After the largest number of COVID-19 cases since the start of the pandemic being recorded in Victoria on Thursday – including three in Horsham Rural City and one in Northern Grampians, local health providers are tightening restrictions around their sites.

Some advice from the Wimmera Health Care Group applies to everyone, regardless of which hospital or clinic you may attend.

WHCG CEO Catherine Morley said that people are turning up at ED and the assessment clinics wanting to be tested because they believe they might have been in contact with a COVID patient.

“We have no authority to test asymptomatic people without a direct referral from DHHS,” she said.

“All these people are doing by presenting at the clinic is putting themselves and others at further risk. If anyone is concerned that they have been in contact with COVID-19, they should isolate at home for 14 days.

“Once the DHHS has completed contact tracing, they will make direct contact with anyone who will need testing and provide them with an official permission letter. That will be the time to contact your nearest assessment clinic.”

Anyone in close contact of a confirmed case will be contacted directly by DHHS.

Overview of changes at hospitals, clinics

Wimmera Health Care Group – Horsham, Dimboola

WHCG is not allowing visitors, except for
  • A support person for a pregnant woman
  • A parent or carer of a child patient (under 18)
  • A carer of a person with a disability
  • Compassionate reasons or emergency situation

If you are eligible under these criteria to enter, you must wear a mask. A mask will be provided – you are asked not to bring your own.
West Wimmera Health Service

Nhill, Goroke, Jeparit, Kaniva, Minyip, Murtoa, Natimuk, Rainbow, Rupanyup

Jan Fisher, Executive Director of Clinical Services at WWHS, said that their facilities will be locked down effective immediately (Thursday 16th July) for the safety of residents and staff.

“In special circumstances, relatives will be allowed into facilities and there will be a strict requirement of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) on entry such as wearing surgical masks.

“It is hard to be prepared for the disappointment, sadness and concern that accompany a tighter return to restrictions, and we take all of this into consideration when making decisions within any of our facilities.”

Jeparit and Rainbow Medical Clinics

Jeparit and Rainbow medical clinics will be conducting consultations by phone unless it is absolutely necessary to meet face-to-face, they said on Thursday.

They ask patients to ring either clinic to make an appointment for a phone consultation and remind people to make appointments for repeat prescriptions well in advance.