Kilmore hospital staff member tests positive to COVID-19

The Kilmore and District Hospital was forced to activate its outbreak management procedure yesterday after a staff member tested positive for COVID-19.

The Department of Health and Human Services also confirmed today that one staff member at the BlueCross Willowmeade residential aged care facility in Kilmore has COVID-19.

The facility has been locked down and all staff and residents will be tested. The Review has contacted BlueCross Willowmeade for further information and are awaiting a response.

Today’s data from the department has confirmed 18 active cases in the Mitchell Shire, 14 in Macedon Ranges and 392 in the City of Whittlesea.

The hospital received the news Wednesday morning and began contact tracing on the direction of the Department of Health and Human Services.

The contact tracing was completed today with all individuals notified.

The confirmed case was not linked to any of the hospital’s aged care facilities.

Chief executive Sue Race said while there was a relatively low risk within the hospital, the inpatient ward was locked down and individual patients were isolated in their rooms.

“Contact tracing has now been completed and we have lifted the lockdown and isolation restrictions for our patients,” she said.

“The staff member and other staff identified as close contacts have followed all DHHS guidelines and are now isolating at home.

“We understand our staff and the community may be anxious when hearing about a local case, but I can assure you, we are following staff protocols and strict visitor restrictions in line with Victoria’s current health directives. We will continue to keep you updated as often as possible.

“Our team has worked tirelessly over the past 36 hours to prevent any further infection. I am incredibly proud of how they have worked to keep our patients, staff and community safe.”

A drive-through COVID-19 testing clinic is operating at the hospital by appointment with the help of Australian Defence Force staff.

Ms Race urged the Kilmore and district community to follow the State Government safety protocols and get tested if they have any symptoms or believe they have come in contact with the someone who is a suspected or confirmed case.

People can call 5734 2024 to arrange to make an appointment at the hospital’s drive-through clinic.