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COVIDSafe measures have meant there has been no known workplace transmission of COVID at Bass Coast Health (BCH) – these measures are simple tips that people can practise at home.

Senior Registered Nurse Helen Goff, part of our Infection Prevention team, is leading BCH’s COVID Response Team, which monitors COVID cases amongst staff and their families to ensure staff receive the advice and care they need, while reducing the risk of their colleagues contracting the virus.

Helen said wearing personal protective equipment (PPE), staying at home if showing any COVID symptoms and weekly asymptomatic testing had been essential practices to staff not transmitting the virus to each other at work.

Helen said these were practices the general public could employ at home to keep themselves and their families and friends as safe from COVID as possible.

“Staff have had very high standard with their PPE which has had a massive contribution to staff not catching COVID at work and that cautious approach has paid off,” she said.

“They’ve also been doing weekly testing – whether they have symptoms or not – and that has enabled them to detect COVID even when they were not showing any symptoms and therefore isolate before spreading the virus within our health service.

“Even when they’ve been out in the community, they’ve been setting a very high standard to reduce their risk of bringing COVID into the workplace by wearing masks in places like supermarkets even though the restrictions have eased for the general public.”

Helen recommended people have a Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) at home regularly to detect COVID early.

“Early detection helps to stop the spread early. All of these measures – the use of masks, eating by ourselves and outside where possible, and physical distancing - have been the gold standard in avoiding transmission among staff,” Helen said.

“It’s because that we have been using these practices that people should feel safe in coming into the hospital because we are doing our best to maintain a safe environment for people to be in. “

The COVID Response Team has dealt with several hundred cases of COVID among staff contracted through their interactions with family, friends and the community.

“These cases have been detected really quickly and have been dealt with effectively and no workplace transmission has resulted from them,” Helen said.

“Even staff who are unwell and are away from work and do not have COVID, we are treating them as potential COVID cases as a precaution to further reduce the risk to BCH.

“The hospital is a safe environment and I have the most enormous praise for our staff who are doing everything they can to keep them and their community safe during this trying time.”