Published on 11 May 2022

We’re seeing a rise in COVID cases in the community and a corresponding increase in hospitalisations across health services and staff furloughed at Western Health. Whilst the numbers remain lower that what we saw earlier this year with the Omicron peak, they do provide a timely reminder that we should do what we can to avoid transmission of the virus. Staff who work in clinical areas must continue wearing N95s, including in all other areas such as office spaces, while staff who work in non-clinical areas must continue with surgical masks.

We’d also urge staff to prioritise their annual flu vaccination if they haven’t yet. The staff influenza immunisation program is now operational every day including weekends.

Rapid antigen surveillance testing for inpatients

Rapid antigen testing for all inpatients continues as part of a routine surveillance program to detect COVID transmission early. As has previously been communicated, inpatients should be tested daily for the first 72 hours of admission, again on day 7 of admission and weekly thereafter. From today, the date of the most recent rapid antigen test for each patient is available on the EMR Ward Overview page. This information will assist wards with monitoring when patients are due for testing and with patient handover. Please refer to the updated QRG here for details.

Footscray COVID Testing Clinic

Changes in surveillance and testing requirements and greater availability of RATs have resulted in significant reduced demand for the Footscray COVID Testing Clinic and therefore it will cease operation on Friday 20 May. Staff can still access RATs via the main reception desk at Footscray Hospital. The Footscray COVID Testing Clinic will resume operations when required to support timely access to staff PCR testing.

Symptomatic staff testing remains available at the Sunshine COVID Testing Clinic between the hours of 8.45am-4.45pm (available for symptomatic and asymptomatic staff). Refer to details here regarding RAT access at all sites.

COVID testing for family members of staff to cease

PCR testing of family members of staff at Sunshine COVID Testing Clinic will also cease on 20 May due to decreased demand. Staff can refer to the Department of Health Where to get tested website to locate the most convenient PCR testing site for their family members.


Executive Director Operations (Acting)