FEVER WATCH

GV HEALTH BE­GINS TEM­PER­A­TURE TEST­ING FOR ALL STAFF, PA­TIENTS, VIS­I­TORS; THIRD COVID-19 CASE FOUND

Shepparton News - - FRONT PAGE -

Goul­burn Val­ley Health be­gan con­duct­ing manda­tory tem­per­a­ture test­ing for all staff, pa­tients and vis­i­tors yes­ter­day, as Greater Shep­par­ton con­firmed its third case of COVID-19.

Goul­burn Val­ley Health chief ex­ec­u­tive Matt Sharp said the per­son who tested pos­i­tive had re­cently re­turned from over­seas, pre­sented to GV Health’s emer­gency department and was assessed in the Acute Res­pi­ra­tory Clinic on Mon­day.

The in­di­vid­ual was well enough to re­turn home af­ter­wards.

‘‘It is un­der­stood this per­son has been self-iso­lat­ing and is re­cov­er­ing and fol­low-up has oc­curred by the Department of Health and Hu­man Ser­vices,’’ he said.

As of yes­ter­day af­ter­noon, Mr Sharp said GV Health did not have any in­pa­tients who had tested pos­i­tive for COVID-19.

Mr Sharp en­cour­aged those who had been un­well to self-iso­late and seek ad­vice, and for the wider pub­lic to con­tinue fol­low­ing so­cial dis­tanc­ing prac­tices and main­tain good personal hy­giene.

‘‘GV Health has fi­nite re­sources and is in­deed ex­pe­ri­enc­ing higher demand for ser­vices,’’ he said.

‘‘It is ex­pected this trend will in­crease in com­ing days.

‘‘Ev­ery­one is en­cour­aged to fol­low ad­vice to re­duce the spread of COVID-19 and re­duce demand on the health sys­tem.’’

The Department of Health and Hu­man Ser­vices an­nounced yes­ter­day three men in their 70s had died in Mel­bourne hos­pi­tals from the virus, as the num­ber of pos­i­tive cases in Vic­to­ria rose to 520.

Two more cases were also con­firmed in nearby Moira Shire, bring­ing the to­tal in the shire to three.

In a bid to re­duce the spread of coro­n­avirus, GV Health will now mea­sure the tem­per­a­ture of all staff, pa­tients and vis­i­tors en­ter­ing the hospi­tal.

Peo­ple en­ter­ing will also be asked whether they had been over­seas re­cently, or had been in contact with some­one who has a con­firmed di­ag­no­sis of COVID-19.

Mr Sharp said the ad­di­tional screen­ing had proven suc­cess­ful on its first morn­ing — by 9.30 am three peo­ple recorded tem­per­a­tures higher than 37.5°C and were re­ferred for fur­ther as­sess­ment.

He apol­o­gised for the length of time it took for peo­ple to en­ter the hospi­tal, es­pe­cially around the peak time of 8 am, and said changes were be­ing made to pre­vent ex­ces­sive de­lays in the fu­ture.

‘‘I ac­knowl­edge there have been chal­lenges this morn­ing re­lated to queues and the time it took for some peo­ple to pass through the screen­ing sta­tions, and apol­o­gise for any de­lays,’’ Mr Sharp said.

The new mea­sures are part of a host of changes ef­fec­tive yes­ter­day for GV Health, in­clud­ing the ban­ning of non-es­sen­tial vis­its, the re­duc­tion of visit­ing hours to be­tween 2 pm and 7 pm, and the can­cel­la­tion of elec­tive surgery.

● For the most up-to-date in­for­ma­tion, visit www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/coro­n­avirus or phone the Coro­n­avirus Health In­for­ma­tion Line on 1800 020 080.

Pic­ture: Me­gan Fisher

Wait­ing: There was a long line out­side GV Health on Graham St yes­ter­day morn­ing. By MADI CH­WASTA

Long line: Peo­ple wait out­side GV Health on Graham St yes­ter­day morn­ing as tem­per­a­ture test­ing kicked in.

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