Acting Chief Executive COVID-19 Update: 6 July

Message from the Acting Chief Executive

As of today, we have:

  • No COVID-19 positive inpatients.
  • One employee with COVID-19 from a known cluster. The employee is in isolation at home and doing well.
  • Twenty-four employees in precautionary quarantine, as a result of three separate potential exposures. As is usual practice, all people who are possible contacts have had a discussion with the Infection Prevention team; if you have not been contacted, you are not a potential ‘close contact’ and therefore not at risk.

On Saturday, the Premier advised that given the increasing numbers of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in particular locations in the north-western suburbs and the heightened risk of transmission, Stay at Home Directions have come into effect for two additional postcodes: 3031 (Flemington) and 3051 (North Melbourne).

A reminder that, for those in the restricted postcodes, there are only four reasons to leave home: shopping for food and supplies, care and caregiving, exercise, and study or work – if people can’t do it from home.

There is no restriction on essential workers from these postcodes attending work, where this is required in person.

In addition, the Government advised there are now two separate outbreaks in public housing towers in Flemington and North Melbourne, and announced new measures to slow the spread of the virus amongst these communities. The nine towers involved are now closed, and residents are required to stay in their homes at all times. This is in place for at least five days, and all residents will be tested.

I know these developments in the north west are concerning, however, it is important to understand that there is no change to the situation in the communities we serve at Monash Health.

Over the past seven days, over 12,000 tests have been conducted, and less than ten have come back as a confirmed COVID-19 positive.

With the low number of COVID-19 cases in our area and no current COVID-19 inpatients, we will be continuing with our current COVID-19 management practices. This includes our very successful community testing program, screening processes at all sites and patient appointments/presentations, along with employees following relevant Monash Health PPE tiers.

We will continue to monitor the situation closely with DHHS and consider and plan for any changes that might need to occur if the situation in our area were to change.

The most important thing that we can all do to stay safe is to remain vigilant and disciplined with our safety measures. We talk about these a lot; however, it is important to remember, these are:

  • Hand hygiene.
  • Using the appropriate level of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
  • Risk-assessing the situation before any patient contact. If you can’t assess the situation, it’s better to be prepared with PPE: “if in doubt, don’t go without”.
  • Completing your Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) refresher training (on LATTE and face-to-face).

Please remember, you must not attend work if you are unwell.  If you have symptoms consistent with COVID-19, it is important that you are tested and self-isolate. If you are contacted by DHHS because you are a close contact of a known COVID-19 case, as a health care worker, you must call (03) 9594 5815. If you have any concerns, please talk with your manager or call the Monash Health Employee Hotline on (03) 9594 5815, 7am to 4pm, seven days a week.

And if you are at all concerned for your wellbeing, please consult the employee health and wellbeing resources on our COVID-19 website.

Lastly, I want to thank you for the incredible work you are all doing. The dedication and care you show each day is appreciated by our patients, your colleagues, the community and me.

Martin Keogh
Acting Chief Executive

All managers are requested to share these updates with their teams and discuss at stand-ups and handovers. Please print a copy and display it in communication books and on employee noticeboards.

As advice and information evolve, please consult the latest updates and visit the Department of Health and Human Services and Monash Health COVID-19 website for employees regularly for the latest.

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