Coronavirus: The Latest Advice and Information

UPDATED: 19/05/20 @ 1440

IMPORTANT INFO ABOUT VISITING

NEED TO BE TESTED?

A clinic has been opened in Bairnsdale to assess, test and diagnose respiratory cases, including COVID-19, influenza and pneumonia.

As a result, BRHS is closing down its drive-through testing on weekdays.

Bairnsdale Medical Group (BMG) will operate the new respiratory clinic at a purpose-built facility located at 20 Forge Creek Road, past the Bairnsdale RSL.

The BMG respiratory assessment clinic will provide assessment, including testing for COVID-19, and care of patients presenting with mild to moderate respiratory symptoms.

Entry to the new clinic will be from the corner of Forge Creek Road and Payne Street.

It will be operate Monday to Friday, initially from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., with scope for increased hours as determined by demand.

Those seeking to be tested must have mild symptoms and must register for an appointment at this web page or by phoning (03) 4116 2014.

As always, if you are urgently unwell you should present to your nearest hospital Emergency Dept.

IS BRHS STILL DOING TESTING?

Anyone with symptoms must contact the BMG respiratory clinic in Bairnsdale to arrange testing.

Those needing to be tested must first register for an appointment at this web page or by phoning (03) 4116 2014.

People without symptoms are not currently eligible for testing.

We urge anyone with mild or moderate symptoms to make an appointment at the BMG respiratory clinic.

However, if someone is feeling unwell on a weekend they can come to BRHS for testing and treatment.

They must call ahead first.

The number to call is 0417 021 250.


VISITING HOURS

WEEKDAYS: 2 – 6 P.M.
WEEKENDS: 10 A.M. – 2 P.M.

Your best source of accurate and up-to-date information about Coronavirus in Victoria is the Dept. of Health and Human Services Coronavirus webpage: https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/coronavirus

We’ll relay you pertinent information from DHHS as it becomes available.


IMPORTANT UPDATES FROM BRHS

  • COVID-19 testing now being done at new BMG respiratory clinic.
  • Some Elective Surgeries Are Resuming. Here’s more info.
  • Almost all non-staff must use hospital main entrance.
  • All visitors to Maddocks Gardens must show proof of immunisation.
  • Limits on prescription and over-the-counter medicines.
  • Pathology service will close at 3 p.m. on weekdays.

LIMITS ON VISITING

Almost everyone visiting the hospital for whatever reason must use the main entrance.

Only people accessing these services may park behind the hospital and access other buildings directly:

  • Confirmed treatment appointments at Oncology, Dialysis or Consulting rooms
  • Surgery
  • Confirmed appointments with Home-Based Nursing, such as the Wound Clinic
  • Environmental Services, Kitchen deliveries or Meals on Wheels
  • Funeral services

All people will have their temperature taken and be screened for recent travel history and contacts.

Particularly between 2 – 4 p.m. when it can be particularly busy, screening may slow you down so please plan ahead and leave yourself some extra time.

From now on, only 2 visitors per day, per hospital patient will be allowed. Only immediate family members will be able to visit. Only 1 visitor will be allowed with a patient, at a time.

  • Visits will be limited to a maximum of one hour, per visitor.
  • Visitors will only be allowed on the wards between 2 – 6 p.m. on weekdays, and 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. on weekends.
  • All visitors must check in at the nurses station on the ward.

We do understand this will be difficult for those of you who have family members and loved ones in the hospital. We encourage you to stay in touch with them by phone or video call.

This is not a decision we are taking lightly, and appreciate fully what this will mean to some families. In special circumstances, please call the Nurse Unit Manager looking after your loved-one to discuss visiting arrangements.

Visitors and guests will not be permitted in the Dialysis and Oncology Units.

Existing restrictions are in place for Maddocks Gardens. Here’s more info about that.

All visitors to any areas of the hospital will be screened.

  1. Have you travelled overseas in the last 14 days?
  2. Have you had contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19?
  3. Do you have an illness, especially a fever, sore throat, cough, shortness of breath or other respiratory symptoms?

If you answer YES to Questions 1 or 2:

You must not enter the hospital. You are required to self-isolate. Go home, and call the COVID-19 hotline on 1800 675 398.

If you answer YES to Question 3:

Seek medical assessment by calling your GP or the COVID-19 hotline on 1800 675 398. If you are urgently unwell, present to the Emergency Dept.


ELECTIVE SURGERY

The Victorian Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) announced on April 22 that hospitals would gradually resume Category 2 and some Category 3 elective surgeries that were suspended earlier this month to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

If you are waiting for a procedure at Bairnsdale Regional Health Service, you do not need to do anything. We will contact you when your surgery has been rescheduled.

Here’s more info about elective surgeries resuming at BRHS.


LIMITS ON MEDICINES

Pharmacists have been told by deputy chief medical officer Paul Kelly to dispense only one month’s worth of prescription medicines and limit the purchase of some over-the-counter products.

Over-the-counter medicines, like Ventolin and paracetamol, will be limited to one unit per person.

Pharmacists will be required to keep children’s paracetamol behind the counter.

If you have any questions about your prescriptions at BRHS, call our Pharmacy on 5150 3485


PLAY YOUR PART IN REDUCING THE SPREAD

We appreciate the anxiety and concern that COVID-19 is causing in this community. It is our community, too.

Every individual has a big role to play in reducing the spread of COVID-19.

Wash your hands regularly. If you need to cough or sneeze cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or your elbow.

If you are ill, stay at home.

Here’s a checklist of the things you can do to reduce your risk of COVID-19.


DO YOU NEED TO VISIT THE HOSPITAL?

We ask that you limit nonessential visits to the hospital. Consider a phone call instead of a visit. If you do need to visit, a maximum of two guests are permitted.

Reducing the number of people coming and going through the hospital helps us reduce the risk of transmission and helps us protect patients and the community.

Please do not visit if you have returned from overseas in the past 14 days, or if you are unwell.

We know this restriction can be challenging and we understand each family’s situation is different. For exceptional circumstances we encourage you to speak to your family member’s nursing team for further advice.

If you do come to the hospital for whatever reason, please perform proper hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette, and listen to and obey direction from staff.


PATHOLOGY SERVICES

To allow adequate time for staff to perform necessary cleaning, Dorevitch Pathology Services at BRHS will close at 3 p.m. on weekdays, with the last patient being accepted at approximately 2:50 p.m.

Call Dorevitch Pathology Services on (03) 5150 3475 to check opening hours and for all questions.