September 9, 2020

Victoria’s Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton has referred several times to the “stubborn tail” of the COVID-19 curve. Although fantastic progress has been made in driving down the rates of community transmission, we’re at an important juncture. Our Head of Infectious Diseases, Dr Marion Kainer, says there are concerning signs that transmission rates could be increasing again – particularly in our region, Melbourne’s west. It is clear we’re not yet through the “second wave”.

For this reason, it is vitally important we all stick to the principles of COVID safety. Our individual responsibilities include maintaining high standards of hand hygiene, checking our temperature, and keeping a minimum physical distance of 1.5m. Please remember that masks should only be taken off when eating and drinking – and they must be replaced once finished. Maintaining your distance in tea rooms and shared spaces is also extremely important… and please don’t come to work if you are sick. Please make sure safety is front of mind at all times.

Western Health continues to support staff by providing asymptomatic staff testing.  Commencing from tomorrow, Western Health will be offering additional asymptomatic testing for staff. This is in response to a recent DHHS recommendation for weekly surveillance COVID testing of staff working in wards where more than 25% of patients have COVID-19.

In line with this recommendation, 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 invited 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

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.

A reminder also that, as of yesterday, Western Health staff can now complete their daily attestations online, and this is the preferred method. As of 8.45am this morning, more than 2400 staff had already used the online version of this mandatory survey. More details about the daily attestation are in the bulletin below.

Finally, staff who missed yesterday’s edition of Russell Harrison’s weekly webinar can access it here.

Thanks for continuing to keep yourselves updated.


COVID-19 Daily Summary

  • Number of Respiratory Assessment Clinic presentations yesterday – all sites: 189
  • Numbers of confirmed COVID-19 inpatients: 16
  • Wards/areas closed due to outbreaks: nil
  • Numbers of staff who have tested positive for COVID-19: 183
  • Numbers of staff who are currently on leave for COVID-19: 8 – single digits!
  • Numbers of staff who have returned to work post COVID-19: 175

Online survey - daily staff attestations

To ensure a safe workplace and clinical environment the DHHS has issued a requirement that public health and aged care settings put in place a process for daily attestations by staff that they are in good health prior to commencing work.

Following the introduction of a paper-based Staff Attestation (symptom check) late last week, an online survey has now been developed.

This survey offers all staff a quick and easy solution to complete their self-screen prior to each shift or work day on site.

All staff members working on-site must complete a COVID-19 symptom check prior to the commencement of each shift to ensure staff are well and eligible to work.  This is a mandatory requirement of the DHHS to reduce transmission of COVID-19 within the healthcare setting.

Effective immediately, the online survey is now the preferred method for staff to complete their daily symptom check.

The survey can be accessed 2 ways:

  1. By scanning a unique QR code using your smart device. This code will take you directly to the survey:

  1. By entering the following web addresson your smartphone/tablet or computer 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


PPE advice 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.