EAST Grampians Health Service has made some significant changes to its policies to ensure the health and safety of its staff and patients due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Anyone entering the facility will be greeted and asked questions before proceeding to the front reception.
Elective surgery was also announced it would be put on hold.
Chief executive Andrew Freeman said while swabbing still continued for the coronavirus, no confirmed cases were yet known.
"We are mindful there are people who could be positive and have been swabbed and waiting for results," he said.
"There also could be people within the community who have done the right thing and come back from overseas and possibly self-isolating and are feeling ok.
All the indicators show that some patients might not get acutely sick and would need to be swabbed."
Mr Freeman said as the numbers across the country were escalating and numbers in smaller areas were increasing.
Northern Grampians recorded its first positive test on Wednesday.
"I think we need to be realistic about this," he said.
"We have made very heavy restrictions on people coming into the organisation. If they are not here for an appointment we have restricted access.
"We've certainly locked down the health service significantly. We're also encouraging our staff to show leadership not only at work but within the community, by demonstrating appropriate social distancing requirements. It's a really clear message which has come from the government that everyone needs to adhere to social distancing."
Mr Freeman said meetings within the organisation had moved to online. "More than a week ago now, we stopped group activities and wound back services that aren't urgent in nature," he said. "We made the decision on Tuesday to cease elective surgery. It's the next step in our preparation."
Mr Freeman said the health service was in talks with Ballarat Health Service to offer assistance. "If we need to assist them with any urgent category one or two patients and they don't feel as though they have the capability to do that we have made an offer we would assist in any way we can," he said.
Mr Freeman said despite the health service temporarily closing some of its service, there were still patients who were ill in acute beds, which had no connection to the coronavirus.
"We still have people presenting to the urgent care centre on a daily basis," he said.
"We have 81 aged-care beds with some of the most vulnerable people in our community. So it's about making sure we are protecting them.
"All I can to the community who aren't taking the social distancing seriously is please think about your parents or your grandparents and what it would mean if they were to contract this virus and the implications of that."
Mr Freeman said the message was about protecting the people who were must vulnerable in the community.
"Those people in our community are those who might be trying to deal with terrible things like cancer," he said.
"They are so vulnerable with this virus. It's about the things we do, to protect them.
"In some ways the groups of people who are still gathering together is very selfish and they need to think about others within the community."
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