December 20, 2021

As the number of Omicron cases reported in the community increases, Western Health’s COVID leadership team is – as always – reviewing how we can best protect our staff, patients and visitors. While we were all looking forward to being able to decease restrictions, the risks associated with this particularly infectious new variant has led to us making the following decisions:

  • Day leave will unfortunately no longer be permitted for patients over Christmas/New Year, due to increased risk of community transmission
  • Visitation guidelines remain unchanged at the current time. Full details can be found on the Visitation Guidelines QRG
  • Face-to-face education and training will revert to being permitted for mandatory training only. All training that can be conducted electronically should continue to do so.

These guidelines are in line with the COVID Peak (Black) risk rating, which remains in place for all health services across Victoria. The Department of Health’s COVID risk rating system guides our decisions around important topics such as the use of PPE and visitor restrictions.

While we’re looking at all possible ways to keep everyone safe at an organisational level, it’s important that each one of us takes individual responsibility. As you’ve done so well for almost two years now – thank you! – please keep following the basics of COVID-safety, including using QR codes every time you visit a tea or break room, adhering to our PPE guidelines, getting boosted as soon as possible, and keeping a safe distance from others.

When you’re getting together with family and friends over the holiday period, please remember the words of our Head of Infectious Diseases, Dr Marion Kainer: “Outdoors is your friend!” Gathering outside, rather than congregating indoors, is one of the most effective ways of limiting the spread of COVID. If you are going to be inside, limiting the size of the group, as well as the total time spent together, is a good way of protecting yourselves and each other. The recent COVID webinar featuring Marion, Shane Crowe and Lisa Smith has some great tips on keeping safe. A reminder also that Marion will be joining Russell Harrison in his CEO webinar tomorrow at 2pm.

Thanks for all of your ongoing hard work – and stamina. It’s been another tough year and I’m so grateful and inspired by the way that Western Health staff continue to respond to the challenge.

Thanks also for keeping updated.





COVID summary

Confirmed COVID ward inpatients at Western Health: 40

Confirmed COVID ICU inpatients at Western Health: 8

Confirmed COVID patients receiving Western Health care in the community: 119

COVID tests by our testing sites yesterday: 1160

Staff accessing surveillance testing yesterday: 235

Vaccinations delivered yesterday by West Metro COVID Vaccinations team: overall (1,139,314) and yesterday (627)


Contacting staff enquiries

Staff are reminded to contact the COVID-19 Staff Enquiries Helpdesk if they:

  • Have been advised they have had contact with someone who is COVID Positive
  • Live with someone who is COVID Positive
  • Live with someone who has had a contact with someone who is COVID positive
  • Are returning from International Travel

Individualised advice and precautions, including surveillance testing and PPE, is recommended following an individual risk assessment

Email whscovid-19staffclinicenquiries@wh.org.au and include the following detail:

  • Name
  • Role
  • Work location
  • Exposure site and date/ Enquiry Reason
  • Contact number/s


What's new on the microsite?

Click here to see the latest QRGs, clinical guidelines and other updates uploaded to the microsite.