There are 6600 health care staff being furloughed by the state’s hospitals including 70 at Bass Coast Health and 23 at Gippsland Southern Health Service in Leongatha and Korumburra, putting hospitals under pressure at what was already a very busy time. Please support our our staff by being patient and pleasant.

Bass Coast 706 active COVID cases

BASS Coast Health, Gippsland Southern Health Service and other state-run and private hospital and medical services are not immune from the loss of health staff due to the rapid spread of the Omicron strain of COVID-19.

Last week, Bass Coast Health revealed that it had furloughed 60 staff who were observing COVID-isolation protocols. This week it’s 70.

Gippsland Southern Health Service has 23 staff members out of action.

Both are big numbers when you’re at capacity anyway but also trying to operate a COVID testing station and a public vaccination centre, in Bass Coast Health’s case.

It’s part of what Deputy Premier James Merlino reported this week was a health system in Victoria under “extreme strain” with 6600 health care staff unavailable either after testing positive to COVID-19, as a close contact or for some other reason.

“It’s one of the reasons why we are looking to recruit an additional 1000 people to be trained and added to our vaccination workforce,” Mr Merlino said this week.

They’re looking for first-year health students, retired nurses and others who can be trained and accredited as vaccinators for the roll out of third doses, set to ramp up in the next few weeks as more people become eligible, and also for the 5 to 11-year-old vaccination program.

Bass Coast Health has also started a recruitment drive, calling on a wide range of health professionals to join its “upbeat and fantastic” testing team.

If you’re an existing or former health professional and you can help please call BCH HR on: hr@basscoasthealth.org.au or 5671 3151.

Today’s COVID numbers

Gippsland’s six Local Government Areas have all contributed to a rise in COVID cases across the region with 2959 active cases in Gippsland.

The spread of active/new cases are as follows:

  • Bass Coast 706 active, 107 new
  • Baw Baw 360 active, 79 new
  • East Gippsland 444 active, 59 new
  • Latrobe City 875 active, 117 new
  • South Gippsland 267 active, 35 new
  • Wellington 307 active, 34 new

Cases by postcode on Wednesday, January 12:

  • Mirboo North (3871): 18 active, 4 new
  • Cowes (3922): 155-20
  • San Remo/Cape Woolamai (3925): 95-12
  • Korumburra (3950) 40-5
  • Leongatha (3953): 78-8
  • Fish Creek (3959): 14-1
  • Foster (3960): 31-5
  • Corinella (3984): 91-24
  • Nyora (3987): 2-0
  • Wonthaggi (3995): 190-28
  • Inverloch (3996): 132-17