Ballarat Health Services have had 50 to 100 staff per day unable to attend work for COVID related reasons over the past week.,
Compared to some other hospitals, particularly large services in metropolitan Melbourne, its a small percentage of their total workforce and although challenging, has resulted in little change to capabilities.
"While COVID is present in our community, we know that there will continue to be staff on leave or unable to work as close contacts or positive cases," BHS said in a statement.
"As part of our COVID-19 response planning, we have put in place systems to manage this ... and we are thankful for all our staff who are making sure that we are able to continue to deliver as many services as possible in this time.
"This remains an ongoing challenge for Ballarat Health Services, but is something that we are managing under guidance from the Department of Health and our infectious diseases team."
On Thursday, Premier Daniel Andrews revealed more than 5000 health care workers across the state were unable to work because they had COVID-19 or were isolating as close contacts, putting extra stress on an already stretched health care system.
Isolation requirements for healthcare workers who are deemed close contacts, and who have no symptoms, will see more return to work during the continuing Omicron wave.
Hospital workers, disability workers, residential aged care workers and ambulance workers must, in addition to being asymptomatic, undertaking daily rapid testing for five days and not being allowed to use shared break rooms, also wear an N95 mask while at work.
Ballarat Health Services acting executive director acute operations Dr Jaycen Cruickshank said as the number of COVID-19 cases increased in the Ballarat region, it was important to know what to do if you test positive.
Ballarat reported another 250 new COVID cases in the 24 hours to midnight, Thursday, bringing the total number of active cases in the city to 1190.
But the real number is likely to be much higher, with the daily figures only taking in to account positive PCR tests, with the location details of rapid antigen tests reported to Victoria's coronavirus website only given as an overall total, not correlated to local government areas.
Dr Cruickshank said when you test positive, or report a positive RAT, you will receive a call to assess your symptoms, which you can also check via www.healthdirect.gov.au/symptom-checker/tool.
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"If the symptom checker identifies you have moderate symptoms, you may be advised to see your GP or attend a respiratory clinic. Our BHS at Home medical team have noted that in addition to the recommended over the counter medications, patients with moderate symptoms may require a medication to assist with nausea or vomiting," Dr Cruickshank said.
He said high risk patients would be monitored by BHS, ensuring ambulance and the emergency department prioritise patients with severe symptoms or emergencies.
For more information about what to do you if are COVID-positive, visit: https://www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/checklist
To see how to isolate and safely manage symptoms at home, visit: https://www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/managing-covid-19-home
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