Kyabram District Health Service is taking a proactive approach to protect both our staff and our community.
We are preparing for increased patient numbers and demand for services.
The first point of contact for people who suspect they have COVID-19 remains the DHHS hotline 1800 675 398.
If you are unwell and have flu like symptoms and have travelled overseas recently KDHS would appreciate it if you would please ring ahead to the hospital on 5857 0200 before presenting.
We aim to keep our local community informed as this dynamic situation unfolds.
In line with the Victorian Premier’s announcement today to reintroduce Stage 4 COVID-19 restrictions, No visitors are permitted into KDHS acute ward or aged care facility, except for end of life reasons. These special circumstances are at the discretion of the nurse in charge.
The KDHS walk up COVID-19 testing clinic will expand to be open from 2:00pm-3:00pm every day, including this weekend.
COVID-19 Testing Clinic
KDHS COVID-19 testing clinic operates as a walk in clinic between 2.00pm-3.00pm Monday to Friday enter via gate next to Renal Dialysis. Appointments not necessary.
Message from the Board of Directors
Over the last few months as a Board we have witnessed, and been actively involved in, the pro-active pandemic preparations by Kyabram District Health Service staff and the wider healthcare sector. As community members we have been aware of the effects the stage 3 restrictions have had on many areas and businesses. Our support and thoughts are with all staff and community members who have been affected.
As a Board we wish to express our confidence in the leadership of the CEO and staff of KDHS. We have continued to receive regular updates throughout the pandemic. Over 100 Healthcare workers were tested last week as part of the asymptomatic testing blitz. There have been no further positive cases reported.
Whilst some measures and restrictions may be eased this week by the State Government, these changes will be reviewed internally at KDHS as it applies to our current situation. Some extra measures may remain in place, as we do our best to keep the community safe.
Please continue to practice hand hygiene and social distancing. We truly are all in this together and thank you for your ongoing support of KDHS.
20.07.2020- Wearing of Face masks at KDHS
In line with direction from DHHS we provide the following update on directions for wearing of masks at KDHS.
Staff: From 20th July all staff in public-facing roles will wear masks, particularly where adequate social distancing of 1.5 metres is difficult to maintain.
Visitors/contractors/clients: All visitors/contractors/clients in public-facing areas are strongly encouraged to wear face masks. This includes people attending Outpatients, Pathology and X-ray or whilst visiting patients or residents. Masks will be supplied by KDHS at the screening station at the front entrance. Some people may choose to wear their own cloth masks. ( A reminder these should be washed daily).
Patients: Patients will be encouraged to wear masks if they are in a joint room or if they leave their room. Discretion will be applied in areas where patients may be confused or have conditions that make it difficult for them to wear masks. Residents in Sheridan do not need to wear masks unless they are leaving the facility, for example to attend an appointment.
Children under 12 do not have to wear masks unless they wish to.
Masks should be changed every 4 hours, or more frequently if they are damaged. Care must be taken to ensure masks are applied and removed in line with Infection Control guidelines. Please undertake appropriate hand hygiene after removing the mask and dispose of it in a bin. Extra bins will be provided as you exit the building.
With increased cases of COVID-19 across the state the decision has been made to reduce visiting hours in the Acute Ward from 2pm until 3pm from Tuesday 14th July, unless special circumstances apply (which can be confirmed with the nurse in charge). The same visiting hours apply in Sheridan. A maximum of two visitors per day can attend.
All people attending outpatient appointments and visiting patients at KDHS will now be required to wear a face mask. Single use masks will be provided upon entry to those who don’t have their own mask. They must be worn for the entire visit and disposed of on exiting the building. This will also apply to our Tongala and Stanhope sites.
All people, including staff, continue to be temperature tested and screened on entering the building. We apologise for delays that may occur during busy periods and thank the community for its ongoing understanding and support.
Kyabram District Health Service contributing to regional pandemic plans
Kyabram and district residents will be better protected against a potential outbreak or second wave of COVID-19 after health services in the region combined to create two regional pandemic plans.
The Hume Region Cluster Plan involves 25 health and aged care services over 33 sites, while the Loddon Mallee Cluster Plan combines the resources of 18 public health services, two private hospitals, five community health services and two bush nursing centres. Both plans include Ambulance Victoria and the Murray Primary Health Network to effectively treat and move patients if localised outbreaks of COVID-19 occur.
In a worst-case outbreak scenario, the resources of the Loddon Mallee region include a daily capacity for more than 80 Intensive Care Ventilated beds, approximately 900 general ward beds and close to 400 Emergency Department presentations. Intensive Care bed capacity in the Hume region will surge from 18 beds to 44 beds.
Kyabram District Health Service (KDHS) has been involved in both the Hume Region and Loddon Mallee Region pandemic planning and is in the two Cluster Plans, which provide guidance on staff training and how health services can adapt their models of care during a pandemic.
KDHS’ CEO Anne McEvoy said the plan was an important step forward in protecting the wider community against COVID-19.
The plan will ensure that if a second wave occurs there will be clear guidelines to ensure patients who are well enough are treated at Kyabram and those who require higher level care are transferred to the appropriate hospital to provide the required care.
“By helping flatten the curve and practicing social distancing, the community has given us time to create this plan. We thank them for doing the right thing and helping us become better prepared.
“The cluster plan is an additional piece of work done to prepare the region for COVID-19.”
As part of the plan, health services are classified on their capacity to care for COVID-19 patients at different stages of an outbreak.
Goulburn Valley Health and Albury Wodonga Health are the COVID-19 sites with intensive care beds in the Hume Region, while Northeast Health Wangaratta is a non-Covid-19 site with intensive care capacity. Bendigo Health, Mildura Base Hospital and St John of God Hospital Bendigo are the intensive care hubs for the Loddon Mallee Region, Echuca and Swan Hill hospitals have higher level acute medical care while the remaining 14 rural health services can provide acute and community-based care for COVID-19 patients.
The Cluster Plans also cater for a sharing of services for high-risk patients in areas like oncology, dialysis and maternity should a localised outbreak impact service delivery for a specific health service.
The plan provides information on COVID-19 assessment (screening and testing) clinics and best- practice approaches to outbreaks in residential care facilities.
In response to the Department of Health and Human Services following our recent lockdown of Sheridan, we will be reintroducing visiting in a staged approach.
As Victoria remains in a State of Emergency, some restrictions to visiting will remain, in order to protect the health and wellbeing of our residents, families and staff.
Our visiting plan aims to ensure consumers health and wellbeing are being met whilst minimising any risk of COVID-19.
From Friday 5th June, 2020 the visitation guidelines for Sheridan Aged Care are as follows;
- Visits will be from 2pm - 3pm, 7 days per week.
- Visits are for up to 30 minutes, with no personal protective equipment (PPE).
- The visit is limited to 1 to 2 visitors at a time (1 person preferable).
- Specific dispensations may be offered following discussion and agreement with the Nurse Unit Manger.
- Please remember you must have a 2020 influenza vaccination to visit the aged care facility and provide evidence that this requirement has been completed.
- Visitors will continue to be screened prior to entering Sheridan
- The visitor must not have travelled overseas or been on a cruise ship in the past 14 days.
- The visitor must not have been in contact with a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19 in the past 14 days.
- The visitor must not currently or in the last 7 days been unwell or have any of the following symptoms: Fever, night sweats or chills, Cough, Runny nose, Sore or scratchy throat, Shortness of breath, Loss of smell.
- The visitor must not attend if they have been in close contact with or caring for someone who is currently unwell with any of the symptoms above.
- No children under the age of 16 will be allowed in the facility.
Unfortunately, if any of the screening criteria is not met, entry will be denied and alternative communication will continue to be supported.
KDHS will continue to focus on the resident’s wellbeing, and enabling choice in alternative means of communication with their loved ones during this difficult time. We welcome any feedback and ideas of better communication strategies. Please let us know what we can do better.
On Friday 22nd May KDHS undertook COVID-19 testing of staff and local Visiting Medical Officers who had not previously been tested that week. Almost 200 tests were undertaken. All test results were negative.
The testing was arranged in collaboration with the Commonwealth Department of Health and Victorian DHHS Public Health Unit.
KDHS is grateful for the opportunity to undertake this asymptomatic testing, and extremely appreciative of the efforts of staff; those who planned the clinic at short notice, others who manned the clinic on the day, and especially all the staff who attended for testing. Many staff came in on their day off and travelled considerable distances to ensure they were tested, all with less than 24 hours’ notice.
This is a great result and gives us some reassurance, however we cannot become complacent.
Please continue to:
- Practice good hygiene
- Maintain physical distancing (keep at least 1.5 metres from others)
- Stay home if you are unwell
- Get tested, even if you have mild symptoms
Kyabram District Health Services Testing Clinic
KDHS participated in the Victorian State Wide testing blitz for people without symptoms from the 3- 10 May conducting voluntary testing of people without symptoms who met any of the designated criteria. During this blitz 243 people were tested plus 34 Sheridan aged care residents. All test results from the blitz were negative for COVID-19.
The symptomatic testing clinic commenced on the 4th of May and continues to operate Monday – Friday 1.30pm-3.30pm-. 143 People with symptoms have been tested in the symptomatic clinic so far and all results have been negative.
Victorian School Staff Testing
KDHS participated in the Victorian Government Voluntary School staff testing. All surrounding schools were contacted and offered testing. From the 19th – 22nd May KDHS provided on site testing clinics to schools in Rushworth, Girgarre, Tongala and Kyabram. 127 school staff were tested during this time.
Feedback from St Augustine’s College Testing Clinic:
“The girls were absolutely delightful and our staff were really appreciative of the clinic.”
FURTHER STAFF TESTING
Following the additional 2 staff members testing positive to COVID- 19 swabs, KDHS has arranged for the team from Sonic Health to return to KDHS tomorrow (Friday 22 May) to test all remaining staff (including those on annual leave and days off) and Kyabram VMOs who were not swabbed on Monday 18th May. This process has been arranged in collaboration with the Commonwealth Department of Health and the DHHS Public Health Unit.
CEO Anne McEvoy said “We have taken this step as we want to ensure all staff have been swabbed to provide a further level of reassurance to the community, our staff and VMOs. We have appreciated the messages and practical offers of support from members of the community and our regional and neighbouring health services during this challenging time. It has been greatly valued”.
COVID-19 RESULTS DELAY
With such high numbers of people being tested across the state, results from the KDHS symptomatic clinic, being sent to us from our external lab are unfortunately delayed. We also anticipate there will be delays in the statewide school staff testing program that KDHS is supporting in our local area this week.
We understand this may cause anxiety and frustration but would appreciate your patience and encourage our community to be respectful as it is beyond KDHS’ control. Once your results are received we will notify you.
Covid-19 Positive Staff members at Kyabram District Health Service
In accordance with instructions from the Commonwealth Department of Health all dedicated Sheridan staff members, including those on days off and annual leave, had COVID-19 testing conducted on Monday 18 May. In addition, all consenting Residents who had not been swabbed previously were tested.
The swabbing was undertaken by a team from Melbourne. All resident’s swabs are clear.
Two staff members have returned COVID positive swabs. One staff member has not worked at Kyabram District Health Service (KDHS) for 11 days and the other for more than 14 days. They are both isolating at home.
Contact tracing is being undertaken in consultation with the DHHS Public Health Unit. If you are considered a close contact, you will be contacted by the Public Health Unit.
Whilst we understand this news will cause anxiety in our community please be assured our priority is the health and wellbeing of residents, patients, staff, VMOs and our community.
If you are feeling unwell then please report for symptomatic testing at either of the KDHS, Echuca or Shepparton screening clinics.
As advised yesterday KDHS has been advised that a staff member has tested positive to Covid 19. This person remains in self-quarantine at home.
All contact tracing has been completed and close contacts are now in isolation as a precaution.
(Close contact means having face-to-face contact for more than 15 minutes or sharing a closed space for more than two hours with a confirmed case of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) during their infectious period).
Whilst we understand that people are curious and anxious only limited information can be shared to protect the confidentiality of those involved. We have been extra cautious, and will continue to be, due to the type of services we offer. Extra cleaning has taken place. Restricted visiting hours remain the same in both Acute Ward and Sheridan. Screening of all people, including staff, entering the health service will continue. Staffing levels have been maintained throughout the organisation. All services will be maintained.
All necessary precautions have, and will continue to be taken.
If you have any symptoms of COVID -19, such as fever (high temperature) or chills or signs of an acute respiratory infection (e.g. cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, runny nose or loss of sense of smell, please book in to be tested. KDHS has a clinic for those with mild symptoms Monday to Friday 1.30pm-3.30pm. Bookings essential on 5857 0200.
Screening clinics are also operating at Echuca Regional Health and GV Health 7 days per week.
The COVID hotline number is 1800 675 398 if more information is required.
Please continue to practice social distancing and hand hygiene. Stage 3 restrictions remain in place in Victoria.
Thank you to the community for your support and understanding. We will continue to provide updates as new information becomes available.
09.05.2020 Covid-19 Positive Staff member at Kyabram District Health Service
Kyabram District Health Service (KDHS) has been advised that a staff member has tested positive to Covid 19.
The staff member is in self-quarantine at home.
Contact tracing is being undertaken in consultation with the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).
At this stage there are no patients or residents who fit the close contact criteria. There are a small number of staff who have been identified as close contacts by DHHS and have been notified. These staff members will be required to self-isolate for 14 days.
There are a large number of staff awaiting test results as a part of their voluntary participation in the asymptomatic testing blitz that took place at KDHS this week. These results should return within 5 days of testing.
Patients should not cancel or postpone any appointments at KDHS.
Whilst we understand this news will cause anxiety in our community please be assured our priority remains the health and wellbeing of KDHS patients, residents and staff. All necessary precautions have, and will continue to be taken.
We will keep our community updated through Facebook posts as deemed necessary.
Media Release 11.5.2020
Loddon Mallee region health services ramped up Coronavirus testing as part of Victoria’s COVID-19 testing blitz.
As of midday Sunday 10 May, Kyabram District Health Service (KDHS) had tested 308 people for Coronavirus during the major testing blitz. This included 229 tests on asymptomatic (no symptoms) people, 50% of which were healthcare workers, the majority being KDHS staff.
KDHS chief executive officer Anne McEvoy thanked the community for helping the health service better understand the spread of the virus in our community.
“We’re really pleased the community have committed to the cause and been tested, particularly those in high-risk areas including workers in health and aged care, supermarkets, schools and other essential services,” she said.
“The statewide results show community transmission is extremely low which is very promising.”
Please be advised asymptomatic test results have been delayed state-wide due to the significant number completed. The results are taking on average over a week to come through and don’t appear to necessarily be in date order. Everyone who has had a test at KDHS will be contacted by telephone of their results.
Anne also praised the versatility and dedication of KDHS staff throughout the pandemic.
“To initiate the screening clinic at KDHS in support of the statewide blitz last week is testament to the hard work of our staff, we thank them for their efforts in these challenging times,” she said.
Campaspe LGA remains at 2 confirmed cases of COVID-19 of which both have recovered from the disease.
As of Monday, KDHS has ceased the asymptomatic testing clinic as per state direction. An approach to continue this clinic was made however the Department has a targeted strategy which is focusing on key identified groups of which at this stage doesn’t include this district.
KDHS will however continue to offer tests for people with mild symptoms:
Bookings required by phoning 5857 0200.
KDHS also encourages the community to download the COVIDSAFE app on their mobile device and to continue to practice social distancing.
In late April, Premier Daniel Andrews committed to testing a further 100,000 people by May 11 as part of a statewide COVID-19 testing blitz. By Friday, Victoria had registered an additional 127,000 tests.
In line with the current directions from the Deputy Chief Health Officer on 13 April 2020 in accordance with emergency powers arising from the declared State of Emergency due to Covid-19.
ALL NON ESSENTIAL VISITS TO KYABRAM DISTRICT HEALTH SERVICE ARE NO LONGER PERMITTED.
Please ask yourself is it imperative I visit today? If No then please consider a phone call or FaceTime to say “hi” and catch up with a patient, we are happy to assist.
If a care and support visit is required visiting hours are limited to 2-3pm daily for no more than 10mins, and no more than two persons unless authorised by the Nurse Manager based on your individual circumstances.
Safety of those who need our care and support and staff is paramount in these times and your patience is appreciated.
Visitor Screening Requirements
All people (including staff) must now enter the KDHS main building:
- Enter only through the front entrance
- Expect a temperature check on arrival
- Expect screening questions about your health and recent travel at the entry
Visitors cannot visit if the answer is YES to any a, b or c questions below or have d;
- have been diagnosed with coronavirus and have not been discharged from isolation
- have arrived in Australia within the last 14 days
- have recently come into contact with a person who has a confirmed case of coronavirus
- have a temperature over 37.5 degrees or symptoms of acute respiratory infection
Visitors will be given a sticker to alert staff they have been screened. Please keep the sticker visible at all times whilst on site. KDHS has now tightened our visitor restrictions. This change has been made to provide the highest level of safety for our residents, staff and families.
Sheridan Aged Care
At Sheridan Aged Care visitor times are strictly also between 2-3pm daily for ten minutes at a time with only one visitor per resident. We trust that our residents and their loved ones will understand this is to protect them and our staff.
We are working with residents and their families on other ways of communication for example FaceTime and Skype.
The service will discuss alternative requirements on an individual basis- please contact the Sheridan Manager on 5857 0445
Changes KDHS has made so far are:
- Have ceased all surgery
- Have stopped all building works
- Restricted access to Hospital and Sheridan Aged Care
- Commenced screening at entrance to Hospital
- Implemented some staff to work offsite
- Changed meetings to digital format
- Moved from gathering in large groups to other forms of communication
- Ceased all groups programs including social support, gym groups and fitness programs
Community Wellbeing Service
To help those members of the community who require emotional or practical support staff KDHS have set up a Community Wellbeing Service.
Help, such as friendly phone calls to keep in touch and check on wellbeing, pick up and drop off of small items such as Websterpaks is being offered to members of the wider communities KDHS assists.
If you, or someone you know, would like to have a chat about how we may be able to support you, or someone you care for, please call 58570236 during business hours. If we are out and about, please leave a message and we will call you back as soon as possible.
Stanhope and Tongala Sites
The Tongala and Stanhope sites are operating with restricted access to the general public. Group sessions have been suspended in line with Department of Health and Human Services advice. At this stage Campaspe Shire immunisation clinics and Maternal and Child Health appointments will be running as scheduled, as will the GP clinic at Stanhope. District Nursing service are still undertaking visits in all areas. Anyone entering the building will be asked to abide by social distancing rules of 1.5metres.
If you have any queries you can contact Tongala Health on 5859 0504 or Stanhope Health on 5857 0451.
KDHS is planning for increased capacity in our acute, renal dialysis and cancer services. This planning is in collaboration with Goulburn Valley Health and Echuca Regional Health and has included the consideration of theatre and recovery areas for additional acute bed capacity. This anticipated surge capacity will require additional staffing and equipment which along with the need to prepare the staff will require education and scenario testing.
How You Can Help Us
- Wash hands often with soap and running water, for at least 20 seconds. Dry with paper towel or hand dryer.
- Try not to touch your eyes, nose or mouth.
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. If you don’t have a tissue cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve or elbow.
- Stay at home if you feel sick. If you take medication make sure you have enough.
- Phone your doctor or the coronavirus hotline – 1800 675 398 – if you need medical attention.
- Continue healthy habits: exercise, drink water, get plenty of sleep.
- Wearing a face mask is not necessary if you are well.
For the most up to date information we encourage you to like our page of Facebook.
To view infomation and key contacts for the Camapspe Region please click here
To view local service changes for the Campape Region please click here
For more information please visit https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/coronavirus