Two Sale COVID cases transferred to Traralgon hospital

Two COVID cases which presented to Central Gippsland Health in Sale have now been transferred to Latrobe Regional Hospital, which is Gippsland’s designated COVID hospital.

The vaccination status and gender of the two cases has not been released, but Gippsland Region Public Health Unit has confirmed there are now five active COVID cases listed for Wellington Shire, although with two of these now at LRH, there are actually three in the municipality.

In a statement, Central Gippsland Health said in partnership with the Gippsland Region Public Health Unit, it had managed two COVID-19 positive people at Sale Hospital “for a short time” before they were transferred to Latrobe Regional Hospital.

“These cases were managed in line with the CGH COVIDSafe Plan and there were no adverse impacts on staff or other patients,” it said.

“All necessary precautionary actions were taken to ensure the safety of everyone at CGH.

“It is important to remain vigilant by continuing to practice COVIDSafe behaviours within the community, and to be vaccinated, which is the best form of protection against the transmission and impact of COVID-19.”

Latrobe Regional Hospital is currently gearing up to manage Gippsland’s COVID-19 patients, with modelling suggesting there could be demand for 50 inpatient beds and 15 intensive care unit beds at the peak of this wave.

There will initially be nine inpatient beds and two intensive care unit beds — with the capacity to scale up to 64 inpatient beds and 30 ICU beds.

There will be a ventilator available for each ICU bed.

LRH is the designated ‘streaming’ hospital for Gippsland, taking in COVID-19 patients, including those from Sale, Bairnsdale and further east.

If there was spare capacity, the hospital may also be expected to help out with any overflow from the metropolitan area, given the challenges already being faced by Melbourne hospitals.

A birthing room has also been created for COVID-positive women who need to have their baby delivered “in an emergency”.

But LRH is not a streaming hospital for birthing women who are COVID-19 positive — they will continue to be supported by Monash Health.

Women who do not have COVID-19 will still be able to have their baby at LRH.

Changes have been made to the layout of the LRH’s emergency department to enable COVID patients to be more efficiently separated from non-COVID patients.

In addition, a marquee has been set up near the main emergency department entrance specifically for COVID patients to be triaged before they enter the hospital.

COVID patients receiving medical care in the hospital’s inpatient units are “sealed off” in a negative pressure zone to reduce the risk of the virus escaping.

Portable HEPA Filters are being introduced to clean the air in some areas of the hospital.

The hospital has also bought Medihoods, which are almost like plastic pram covers.

These go over a patient’s bed and have a fan-filter exhaust unit, creating a mini negative pressure room over the patient.