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COVID-19 Bulletin - Commander update | 19 November 2020


Hi everyone,

Today is our first day of the 6-day ‘circuit breaker’ period of restrictions across South Australia and if you missed the daily press conference, it was announced that there were no new COVID-19+ cases today. While this was good news, it is still early days and there are still several thousand people in quarantine awaiting their test results.

Across our network we have cancelled non-essential elective surgeries for today and tomorrow, rescheduled more than 100 outpatients appointments, closed a number of SA Dental sites, and really focused on decompressing our sites of both staff and patients.

I cannot stress how important it is for us to safely reduce the number of people on site and think differently about our activity. We are not decompressing due to a large number COVID-19+ patients (we currently have 3 who are COVID-19 +) but to support physical distancing and to free up staffing resources to assisting other areas including contact tracing, swabbing and screening.

To help with the likely flow of patients who are remaining with us while they are awaiting their COVID-19 testing results, we are opening up ward 9G at the RAH. This will support the ongoing work of our Infectious Diseases ward, 6GW3.

We would like to thank all staff for their hard work over the past few days as we have responded to this evolving situation. For those of you that are now working from home, please complete a working from home form as soon as possible and we are asking all managers to have a ‘daily check in’ with their staff who are working from home to help keep connected.

Overnight SAPOL released detailed information on the restrictions and provided clarification about what you can and can’t do that I wanted to draw your attention to.

Central COVID-19 live stream - Friday 20 November 2020 at 2pm

To help keep you all informed you are invited to join Lesley Dwyer and the IMT for another COVID-19 live stream tomorrow at 2pm via Zoom.

You will not need to register to attend.

Please click the button below to join the webinar and enter the passcode aya23z.

Webinar ID: 986 8690 1698

Passcode: 410380

Attend COVID-19 live stream

To view the recording of this session from Wednesday click here.

Since the session was held yesterday more information has been made available which answers many of the questions asked. We are still working through them and will put the information on the staff COVID-19 portal. However I can confirm that staff are able to walk or ride their bikes to work, however should do so wearing a face mask and ensuring they have their Work ID visible.

Digital check-in at RAH

From late this week we will be testing a new digital check in system at the RAH to help streamline our public health screening processes. Once in place, staff and visitors will be asked to complete their screening before they visit the hospital and use the terminals to ‘check in’ and wear the associated sticker.

We recognise this will be very different for many of you and will be testing the system to help with a smooth implementation. This type of system has proven effective at the Royal Melbourne Hospital and you’ll hear more about this system tomorrow.

Self-reporting on self-isolation and testing

Employees that show symptoms of COVID-19 are not permitted to attend the workplace, or if already in the workplace must notify your manager and leave immediately. SA Health staff are advised to obtain a COVID-19 test from a clinic associated with a public hospital to assist in fast tracing the return of results.

You will need to self-report using the self-isolation reporting form if you:

  • are unwell and exhibiting symptoms associated with COVID-19
  • have had close contact with a confirmed or probable case of COVID-19
  • have had casual contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19
  • have been advised or directed to self-isolate, self-quarantine or be tested for COVID-19
  • have been tested for COVID-19 and are awaiting test results
  • have tested positive for COVID-19
  • have tested negative for COVID-19
  • are being treated for COVID-19

Masks and keeping ourselves safe

Masks are now required in all areas outside of the home. This is applicable to all staff and visitors at all CALHN sites. All CALHN staff in the workplace are to wear a workplace supplied surgical mask (level 1 mask) while on site.

Staff who require additional PPE in accordance with their clinical exposure are to adhere to the PPE Matrix.

Our healthcare worker and infection control team have put together a helpful fact sheet on wearing a mask.

Staff that are working onsite are reminded that desk spaces should be free of clutter, cleaned with Clinell Universal Wipes daily or between uses where desks are shared, and staff should have access to alcohol hand rub to use as required on within their desk space.


We would like to reassure you everyone that we have enough PPE. We have many masks available including nearly 2 million N95 masks in the distribution centre.

As of today, we have 52.2 days of N95 masks, 37.2 days of surgical L3 masks, 89.0 days of eye protection and 14.6 days of surgical gowns available on site.

We also have 1,657,240 N95 masks, 12,258,610 surgical L3 masks, 184,211 eye protection and 825,710 surgical gowns available on site.

We also have a further 7-day supply of PPE in a secure location that can be accessed on request of the IMT should we see a sudden increase in demand.

Working from home technology systems and applications

Employees working from home can access their emails via the OWA

Access to the SA Health Network is done via an SA Health approved gateway (Virtual Private Network (VPN)). If an employee requires the ability to work from home and are in a role that requires access to the network, they may access their email and the SA Health network via VPN.

If an employee has previously registered for and been approved VPN access:

Staff should check their access from home at the earliest opportunity to ensure they have the level of access they require.

If an employee does not already have VPN access:

Staff requiring access to the SA Health network will need to submit a registration form to request VPN access.

Operation of a VPN requires the internet, using home WI-FI as the preferred option. 4G can also be used however users may experience performance issues. Staff requiring access to the SA Health network should use the correct form from here depending on whether they intend to apply to use VPN from an SA Health computing device or Personally owned device.

To access more working from home resources visit the COVID-19 staff portal.

Keeping informed during COVID-19

We would like to again remind you that you can find the latest information on our COVID-19 staff portal. Our team updates this information regularly and is a great source of information and resources for staff.

We will also be regularly posting to the CALHN Workforce Facebook Group. If you haven't yet joined this group, we encourage you to do so.

We will be continuing with our daily Command email bulletins and we strongly recommend that you share and make available information within these bulletins with staff that do not have access to emails.

Kathryn Zeitz

CALHN COVID-19 Commander

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