October 22, 2021

From today, the guidance regarding the furloughing of fully vaccinated Western Health staff who are primary close contacts (PCCs) but do not live in the same household as a COVID case has changed. This follows changes to isolation rules for non-household PCCs in the community, announced by the Chief Health Officer on Wednesday.

A shortened (7 day) isolation period now applies:

  • If you are a PCC because of contact with a COVID-positive case (either at work or in the community) OR you attended a Tier 1 site; AND
  • You are fully vaccinated

If you fit this criteria, you:

  • may return to work 7 days after exposure to an infectious case of COVID-19, provided you return a negative test on or after Day 6;
  • must take these additional precautions at work:
    • wear an N95 mask (regardless of clinical or non-clinical role) until Day 14
    • avoid sharing communal spaces/break rooms with your mask off until Day 14
    • get an asymptomatic test on Day 9-10 and Day 13

Staff PCCs who are not yet fully vaccinated (haven’t received both doses of vaccine) must still complete 14 days of quarantine, and may return to work after returning a negative test result on day 13.

The rules have not changed if somebody in your household has tested positive to COVID-19, and you are therefore considered a household PCC.  You must still complete 14 days quarantine (as directed by the Department or Health or Western Public Health Unit) and must contact the Staff Enquiries Services for clearance before returning to work.

All staff are reminded to contact the Staff Enquiries Helpdesk if they have been exposed to a Tier 1 site or to a positive case whscovid-19staffclinicenquiries@wh.org.au

More detail on how the rules for isolation apply in the community can be found here.

All staff are also reminded that despite the easing of restrictions across Victoria, health services such as Western Health are still operating in a state of COVID Peak.  This means that other guidance such as visitor restrictions, movement of health care workers and PPE requirements remain unchanged.

Today marks a day where many of us can start to see family and friends we have not seen for a very long time. I hope everyone has the opportunity over the coming days and weeks to reconnect with those we love and enjoy some time together.




COVID summary

Confirmed COVID ward inpatients at Western Health: 73

Confirmed COVID ICU inpatients at Western Health: 13

Confirmed COVID patients receiving Western Health care in the community: 289*

* Care can include remote monitoring, phone calls and home visits from the multidisciplinary team

COVID tests by our testing sites yesterday: 2128

Vaccinations delivered yesterday by West Metro COVID Vaccinations team: overall (1,031,080) and yesterday (8174)

Percentage of Western Health staff vaccinated: 97.1% first dose and 89.8% second dose

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