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KDHS urges residents to keep vigilant in wake of COVID-19

By Jared Prestwidge

KYABRAM District Health Service has outlined three key messages to community members as it responds to the ever-changing developments of the COVID-19 pandemic — stay clean, stay kind and practise social isolation as much as possible.

KDHS chief executive Anne McEvoy said the health service was taking a vigilant stance to reduce the spread of the virus.

“We are encouraging the community that if you have flu-like symptoms, have recently been overseas or in close contact with a confirmed coronavirus case to ring KDHS on 585 702 00 before presenting for any treatment, as it is vital that we protect our staff and patients and residents as much as possible,” she said.

“We are also encouraging visitations to the hospital and aged care to be minimal. We have cancelled all our volunteer support and have reviewed some of the services that we deliver to see how we might deliver them differently.

“On the weekend, the State Government announced increased resources to ramp up elective theatre procedures. KDHS is preparing to support this initiative, including how we can help our regional providers at Shepparton, Bendigo and Echuca with their anticipated bed demands.”

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews and Health Minister Jenny Mikakos announced the new $100 million COVID-19 response package was designed to boost capacity in the health system in preparation for the pandemic peak.

More than $60 million will be made available to both public and private hospitals to undertake additional surgery such as thyroid, prostate, hernia or gynaecological surgeries, so they can be done before the predicted peak of the pandemic places further strain on the hospital system.

The government said while Victorians could be assured emergency surgeries would continue to be performed during the pandemic, it was likely that procedures in less urgent categories would have to be postponed.

The elective surgery blitz will help prevent additional delays for vulnerable Victorians and free up hospital capacity for when it’s needed most. The government will also spend $10 million to boost personal protective equipment supplies in Victoria, including 100 million gloves, 10 million masks and 1.5 million gowns to ensure health workers have the necessary resources to do their jobs.

For more information visit dhhs.vic.gov.au/novelcoronavirus or call the Coronavirus Hotline on 1800 675 398 for advice if you are displaying symptoms.