A STAFF member at Gippsland Southern Health Service (GSHS) has tested positive to coronavirus (COVID-19).

GSHS has been working with the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and infection control advisers to respond to the situation.

GSHS chief executive officer Mark Johnson said the employee had followed correct procedures.

“Upon feeling unwell, the employee rang in sick, isolated and presented for testing. The employee has not been at work since Tuesday, July 21,” he said.

“In order to protect the privacy of the staff member, we’ve chosen not to identify where the staff member has worked.

“Gippsland Southern Health Service believe we have been in contact with all staff members and members of the general public who have had close contact with our staff member who tested positive.

“These staff members are currently asymptomatic – they do not have symptoms. Close contacts have been asked to get tested and self-isolate until they receive their test result.

“If you have been in a GSHS facility in the past week and have not been contacted you can assume you have not been a close contact of our staff member.

“We do not know how our staff member contracted the virus. Therefore, we assume it was a community contact. That being the case, every member of the community should be extra vigilant.

“If you develop symptoms, get tested immediately and self-isolate until you get your result. If you test positive, quarantine yourself for 14 days and get re-tested before you go out of quarantine.”

Mr Johnson said safety was first and foremost.

“As a precautionary measure, testing is also available and recommended for all other GSHS staff.”

Mr Johnson said all staff at GSHS would be required to wear masks whenever in public spaces, shared office spaces or when moving around the site and interacting with other staff, patients or visitors.

“Visitors to the hospitals and Koorooman House, Hillside Lodge and Alchera House will be limited to one visit per patient per day for one hour only and the visitor must be the next of kin or primary carer.

“Visitors will be also required to wear masks at all times when in the hospitals, including while in patients’ rooms and birth suites.

“All visitors to our aged care facilities, Koorooman House, Hillside Lodge and Alchera House will also be required to wear masks at all times and provide evidence that they have had an influenza vaccination.

“People should contact the Leongatha Hospital Coordinator on 03 5667 5669 or Korumburra Hospital Supervisor on 03 5654 2752 for exceptional circumstances such as end of life care, paediatric and patients with disabilities.

“All visitors and staff to GSHS will continue to be screened and temperature checked on arrival.”

Mark Johnson said arrangements would be reviewed weekly and further advice would be provided should the situation change.

For more information on visitor restrictions at GSHS, go to www.gshs.com.au.

Anyone who experiences any symptoms or feels unwell should get tested. For more information on coronavirus, visit the DHHS website at www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/getting-tested-coronavirus-covid-19.