Coronavirus

Coronavirus (COVID-19) updates

This page provides updates from Castlemaine Health as we work to respond to the public health emergency presented by the Coronavirus disease.

1 April 2020

As of 12 noon yesterday, 31 March, Castlemaine Health made the difficult decision to put a lockdown in place across our residential aged care homes, Ellery House, Penhall, Spencely and Thompson House. Our decision comes in response to the increasing threat that COVID-19 presents to our community and those in it who are most vulnerable. The lockdown is essential for the protection and safety of our residents and the frontline staff who care for them. 

Details available in our COVID-19 Update 1 April.

26 March 2020

As of midnight last night, we are prohibiting non-essential visitors to aged care. All visitors will be temperature checked and screened by staff. Visits must be conducted in line with the new restrictions. They limit visits to a maximum time of 10 minutes with no more than two people.

Details available in our COVID-19 Update 26 March.

25 March 2020

To protect our patients, staff and the wider community amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Castlemaine Health has taken the difficult but necessary decision to prohibit non-essential visitors to the hospital from midnight tonight, 25 March. These restrictions apply to all visitors including workers. Visitors can now only enter and exit the building via Main Reception. Trained staff wearing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) will be checking the temperature of all visitors. Any person with a temperature above 37.5 degrees will not be permitted to enter. Visitors will be asked a number of questions relating to travel and COVID-19. This information will assist with tracking in the case of an outbreak.

Those visiting aged care will similarly be restricted and screened on arrival with a temperature check and questions relating to travel and COVID-19.

We ask for your continued support as we work to protect the health and safety of not only your loved ones in our care, but also our staff and other visitors. Again, we would encourage you to make use of alternatives like FaceTime, texts and other social communications to ensure you maintain connections with your loved ones.

Details available in our COVID-19 Update 25 March

24 March 2020

Our Community Rehabilitation Centre team are no longer seeing clients face-to-face, with the exception of some essential service delivery which is necessary to prevent rapid deterioration of health.

Home visits are continuing with use of the screening tool, but home visits are limited to those that are considered essential (for care or discharge). Our CRC team are preparing for home visits via phone prior to entering the client’s house.

We are still accepting CRC referrals so that we can continue to support clients in the community as much as possible.  At present, CRC clinicians are providing education, therapeutic guidance and support, and completing assessments (where possible) via phone.

23 March 2020

Two cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Castlemaine.  Both were tested by GP clinics and have not been in Castlemaine Health. The DHHS has made contact with people and groups who were in contact with them and have taken the appropriate action. We have no patients admitted with COVID-19 nor have we seen any positive results returned for the 33 COVID-19 tests conducted by Castlemaine Health so far. We are continuing to explore further measures for securing our site and services. The Victorian Chief Health Officer has revised the case definition for Covid-19 testing.

20 March 2020

We have now introduced visitor restrictions in Geroe Acute and Connolly Rehabilitation in response to the COVD-19 pandemic. We understand this may be confronting and even upsetting for patients, residents and their loved ones. But we ask that you work with us as we navigate these changes and help us protect the health and safety of your loved ones in our care. Maintaining the connections, care, love and support that is so crucial at this time will be a priority. Our onsite Quick Fix Café remains open. However, to help maintain social distancing chairs and tables have been removed. The café is providing a takeaway service. Details available in our COVID-19 Update 20 March.

18 March 2020 

The Victorian Government has now declared a State of Emergency. Our Hospital Incident Management Team (HIMT) is managing and coordinating our response to the crisis. The HIMT has made the difficult decision to cancel group services, non-essential meetings and is implementing site-wide bans on non-essential contractors and services. Following direction from the Prime Minister, we are also tightening visitor restrictions in aged care in line with all other aged care providers across Australia. Our Volunteer program has been suspended. Details available in our COVID-19 Update 18 March 2020.

17 March 2020

Castlemaine Health has so far tested 28 people for COVID-19 and all tests returned have been negative. Services, including elective surgery, are running normally at Castlemaine Health in line with DHHS guidance. This may change at short notice. Group programs run through our Community Rehabilitation Centre have ceased, with alternative methods for delivery being explored. Social outings arranged by our Adult Day Service are currently under review. Details available in our COVID-19 Update 17 March 2020.

12 March 2020

Castlemaine Health is now preparing for the health emergency that the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) will present to our community. We are therefore making a number of immediate changes to our social activity programs and changing our advice for visitors to visit aged care. In aged care, we have cancelled all scheduled visits from schools and kindergartens and our volunteer program will likely cease indefinitely. This will be determined in consultation with our volunteers. We ask visitors to aged care to carefully review the new restrictions. The details are in our COVID-19 Update 12 March.

28 February 2020

The DHHS has set up a dedicated section of their site to Coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Castlemaine Health has published our COVID-19 Update 28 February in Latest News. We are directing enquiries about Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) to the dedicated hotline 1800 675 398. Please keep Triple Zero (000) for emergencies only.