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A COVID-19 update

Monday, 01 Jun 2020

After nine weeks of not one COVID-positive test result in our local communities, we’re slowly, but cautiously, resuming more of our services.

PHOTO: When you phone or visit you'll be assisted by our terrific retail shop team that includes (from left) assistant manager Beth McGinley and assistants Amanda Brown and Danielle Tickner.

. Our Warrnambool Base Hospital retail shop has re-opened its doors for two hours/day – but ONLY for people already onsite in the hospital for other purposes. This will support, for example, the needs of inpatients being discharged who may need medical equipment or aids to take home with them. This option is NOT for non-essential hospital visitors. Our retail shop will continue to service this particular group of customers via phone orders and a contactless drop-off arrangement at the main entrance.

2. Rotary House (RH) has reopened but with strict conditions because many guests there are immunocompromised cancer patients and we need to be so vigilant for their sake. Anyone with a future booking will get a phone call from us 24 hours prior to check in, to confirm they’re displaying no Coronavirus symptoms or feel unwell. They’ll then be able to collect their keys from our retail shop in the foyer of the Warrnambool Base after, like all other visitors, being temperature-screened at the main entrance.

3. Our COVID-specific unit has reverted to a normal functioning ward – a key milestone in resuming services that have been affected by the pandemic, to date. As with all other inpatients under precaution, suspected COVID-19 inpatients will now be treated in all of our units. Today, for example, a number of patients were under precaution for a range of medical reasons including COVID-19 so our staff are well trained in using these precautions across SWH more generally.

4. Victoria continues to feel the supply chain pressures of limited PPE (particularly gowns), we again thank local businesses who’ve partnered with us to produce/supply alternative hand sanitiser, disinfectant and PPE ponchos.

5. To ensure we keep our patients, residents, consumers and staff as safe as possible from the spread of COVID-19, strict visitor hours continue:

  • Warrnambool Base Hospital: One visitor/patient for one hour only between the hours of 3-6pm. Visitors are screened as they enter the hospital. Visitors cannot be under 16 years of age.
  • Warrnambool Mental Health Services Acute Inpatient Unit: As above.
  • Camperdown Hospital: As above.
  • Paediatrics Unit (Warrnambool Base Hospital): One parent or primary care person/patient.
  • Midwifery Unit (Warrnambool Base Hospital): Partner or primary care person/patient.
  • Merindah Lodge: One visitor/resident for one hour only between the hours of 1-3pm. Some restrictions may apply. Visitors must be family members and must make an appointment by calling 5593 7366. Visitors are screened as they enter Merindah Lodge. Visitors cannot be under 16 years of age.

6. We continue to run our symptomatic appointment-only Warrnambool Respiratory Assessment Clinic (RAC) for people who have (in the absence of an alternative diagnosis that explains the clinical presentation) symptoms such as fever or chills OR acute respiratory infection such as a cough, sore throat, shortness of breath or a runny nose. You can call 5563 1666 between 8am-4pm Monday to Saturday to speak with one of our RAC nurses.

7. To date there’s been very little demand for the SWH COVID-19 Mental & Emotional Wellbeing Hotline we launched a fortnight ago. We’re not surprised by this, and we’re very at ease with it. Our intention in establishing this non-judgemental listening service is to provide local people with a hotline option staffed by locally-based professionals with local knowledge at their fingertips. We know that some of our community members would be using statewide hotline services including those operated by Centrelink, Beyond Blue and the Department of Health & Human Services.

Our SWH COVID-19 Hotline’s for people who prefer to speak confidentially with professionals on the ground, in their own home area. Organisations, health services, local councils and GP clinics we work closely have been informed, we’ve got plenty of people and local organisations sharing the news on their Facebook feeds, and ACE Radio has very generously donated airtime to help promote it.

The message is, we’re here if you need us. Our SWH COVID-19 Mental & Emotional Wellbeing Hotline is staffed by SWH professionals, is open 1-5pm weekdays, and is for anyone impacted by the pandemic who wants guidance or assistance in accessing counselling or wellbeing support, might be experiencing emotional distress, or is seeking basic information about how to best access services to support their mental health and emotional wellbeing.

The hotline number is 1800 965 144.

Page last updated: 15 December 2020

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