September 14, 2020

It’s been another extremely busy weekend across a number of areas at Western Health, and I’d like to thank everyone involved for their hard work. Our emergency department teams managed a high number of mental health presentations, 49 babies were born at Joan Kirner Women’s and Children’s, 70 emergency surgeries were completed, and our aged care liaison team continued to support many facilities across our region.

In addition, our infection prevention and infectious diseases teams worked tirelessly over the weekend to identify close and casual contacts of a small number of people (staff and patients) from Footscray ward 3B who have tested positive to COVID-19. A number of staff have since been furloughed and we are asking all staff who have worked in this ward since September 5 to be tested. This can be done at the Footscray Hospital Private Consulting Rooms today, until 5pm. Full details about COVID-19 testing for staff are in the bulletin below.

Given the ongoing presence of COVID 19 in our community and aged care settings, a reminder again about the importance of ongoing vigilance in regards to PPE use and keeping yourself safe at all times. There is clear evidence of ongoing community transmission in our region, and we therefore need to continue to assume that any patient or colleague could be positive. Please stick to the basics, which include high standards of hand hygiene, physical distancing and the proper use of PPE.

Finally, some of you might be aware of a video that’s been circulating on social media that purports to show our staff not wearing PPE. It was filmed many months ago, but has been presented as recent. It’s unfair and unpleasant whenever anyone is misrepresented on social media but unfortunately it’s a risk that organisations and individuals face in this digital age. If you’re ever concerned that you’re being filmed or photographed without permission, please contact your line manager or public affairs.

Thanks for reading.





COVID-19 Daily Update

  • Number of Respiratory Assessment Clinic presentations over the weekend – all sites: 294
  • Numbers of confirmed COVID-19 inpatients: 19
  • Wards/areas closed due to outbreaks: Footscray 3B
  • Numbers of staff who have tested positive for COVID 19: 184
  • Numbers of staff who are currently on leave for COVID 19: 10
  • Numbers of staff who have returned to work post COVID 19: 174

Asymptomatic testing

A reminder that Western Health continues to support staff by providing asymptomatic staff testing. Staff working at Footscray Hospital 2D, 2C and ICU and staff working at Sunshine Hospital 2G, 3E, 3F, ICU and the Aged Care Liaison Service are encouraged to participate in weekly testing. Weekly testing for staff working in these areas will be available through:

  • Sunshine Hospital RAC – Tuesdays and Thursdays 7.15am-6.30pm
  • Footscray Hospital Private Consulting Rooms (PCR) – Wednesdays and Fridays 7.15am-5pm

In addition to these wards, staff who have worked on Footscray Hospital 3B since September 5 are also encouraged to present for testing. An additional day of testing is available at Footscray Hospital PCR today (Monday September 14) until 5pm for 3B staff.

Western Health will also continue to offer asymptomatic COVID testing to any concerned staff working in other areas of our health service at the Sunshine Hospital RAC (SH RAC). Usual hours of operation for the SH RAC are 9am – 6.30pm, 7 days a week.

Online survey - daily attestations

A reminder that all staff working on site must complete a COVID-19 symptom check before the start of each shift. The Staff Attestation is mandatory, under the direction of the Department of Health and Human Services. The survey can be accessed here https://tinyurl.com/WHstaffcheck

Please note staff who are unable to access a smartphone, tablet or computer can still access paper based forms via the microsite. These forms will need to be stored by managers for 6 weeks as per current practice.

Please refer to the QRG Daily Staff Symptom Check or the FAQ Daily Staff Symptom Check for further guidance or contact the Staff COVID-19 Enquiries Helpdesk on whscovid-19staffclinicenquiries@wh.org.au

COVID Safe Plan

All permitted work premises in metropolitan Melbourne, as determined by the Department of Health and Human Services, must have a COVIDSafe Plan under the Stage 4 restrictions.

Click here to view Western Health’s COVID Safe Plan. It can also be found via the Important Resource Section of the microsite.

Western Health in the media

Western Health staff members and patients have featured numerous times in the media’s coverage of COVID-19. Click here to see examples on the microsite.

PPE updates on microsite

The PPE section of our COVID microsite includes an extensive range of resources to help you with the correct selection, and donning and doffing of PPE.

Click here for the latest.

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.