Hospital staff testing – all clear

Category: Latest News
Monday 20 July 2020
A massive exercise to test more than 800 staff at West Gippsland Hospital has returned NO positive cases for COVID-19. All residents tested at Cooinda Lodge Age Care are also clear.
Chief Executive Officer, Dan Weeks, said the wide scale testing, at short notice, was a remarkable effort involving collaboration with Latrobe Regional Hospital, Dorevitch and WGHG.

“We completed staff testing on Friday undertaking 803 tests over the week. All tests have returned negative. The result provides a very high level of confidence for the staff and broader Baw Baw community.”

WGHG initiated staff COVID-19 testing as a precautionary measure from Saturday (July 11th) after a staff member returned a positive result for COVID 19 on Friday afternoon July 10th. The staff member had not been at work since July 4th and had not worked while they had symptoms.
Dan Weeks said as always safety was first and foremost.

“We immediately activated our COVID incident response, working with the Department of Health and Human Services to ensure every precaution was undertaken to identify and alleviate any potential risks.”

“Staff members considered possible contacts were tested and self-isolated. They have all been tested twice and results have come back negative.
While the staff member was not considered to have had close contact with patients or aged care residents, DHHS contact tracing was conducted as a precaution.

“As a major employer in West Gippsland with a diversity of staff working in many different roles, along with the significant community testing taking place at the Warragul Respiratory Clinic, this testing result gives us a good sense of what is happening in our community,” Mr Weeks said.
Dan Weeks thanked staff, patients, aged care residents, their families and the community for their patience and understanding.

“We have re-opened Cooinda Lodge residential aged care to approved visitors with restrictions. Otherwise, the rest of the changes we implemented last week continue as sensible precautions given the scale of COVID in Melbourne and our proximity to the lockdown areas.

MASK WEARING
All visitors are required to wear a mask across health service sites including the Hospital site,  Consulting suites, Cooinda Lodge and Andrews House Aged Care, Allied and Community Health and Rawson Community Health Centre. Masks are provided. Visitor restrictions have been tightened at Andrews House to align with an organisation-wide approach.

VISITOR RESTRICTIONS:

Cooinda Lodge and Andrews House residential aged care
• One pre-approved visitor for each resident per day for up to one hour.
• No visitors under the aged of 16
• All visitors must provide evidence of a current influenza vaccination
• All visitors must wear a mask (provided)
• All visitors screened and temperature checked on arrival

Hospital Visitors - all visitors to the Landsborough Street site including Consulting Suites, Allied & Community Health, Warragul Linen Service

• One visitor per patient per day for one hour for patients on general wards
• Visitor hours are strictly between 10.30am -12.30pm OR 4pm-6pm - Remember only ONE visit per day
• All visitors must wear a mask (provided)
• All visitors screened and temperature checked on arrival

Maternity/Birthing visits at WGHG - latest Directive of the Victorian Government 
• ONE nominated support person for the duration of the labour.
• Following the birth, visits by the same nominated support person are limited to ONE visit per day for a maximum of 2 hours. Visiting hours are 10-30am-12.30pm OR between 4pm and 6pm. Remember the nominated support person may only VISIT ONCE per day for no more than 2 hours in the one visit.
• All visitors must wear a mask (provided) 
Contact the Maternity Unit for details on 5623 0611 

Exemptions:
There are exemptions on time limits for patients aged under 18 years, patients with a disability or end of life care.

Allied & Community Health - CRC and Gladstone Street, Warragul
• All clients/ visitors must wear a mask (provided)
• All visitors screened and temperature checked on arrival
• Visitors to the Gladstone Street site are limited to one support person per client

Health service staff
All WGHG staff should wear a mask unless working on their own.
All staff who live in locked down areas must follow lock down rules while working in Baw Baw Shire.

“I thank all staff and managers for their fast and professional response to activating our COVID response plans. It was an extraordinary effort that required coordination and cooperation from staff right across the health service, ” Dan weeks said

More information on visitor restrictions phone West Gippsland Hospital : 03 5623 0611

For the latest accurate information on COVID-19 phone the hot line: 1800 675 398 or go to the Victorian Department of Health website: https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/coronavirus

Members of the public wishing to be screened should continue to so in accordance with public health directions.
Contact the Respiratory Clinics in Gipplsand if you are experiencing symptoms.
https://www.gphn.org.au/


Please do not attend a health service or GP without phoning ahead first.
If it is an emergency call triple 000



Clinical nurses Chloe Moore (left) and Nikki Eddy (right) prepare to swab test WGHG 's Tarryn Gardiner as part of the precautionary staff-wide COVID-19 testing at WGHG


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Media Inquiries: WGHG Public Relations Manager 03 5623 0600