new ‘traffic light’ system that came into effect on January 11.

Under this system, all residents and travellers wishing to enter Victoria must now apply for a permit. The ‘traffic light’ permit system applies to travellers from anywhere across Australia. Applications are made online at the Service Victoria website.

Under this new system, areas across Australia are designated as green, orange or red, according to their COVID-19 risk, and will be continually updated based on the latest health advice. As we have experienced with the recent Queensland and NSW cases, changes to zones can occur quickly and consideration should be given to this when planning travel.

Western Health is following Department of Health and Human Services advice with regard to the management of staff who have travelled to orange zones, red zones or exposure sites, which is as follows:

  • Regional NSW has now be reclassified as an orange zone for all arrivals to Victoria, regardless of when people travelled, meaning anyone with a negative test result can be released from Isolation.
  • The Greater Sydney region (including the Blue Mountains and Wollongong) remain red zones, meaning people cannot travel to Victoria from these areas and any people who have entered Victoria from these areas must complete 14 days quarantine.
  • The Greater Brisbane region (Brisbane City, Moreton Bay, Redlands, Ipswich and Logan local government areas) remains a red zone, meaning people cannot travel to Victoria. However, anyone who has been in Brisbane since January 2, and who was isolating over the weekend and has a negative COVID test, is now able to leave isolation and return to work.

Details of Victorian exposure sites can be found here at the DHHS Case Locations and Outbreaks page. It is recommended that staff check this site daily as new sites continue to be added.

A new QRG providing information on the management of residential aged care facility residents on admission to Western Health (hyperlink to come) is now available on the microsite. Please take time to read the document, which will be updated regularly in response to changes in risk.


Finally today, I’d like to advise that the opening hours of the Melbourne Showgrounds COVID testing site will now be 9.30am-4.30pm. Until further notice, we will continue to offer staff-only testing at the Sunshine Hospital Respiratory Assessment Clinic (RAC) from 9am-10am daily. The RAC is also open from 10am-5.30pm for staff and the public.

We’ve also seen some well-deserved recognition for our COVID-19 testing teams  over the past week. The Herald Sun visited the Melbourne Showgrounds site, giving the public some insight into just what goes into testing as many as 1000 people a day. Click here to read the story.

DHHS Secretary Professor Euan Wallace also made special mention of the Western Health team on Twitter, as below. I certainly agree with him. Kate Cranwell and the testing teams at the Melbourne Showgrounds, Sunshine Hospital Respiratory Assessment Clinic and at Sunbury have indeed been doing a brilliant job! Thanks to everyone involved.




Maree Pane,

Acting Executive Director Operations


COVID-19 Daily Summary

  • Number of Respiratory Assessment Clinic presentations yesterday – all sites: 337

COVID-19 De-isolation Process

Western Health’s clinical guidelines for the COVID-19 de-isolation process, as overseen by Paul Eleftheriou and Shane Crowe, are regularly reviewed and updated. Please click here for full details.


Visitor guidelines

Western Health’s visitor restrictions have been implemented to keep the community safe while supporting the provision of the highest level of care during the COVID-19 pandemic. These restrictions are consistent with Department of Health and Human Services guidance and Hospital Visitor Directions issued by the Victorian Chief Health Officer.

Please click here for Western Health’s current visitor guidelines.

COVID-19 Staff Helpdesk

Western Health has a dedicated COVID-19 Staff Enquiries Helpdesk, which is available to both individual staff and managers. Confidentiality is assured.

Email is recommended as the first point of contact where possible:
Emails will be responded to within 24 hours.

Telephone contact: via Switch 8345 6666, choose option 1 for COVID – then request Staff Enquiries Helpdesk.