Wondering What Those Walls Are? Preparedness Brings Many Changes at BRHS

This zip wall in the BRHS Emergency Dept. near the main entrance went up this week.


Visitors to BRHS over the past couple of weeks will have noticed many changes.

All of those changes, such as limited visiting hours, screening stations, and closing entrances and exits, are part of Victoria’s State of Emergency Declaration and our response to the threat of COVID-19 impacting this community.

We know the changes forced upon us by COVID-19, such as physical distancing, have been burdensome for many.

But they are working. As you have seen, Victorians, particularly in regional communities like East Gippsland, have been very successful so far in suppressing the spread of this deadly disease.

The HDU has been reconfigured to treat COVID-positive patients.

At BRHS we know this is evidence that these measures are working, and that they are as vital now as ever if we are to avoid the devastation COVID-19 has wrought on communities elsewhere.

We’ve been working very hard over the past month to make sure we are prepared to take care of anyone and everyone that needs us, should a surge of COVID-19 illnesses strike this community.

If you’ve visited the hospital this week you may have seen some structural changes. Here’s what those are about.

Temporary “zip” walls at the entrance to, and inside, the Emergency Department were constructed so we can now create two separate waiting, triage and treatment spaces – for COVID and non-COVID cases – if we need to. (They’re called zip walls because the plastic sheets zip opened and closed to allow passage.)

Similarly a zip wall in the High Dependency Unit in the Tambo Ward will enable us to treat COVID-positive patients safely and without risk of infection.

CEO Robyn Hayles inspects the newly recommissioned Fraser Ward.

The vacant Fraser Ward has been recommissioned and restocked, temporarily expanding capacity at BRHS by 19 beds should we receive an influx of COVID patients and need the additional space.

And our Maternity ward has done a lot of work to make sure we’re ready to deliver a baby for a COVID-positive Mum, if that eventuates.

These works are just some of what’s happening behind (and sometimes in front) of the scenes to execute the various phases of our COVID surge planning.

We aim to be as ready as we can possibly be, for what is still an unknowable future.

Thank you for the role you are playing in that.

Make no mistake – by staying home as much as possible, staying away from the hospital unless you really need to be here, and by practising physical distancing, you are suppressing the spread of COVID-19 in this community.

Stay up to date about COVID-19 in Victoria at www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/Coronavirus