Operations Bulletin – 19 Nov

November 19, 2020

Please note this bulletin has been updated.

As the run of zero COVID-19 cases and deaths thankfully continues in Victoria, Western Health continues to assess how we can ease out of our restrictions as an organisation.

We have had a number of staff inquiring about when we’ll be able to relax the rules around working from home and cross-campus travel. We anticipate there will be further announcements regarding any easing of Victoria’s restrictions on the 22nd of November and will review this at the start of next week. In the meantime we continue to follow the guidelines set by the Department of Health and Human Services, including that staff who can work from home should continue to do so.

Any requests for space for staff who might be returning due to recommencement of clinical services need to be made via the COVID Logistics team on Covid19-Logistics2@wh.org.au.

I’d like to update you on a change to Western Health’s latest COVID-19 case definition, based on changes to the DHHS’s testing criteria. One significant change is that aged care residents no longer need to be tested and treated as suspected for COVID-19, unless they exhibit symptoms. Please familiarise yourselves with Western’s Health’s updated COVID-19 Testing criteria, Risk Categorisation, De-isolation and Cohorting Guideline QRG. Click here to see the latest weekly communication from Paul Eleftheriou and Shane Crowe on the COVID-19 De-isolation Process.

I’m pleased to let you know that Western Health’s P2/N95 fit-testing program is progressing well. So far, more than 400 staff working in higher risk areas have been tested. I’d like to reassure you that for the very small minority of staff who do not achieve a “successful” fit in the initial testing process, this is usually resolved with further testing processes. Western Health also continues to train our own staff to perform fit-testing, which will ensure we can become more self-sufficient.

Given the rapidly evolving nature of the South Australian outbreak, Western Health is putting in place the following strategies to keep our staff and visitors safe.

  • Any staff who may have visited South Australia since 1 November are asked to contact COVID Staff Enquiries at: whscovid-19staffclinicenquiries@wh.org.au
  • As part of COVID Screening, all patients, visitors and outpatients should be screened prior to entry and asked whether they have visited South Australia since 1 November.
  • All inpatients who have visited South Australia since 1 November should be quarantined in a single room for 14 days since departure from South Australia.
  • If a patient, outpatient or visitor discloses that they have visited South Australia since 1 November please contact the Respiratory Assessment Clinic Dr on ph 8395 9047 between 8am and 9pm or switch 8345 6666 out of hours so further risk assessment can be conducted.

Finally, I’d like to advise that elective surgery will move back towards 100 per cent of capacity as of November 23, which will no doubt come as a relief for many patients across our communities.

Thanks for reading.



COVID-19 Summary

  • Number of Respiratory Assessment Clinic presentations yesterday – all sites: 356
  • Numbers of confirmed COVID-19 inpatients: 0
  • Numbers of staff who have tested positive for COVID 19: 189
  • Numbers of staff who are currently on leave for COVID 19: 0
  • Numbers of staff who have been cleared to return to work post COVID 19: 189

What's new on the site?

Click here for links to all the QRGs, Clinical Guidelines and other items of note uploaded to the microsite over the past seven days.

Russell's webinar catch-up


If you missed out on Russell’s webinar on Tuesday 17 November, you can catch up here.

PPE updates

The PPE section of our COVID microsite has recently been updated with a number of new videos and posters related to a range of different P2/N95 respirator masks. Please take the time to review the extensive range of resources available to help you with the correct selection, and donning and doffing of PPE.

Click here for the latest.

Visitor guidelines

Western Health has implemented visitor restrictions 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 Enquiries 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.