Statement regarding reports of COVID cases at Wonthaggi Hospital from BCH CEO Jan Child.

Category:
Friday 10 July 2020

There are rumours circulating within the community of COVID cases being admitted to Wonthaggi Hospital (pictured).

Bass Coast Health wishes to confirm these rumours are false. There are currently no COVID cases at Bass Coast Health’s sites at Wonthaggi Hospital and Phillip Island Health Hub.

Bass Coast Health will not always know of every positive case in Bass Coast and South Gippsland Shires and in the interests of privacy and confidentiality, we will not confirm detail of cases when they do exist.  

Given the high rates of community transmission however, along with the very infectious nature of this virus, the high level of complacency by many people in our community who are not doing the right thing with distancing and hygiene, the potential for people to be asymptomatic and not even know they are spreading it, and the number of people who move in and out of our catchment, there is a likelihood of us having positive cases in our catchment now and into the future.  

Now, more than ever, we need people to remember that we are in a Pandemic and that community transmissions mean that we are at risk of outbreaks.  Regional towns are not immune to community transmissions nor to a COVID outbreak. We are at a very serious cross roads in this Pandemic and people’s behaviours will determine whether this virus, which is incredibly contagious, spreads in our community, and whether we have continued positive cases.

People can give themselves the best possible protection from COVID by doing the right thing. It doesn’t matter whether you are a usual resident, or a part time resident, or a visitor. Everyone is at risk if everyone doesn’t do the right thing. 

People can help by staying at home at every opportunity. Avoid crowds; avoid lining up for coffees; avoid anything that puts you in touch with numbers of people.  Practise thorough hand hygiene by washing your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and warm water, being sure to wash the webbing of your hands and underneath your finger nails. Practise physical distancing by keeping at least 1.5m distance between you and others. Don’t hug, kiss and shake hands. When out in the community, avoid touching things that others touch and sanitise your hands wherever you can. Familiarise yourself with the symptoms of COVID and look out for these in yourself, and also within family and friends. The symptoms include fever, chills, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, runny nose, and loss of sense of smell or taste. If you have even the slightest hint of being unwell, stay at home and arrange to be tested, even with the mildest COVID-19 symptoms. Don’t visit friends and family before or after you get tested. Don’t go for a coffee or lunch. Don’t go to work. Just stay in your own home and patiently await your COVID test results.

Bass Coast Health is well prepared for the possible impacts of the virus within our community. We have dedicated treatment areas in place, staff are thoroughly prepared and have been training extensively for the Pandemic and we have good supplies of all necessary personal protective equipment to minimise risk to our staff.
Importantly, if you have any symptoms, stay home and get tested.  Testing is available at Wonthaggi Medical Centre Monday to Friday (book by phoning 0492 036 568 or online: https://www.hotdoc.com.au/…/wonthaggi-respiratory-…/doctors…), Foster Medical Centre Monday to Friday (Ph: 5682 2088), at the Phillip Island Health Hub (24 hours a day) and Wonthaggi Hospital (10am-5pm, 7 days a week).

For more information, see the Department of Health and Human Services’s COVID-19 website: https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/coronavirus