Chief Executive COVID-19 Update: 24 July

Message from the Chief Executive

As of today, we have:

  • Seven COVID-19 positive inpatients.
  • Nine employees with COVID-19. They are in isolation at home and doing well.
  • Forty-four employees in precautionary quarantine, with twenty-five of these out of quarantine tomorrow.

The introduction on Wednesday of the mandatory use of face coverings as an additional infection prevention measure is an important step. I was very pleased to be able to welcome people coming into work on Thursday morning and witness how this initiative has been embraced at Monash Health. My Executive Director colleagues were also at various entrances across Monash Health and noted the same. As I have mentioned, and I am sure you are already experiencing, it may take a bit of time to get used to this new ritual. Of course, any discomfort is easily offset against the potential impact of an uncontained COVID-19 pandemic in our city.

This initiative will have the most impact if it is done in conjunction with other key infection prevention measures – such as physical distancing, good hand hygiene, and isolating yourself if you have symptoms (including if you are waiting for test results). These points are sometimes forgotten, but they are as relevant today as they were when the COVID-19 pandemic first arrived.

This multi-pronged approach gives us the best chance of bringing the number of positive cases down and reducing the rate at which COVID-19 is spread.

 

While, understandably, much of the focus and headlines at the moment are on our COVID-19-related work, it’s important to remember that there remains an enormous amount of activity taking place throughout our organisation. It was really pleasing to hear that three young researchers from MonashHeart’s Monash Cardiovascular Research Centre – Dr Hashrul Rashid, Dr Andrew Lin and Dr Abdul Ihdayhid – achieved nominations in three out of six finalist positions for best work at an international meeting on Cardiac Computed Tomography recently.

It’s wonderful that their hard work and expertise has been formally acknowledged, however, it is not lost on any of us that there are thousands of our people achieving things, big and small, in support of our community every day. I thank you once more for your incredible skills and tireless efforts.

Andrew Stripp

Chief Executive

Key Messages

Clayton COVID-19 Screening Clinic CLOSED on Saturday 25 July

The Clayton COVID-19 screening clinic (239 Clayton Road), will be closed temporarily on Saturday 25 July for site works, and will reopen at 9.30am on Sunday 26 July. Our other screening sites will be operating as usual. Click here for more information.

COVID-19 testing prior to elective and emergency surgery and interventions
As part of updated DHHS guidelines, elective and emergency surgery and interventional patients will undergo COVID-19 screening and swab testing prior to their surgery or procedure. Read more here.

Safety Reminder – always use aseptic techniques 

There are limited supplies of sterile examination gloves across Australia. This will not critically impact clinical operations as long as we observe the correct hand hygiene methods and apply aseptic techniques. Read more here.

 

Update on pregnant healthcare workers

Pregnant women do not appear to be more likely to develop severe COVID-19 than the general population. It is expected that most pregnant women who develop COVID-19 will experience mild or moderate illness from which they will make a full recovery. However, there is currently limited information available regarding the impact of COVID-19 on pregnant women and their babies.

Therefore, it would be prudent for pregnant women to practice physical distancing, ensure good hygiene practices and adhere to Standard and Transmission Based Precautions to reduce the risk of infection. Learn more here.

Tea room check-ins are compulsory

For the safety of you and your colleagues, please ensure you check-in to any tea room at Monash Health every time you enter. To check-in, simply scan the QR code with your phone’s camera on the ‘Tea room check-in’ poster. These will be placed prominently in every tea room.

MonashHeart doesn’t skip a beat at international cardiology awards 

Three researchers from MonashHeart’s Monash Cardiovascular Research Centre achieved excellent results with nominations and awards at a premier international meeting on Cardiac Computed Tomography (CCT). Read about the high-performing team and their exceptional work here.

Return to remote learning for school students
Many of our employees at Monash Health will be impacted by the changes to school operations. Learn more about the support available and your leave entitlements during this time, here.

Enforcing our Smoke-free Policy

All Monash Health campuses are smoke-free zones and this applies to employees, visitors and patients. There are no exceptions: no ifs, and no butts. Our COVID-19 precautions mean we have fewer entrances and exits to sites, which has resulted in smokers congregating at high traffic access points. This is unacceptable so we are introducing additional security to enforce the existing Smoke-free policy. Anyone found smoking on site will be asked to stop immediately or leave the site.

Like all employees, our security staff are entitled to respect, so please remember this if they engage with you. If you choose to smoke, please do the right thing and do so offsite.

Continue to take advantage of wellbeing resources

Take advantage of the health and wellbeing resources we have available for you, including the Call a Psychologist service and the employee assistance program. Don’t forget the basics of your physical health and remember we have links to resources online for you and your teams, including a helpful guide to stretching at your desk, wherever that desk might be.

Ensure you are working to the most up-to-date advice

The information about COVID-19 is changing rapidly. Ensure you are working to the most up-to-date advice by referring to the Monash Health Employee Coronavirus website. To make accessing the site quicker, you can create a shortcut on your smartphone by following these instructions.

 

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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