COVID case numbers are climbing, leading to the state and federal government implementing measures to again curb the spread of the virus.
St John of God Midland Public and Private Hospitals chief executive Paul Dyer said Covid case numbers have been slowly increasing in the hospital along with the state, and that the hospital has complied fully with the state’s face mask wearing recommendations.
On Monday, masks again became mandatory for staff and patients in WA hospital areas where vulnerable patients are, such as intensive care units, while visitors to public hospital clinical areas are recommended to wear masks.
Mr Dyer said Midland hospital was managing Covid positive patients and that the hospital has complied fully with the WA chief health officer’s recommendation of mandatory mask wearing in certain clinical areas.
“We have had a handful of cases at the hospital and no active outbreaks although the absence of staff due to furloughing is something that needs to be managed,” he said.
“We encourage those visiting the hospital to wear a mask, to not visit if experiencing Covid symptoms and to ensure their vaccinations are up to date.”
The WA Country Health service has made masks mandatory for residential aged care units as they are co-located in some hospitals, while the department of health said aged-care units weren’t part of their state-wide advice.
Other mandatory areas in hospitals include renal dialysis units, haematology and oncology units and organ transplant units.
WA chief health officer Andy Robertson said WA’s increase in case numbers came from the Omicron strain XBB EG.5.
“Covid is very much still with us and my advice for the community remains the same – stay at home if you are sick and do not visit high risk settings such as aged care facilities and hospitals if you have cold or flu symptoms,” he said.
From December 11, the federal Health Minister Mark Butler said the new Covid vaccine will be made available, which is designed to combat the new Omicron subvariants.
Mr Butler said the Pfizer vaccines are suitable for people aged five years and over, while the new Moderna vaccine can be used by those 12 years and older.
He also said all available Covid vaccines continue to provide protection as well, and that vaccination reduces the risk of the virus.
“While we are no longer in the emergency phase of this pandemic, Covid-19 is still present,” he said.