Non-urgent elective surgery suspended to free up aged care beds
THE state government has put a halt to all elective surgery in hospitals except for urgent cases in response to a surge in coronavirus cases in some Victorian aged care homes.
Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday, Premier Daniel Andrews said all elective surgery other than for Category 1 and the most urgent Category 2 patients would be suspended to free up beds and staff.
There have been outbreaks of coronavirus in several aged care homes in metropolitan Melbourne, and more than 170 aged care residents have been moved into hospitals in recent days.
“Where there is no confidence in infection control, where there is no confidence that care can be provided to a suitable standard, then we will do everything we can to move those residents out,” Mr Andrews said.
Meanwhile, a ruling by the Fair Work Commission means that aged care workers across Australia will be able to take two weeks of paid pandemic leave as of yesterday (Wednesday, July 29).
Australian Council of Trade Unions secretary Sally McManus said the federal government should extend paid pandemic leave to all sectors.
“We welcome this decision but it still does not remove the trapdoor for casual workers with irregular hours, or workers in other industries.
“Paid pandemic leave is a crucial public health measure that provides a circuit breaker to stem the rate of transmission by allowing those with symptoms to stay home without losing income.”
The coronavirus restrictions in place in regional Victoria have not changed. Face masks are not mandatory (unless entering metropolitan Melbourne) but are recommended when you leave home and are in situations where it is difficult to maintain a distance of 1.5 metres between yourself and others.
If you feel unwell or have any symptoms of coronavirus, get tested as soon as possible and self-isolate at home until you receive your test results.
For the latest updates, head to dhhs.vic.gov.au/coronavirus.
As of Tuesday, Victoria has done 1,536,628 tests since January 1.