For the latest information and advice on the Coronavirus (COVID-19) visit the Department of Health and Human Services or call the 24-hour Coronavirus hotline 1800 675 398.
Tips for staying mentally healthy during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic
During this challenging time, it’s important to pay attention to our mental health and not completely cut ourselves off from our loved ones and our community. Tips from Vic Health include;
- Keep socially connected to others via phone, social media, email or skype.
- If the news is bothering you, take a break from the news
- Create a routine to maintain a sense of normalcy, such as regular physical activity, cooking healthy meals and continuing to work or study if you feel well enough.
- Focus on what you can control – for example washing your hands frequently, following physical distancing guidelines – instead of what you can’t control ie what other people do.
- To avoid panic, get your information from reliable sources such as the Federal and Victorian health departments.
- Practice mindfulness: focus on the moment you’re in. Meditation and breathing exercises can help calm your mind and reduce anxiety. Try these resources Smiling Mind, Stop, Breathe and Think or Headspace.
- Take stock of your emotions: it’s completely normal to feel concerned or upset about what is happening. If you feel anxious, talk to a trusted friend or family member or seek professional help:
Service Update - 31st March 2020
If you are concerned you may have been exposed to or have symptoms of Coronavirus (COVID-19), it’s important you limit exposure to other people to reduce the risk of transmission.
- If you are ill, have a fever, or an acute respiratory infection AND have travelled internationally in the last 14 days OR had contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19, you should phone ahead before attending a GP clinic, urgent care or emergency department. They will tell you what to do.
- Signage has been placed outside Alpine Health hospitals asking you to STOP and return to your car and CALL the number on the sign and ask for the Nurse in Charge. They will tell you what to do.
- If you have serious symptoms, such as difficulty breathing, call 000 and ask for an ambulance and tell the operator your recent travel history.
- If you need to attend urgent care for other reasons you will be screened prior to entry to the facility.
- If you live closer to Albury Wodonga or Wangaratta then regional offsite Coronavirus assessment centres have been set up. You need to call ahead to find out what to do.
- Albury Wodonga Health (02) 6058 4444
- Northeast Health Wangaratta 1800 324 942
- Or you can call the 24-hour Coronavirus hotline 1800 675 398
- DHHS have a COVID-19 interactive self-assessment tool that uses the latest advice and will help you better understand the risks and precautions you need to take based on your personal circumstances.
Visitors to Hospitals & Aged Care
New restrictions have been introduced to reduce the spread of coronavirus into hospitals by people who may pose a risk and do not have an important reason to be there. As we are a multi-purpose service, the restrictions are applied across both hospital and aged care Alpine Health services.
We ask that all visitors practice social distancing and avoid visiting if possible however if you need to provide care and support to a loved one in hospital or aged care facility there are restrictions of one visit per day, from a maximum of two visitors at one time for two hours a day.
Who is prohibited?
You will not be able to visit if you:
• have been diagnosed with coronavirus and have not been discharged from isolation
• have arrived in Australia within 14 days of your planned visit
• have recently come into contact with a person who has a confirmed case of coronavirus
• have a temperature over 37.5 degrees or symptoms of acute respiratory infection.
Are there exemptions to these rules?
There are some categories where visitors can stay longer than two hours, but the maximum limit of two visitors at a time will still apply. These exemptions are:
• the parent, guardian or temporary carer of a patient who is under 18 years old
• the carer of a patient with a disability
• the partner or support person of a patient who is pregnant and attending hospital in relation to their pregnancy
• accompanying a patient to the hospital's emergency department
• accompanying the patient to an outpatient appointment
• providing end of life support to a patient of the hospital.
All visitors can expect to be screened prior to entry to ensure you do not have a temperature.
Extra precautions when it comes to visits. These include:
• reporting to reception to advise of arrival
• one visit per day, from a maximum of two visitors at one time for two hours a day.
• once in a patient’s / resident’s room, stay in that room or go outside, no communal areas
• do not wander around the facility
• do not visit multiple patients /residents
• no children aged under 18 years except in special circumstances.
• From 1 May you must have had your influenza vaccination to visit
• You must use hand hygiene station around the facility.
What should I do if I can't visit family and friends?
If you are unable visit family and friends in a residential aged care facility, it’s important to keep in touch. We are happy to assist with connecting you with loved ones via phone calls or video calls, or ensuring your loved ones receive postcards, photos, artwork, short videos that you may choose to share. Please contact the Nurse Unit Manager at your site if you have any concerns or questions.
alpine@home and indigo@home
In order to provide safe and effective services some modifications to services will apply.
- alpine@home District Nursing – will use a modified admission process via phone
- Home Care – modified services via phone
- Meals on Wheels – will continue on the same schedule. If someone is unwell meals will be left at the door with agreement from the client.
- Home Care Packages – Case managers will liaise with clients to determine the need for home visits and ongoing services.
- alpine@home Activity Group - cancelled from Tuesday 24th March until further notice.
- indigo@home Centre Based Meals - cancelled from Tuesday 24th March until further notice.
- indigo@home Community Transport – limited to medical appointments only.
We ask that clients let us know if they or someone at home is unwell before our staff arrive. Alpine Health will maintain contact with clients throughout any illness or isolation period.
Early Intervention and Monitoring Programs
Clients will be notified as more information on specific programs become available. Alpine Health will maintain contact with clients throughout any illness or isolation period.
- All group PACE sessions have been cancelled and replaced with individual in home programs.
- Monitoring programs and services such as Counselling, Diabetes, and Dietetics will be modified to an individual phone consultations where possible during this period.
- To limit the flow of people through our facilities, students are not required on site from the 24th March 2020.
- Students will move to a modified online learning environment.
- If students do not have access to online learning then paper based materials will be provided.
- Modified arrangements for practical and work/clinical placements will be made in Term2.