COVID-19 Alert: ‘Circuit Breaker’ restrictions commencing 11.59pm Friday 12 February

COVID-19 ‘Circuit Breaker’ restrictions commencing 11.59pm Friday 12 February

This afternoon, the Premier announced that on advice from the Chief Health Officer, all of Victoria will be entering Stage 4 restrictions commencing 11.59pm Friday 12 February and ending 11.59pm Wednesday 17 February. The restrictions are designed to enable ‘Circuit Breaker Action’ against the highly transmissible UK variant of COVID-19.

I appreciate this news may cause frustration and a feeling of taking a step backwards, but it is another step in a journey we know is ongoing, so I wanted to remind you all how far we’ve come. We’ve been here before and we know what to do. Trust your training and each other, and stick to first principles:

  • hand hygiene
  • physical distancing
  • correct PPE tier for the situation (if in doubt, don’t go without)
  • always wear a mask
  • don’t come to work if feeling unwell

As always, my Executive and I have confidence that the dedication and expertise of our employees which has led us this far, will continue to do so, safely.

Restrictions will affect our employees, patients and visitors in several key areas (a full list of restrictions can be found on the Department of Health website).

Once again, there will be only four reasons to leave home:

  • Shopping for necessary goods and services (one person per household, once per day, a support person can accompany if required)
  • Caregiving or compassionate reasons
  • Essential work or permitted education
  • Exercise (can leave for two hours of exercise)

Work: If you can work from home, you must work from home (essential worker exemptions apply, you may use your employee ID cards if you are coming to work).

Elective surgeries: Only emergency and Category 1 surgeries and procedures will take place.

Outpatient appointments: These will be through telehealth, unless deemed urgent and requiring face-to-face consultation.

Visitor restrictions at Monash Health (includes aged care):

  • Visitors are not permitted, except for special circumstances, or if required as a caregiver (further details and a downloadable poster will be provided in the next alert and on the Monash Health website soon).
  • Non-essential contractors are restricted from entry.

Exemptions to this policy can only be provided by the Chief Nursing & Midwifery Officer, the Chief Operating Officer or myself.

Cafes/meal areas: Open for take-away only.

A reminder that face coverings must be worn indoors and outdoors except if at home, or if an exemption applies.

Advice if you have visited a Red Zone

An increasing number of sites have been declared designated red zones and the list is changing rapidly. Please view the most up-to-date list of Victorian exposure locations here:

If you visited any of the designated red zone sites during the times listed, you must:

  1. Get tested immediately.
  2. Isolate for 14 days. Do not attend work.
  3. Contact your manager.
  4. Contact the COVID-19 Employee Hotline on 959 45815 (7am to 7pm – seven days a week).
  5. Contact DoH on 1300 651 160.

The exposure sites will be added to Emergency Department and visitor screening processes soon and shared in the next alert.

We will share additional advice and information as further guidance is received from the Department. A Chief Executive Alert with the latest information is due later this evening. Please ensure you read it and communicate updates with your team and colleagues. As always, thank you for your commitment and resilience, it has made all the difference to our community and will continue to do so.

Andrew Stripp

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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