Chief Executive COVID-19 Update: 20 February

As of today, we have:

  • No COVID-19 positive inpatients.
  • 14 employees in precautionary quarantine.

In this update we cover:

  • Vaccination commencement
  • Circuit Breaker Updates
    • Updated PPE guidance
    • Masks remain mandatory inside at all times
    • Updated visitor restrictions
    • Updated advice for screening teams

Vaccination commences on Monday

We will commence Monash Health’s vaccination program on Monday, for our priority Phase 1A employees at Clayton and for residents and carers at Eastwood Hostel Aged Care.

This makes us one of the first sites in the country to be administering the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine.

There is overwhelming scientific evidence that vaccination is the best defence against serious infections and illness. Getting vaccinated means less risk for you, your colleagues and your patients, and I encourage you to be informed through our website and receive the vaccination as soon as it is your turn.

You can find the latest information about the Monash Health COVID-19 Vaccination Program on our dedicated vaccination web pages.

I encourage you to tune into our Employee Forums if you can or to watch the recordings of previous forums. Professor Rhonda Stuart’s latest employee forum presentation on the vaccination program is available here.

For an outside perspective on the vaccination experience, read Dr Cameron Wolfe’s story, or watch his Employee Forum interview. Cameron is a former Monash Health employee, now an infectious diseases specialist in the United States.

If you still have questions, please speak to your manager or call the Monash Health Vaccination Hotline on 9594-5815, (7:00am-8:00pm, seven days a week).

There will also be opportunities to ask questions at our regular employee forums.

Working in line with the government’s designated roll out schedule, we will begin with Phase 1a: frontline healthcare workers, aged care staff and residents, quarantine and border workers.

As Monash Health has over 5,000 Phase 1a employees, we will prioritise employees within Phase 1a based on exposure risk. This means you may be vaccinated at a later or earlier date than other members of your team. Everyone will have an opportunity to be vaccinated, so please be patient.

Initial priority Phase 1a employees are:

  • Priority employees in any role working in ED, Adult ICU, Paediatric ICU and COVID-19 positive management wards (employees will be prioritised based on exposure risk).
  • Other priority employees, including MET/Code teams, Aged Care Facility employees, those who care for COVID-19 patients directly and relevant microbiologists.

The vaccination program will start at Clayton and Eastwood Hostel, with vaccination for priority Phase 1a employees expected to begin at Dandenong and Casey in the next fortnight.

You will be contacted directly to organise your appointment time
You do not need to actively seek out information about your appointment; it will be provided to you based on eligibility.

Managers will help schedule the vaccinations
Managers will play a key role in scheduling the vaccination within their teams, when employees within the team become eligible. Please note: We will contact managers when it is time to provide lists of employees to be scheduled for vaccination.

Circuit Breaker updates
Following the ‘circuit breaker’ restrictions enacted last week, we have now returned to COVIDSafe Summer regulations, with some changed conditions.

Key points:

  • Our PPE Guidance has been updated and can be found here.
  • Eye protection is no longer required when treating COVID-19 negative patients/residents.
  • Masks remain mandatory inside at all times, except for residents in a residential home, and outdoors where 1.5m physical distancing can’t be maintained. Our PPE Guidance can be found here.
  • Visitor restrictions have been updated. Restrictions vary by area, however, in most cases two visitors from one household may visit a patient once per day for a maximum of one hour.
    An updated visitation poster can be found here.
  • Advice for screening teams has been updated. Screening teams are advised to take the time to familiarise themselves with the latest screening questions ready to download here.

Thank you for your ongoing dedication to each other and those we care for.

Andrew Stripp
Chief Executive

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