GV Health reduces elective surgery as Greater Shepparton reports third positive COVID-19 case

By Madi Chwasta

Goulburn Valley Health has moved to reduce elective surgery, and has requested all hospital visitors wear face masks.

The decisions come as Greater Shepparton reported its third case of COVID-19 in as many days.

Goulburn Valley Health chief executive Matt Sharp said it was necessary to reduce elective surgery, and apologised for the change.

“GV Health is reducing elective surgery activity in order to accommodate changes related to the recent increase in COVID-19 cases in Victoria,” he said.

“The reason for this is to reserve capacity within GV Health’s hospital-based services for both patients and staff.

“I am sorry there is the need to take this step and some people waiting for elective surgery will have their care delayed.

“However, it is necessary that we reprioritise resources in response to the changing circumstances related to COVID-19.”

Mr Sharp said GV Health will continue performing emergency surgery and urgent elective surgery with less urgent elective surgery to be rescheduled.

“Patients have and will continue to be contacted to arrange necessary appointments and to schedule their operations and procedures,” he said.

“Any delayed surgery or procedures will be re-scheduled as soon as possible.”

Mr Sharp also said visitors to GV Health were being requested to wear face masks to limit the risk of COVID-19 being passed on to patients, residents, clients and staff.

“This is a precautionary step consistent to what is occurring in all hospitals and health services is Victoria as well as the community more broadly,” he said.

Mr Sharp said the positive COVID-19 case recorded on Monday was tested at GV Health.

“This person is now at home in isolation with immediate family members also self-isolating,” he said.

“Contact tracing is being undertaken in consultation with the Department of Health and Human Services.

“GV Health is continuing to treat inpatients with suspected COVID-19 at Graham St, Shepparton, though there are no patients currently admitted with COVID-19.”

Mr Sharp said the two positive cases recorded for Greater Shepparton on Saturday and Sunday were not tested at a GV Health service.

Mr Sharp encouraged anyone with symptoms of COVID-19, "no matter how mild", to get tested.

Symptoms include fever chills, cough, sore throat, runny rose, and loss of sense of smell.

“In addition, people should stay at home until they get the result,” he said.

Mitchell Shire has 12 active cases, and Campaspe Shire has one.

Strathbogie Shire, Moira Shire and Benalla Rural City don't have any active cases.

The Department of Health and Human Services does not reveal the locations or prior movements of specific cases.

Greater Shepparton had a total of 18 cases.

Victoria has recorded 177 new cases of coronavirus as of Monday, but the overall total has increased by 168 after nine cases were reclassified mainly due to duplication.

Of the new cases, 25 are linked to outbreaks and 151 are under investigation.

Victoria has had a total number of 3967 cases, and 1612 remain active.

Currently 72 people are in hospital with the virus, with 17 of those in intensive care.

The death toll remains on 24.

More than 1,148,300 tests have been processed.