Special Issue: COVID-19 community update
April 2020
The Population Health team would like to begin by
saying WELL DONE to everyone within our community! 
Although at times you may not feel too successful or full of
achievement at the moment, it is important to appreciate the complexity of the situation we are all going through. Each one of you has had to constantly adapt to this new environment and do your best to continue on with your lives. So for that, we congratulate you!
It is important to remember that this is a difficult time and we are all facing many challenges now and into the future.
Don't forget to be kind to one another, listen to the professionals and look after those who need it most. If we keep doing that, we'll make it out the other side an even stronger community! 

We would also like to say a big THANK YOU to all our essential workers within the community! We appreciate all of you for constantly putting our community above your personal needs and ensuring we are all safe. Whether that be by making sure we have food to eat, delivering our mail, looking after our health needs, ensuring we have access to our medications or one of the many other ways people are working to ensure our lives run as smooth as possible!   

Below we have got many tips and tricks on keeping your mind and body healthy, as well as an update on our work. If you think we may be able to support you in any way or you require assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us at

Stay safe :) 

We are all being careful to practice social distancing and ensuring that we are helping to slow down the spread. However, part of this means we are socially distancing ourselves from our family, friends and work colleagues.
During this time you may be feeling: 
- Stressed 
- Anxious 
- Lonely/isolated 
- Uncertain
- Overwhelmed
And all of this is completely okay!
It's important to remember that this is an unprecedented time and that we need to make an extra effort to look after our own mental health and the mental health of those around us.  

  1. Try to maintain perspective - you may be concerned about the outbreak, but try to remember that medical, scientific and public health experts are working hard to treat and contain the virus. 
  2. Maintain a balance of media - You might find it useful to limit media as it can heighten feelings of anxiety. When you do choose to engage with media ensure it is with reputable sources. Alternatively you can access high quality information at the Australian Government Department of Health or Victorian Department of Health & Human Services.
  3.  Maintain a practical and calm approach - It is understandable to be concerned during this time, but try your best to stay calm, focus on what you can control and follow advice (such as good hand hygiene and social distancing). 
  4. Don't make assumptions - COVID-19 can affect anyone regardless of personal characteristics and those with the virus have not done anything wrong. 
(Source: Beyond Blue) 
REMEMBER: You are always able to access mental health support. This might look like a conversation with your family/friend/colleague to let them know you are struggling or accessing one of the services below:
Head to Health - Australian Government's digital mental health gateway
MindSpot - Free online mental health clinic or call 1800 61 44 34
Beyond Blue - Online, email and phone support service 1300 22 46 36 
Lifeline - Online crisis support and 24/7 phone counselling 13 11 14

You can access a more extensive list of supports including crisis support, apps, self-guided programs and more here
For some people within the community you may now be working from home, which can come with many unique challenges.
Some common feelings may include:
  • Feeling isolated or disconnected 
  • Being unable to "switch off from work"
  • Having difficulty staying motivated 
  • Having difficulty prioritising your workload 
  • Feeling uncertain about your progress and whether your performance is ok
  • Sleep troubles   
All of the above are completely normal during this time. Remember you are not alone in this and if you're feeling a certain way, it is likely that a colleague is also experiencing similar difficulties. 
 To try and combat some of these feelings we recommend:
  • Setting up a routine and structure - Start and finish your day at similar times as you usually would and ensure you include regular breaks within these times. Make sure to switch off at the end of your day to minimise the possibility of your work intruding into family time. Creating cues such as getting changed into your work clothes in the morning can assist with keeping a routine. 
  • Create a specific work area - Try to avoid working from your bedroom or the couch. By having a place to work, it will become associated with being alert and awake. 
  • Stay connected with colleagues - Make sure to schedule regular encounters with colleagues; social and work related. By staying connected it can help to reduce stress or feelings of isolation and also allows you to regularly communicate what you are working on. You might like to schedule a 15 minute virtual coffee date with your colleague one morning! 
  • Get outside - If you aren't self-isolating try to get outside for a walk, some fresh air and sunshine at least once during the day. 
  • Look at the positives - Although this is a challenging time try to focus on the silver linings. Working from home gives your more flexibility, you don't have to worry about the drive to work and maybe you get to spend some more time with those you love - partners, children or pets! 
(Source: Black Dog Institute)
3 Tips to look after your body while working at home 

1 - Alter your work station between the sitting and standing position every hour. 

2 - Put your headphones in when talking on the phone and walk around. 

3 - Take a walk or exercise at lunch time (remember social distancing ploise!) 

For further info, check out this 3 minute video.

Thanks to our physiotherapist, James Dickinson, for these great tips!
Practicing daily mindfulness or meditation can be a great way to help reduce anxiety and calm your mind. 

Smiling Mind has a great app to help practice meditation, with free programs for children and adults. They have also developed the Thriving Inside initiative to help you stay calm and healthy in the physical constraints of your home. 

As a CoRE Alliance member, we have a vision of a safe, equal and respectful home life, workplace and community. So our thoughts are with families, in particular women, across the region that may be experiencing uncertainty, stress and the escalation of family violence as a result of the current situation and the government restrictions that have been put in place. 

The following services can provide support to those experiencing violence:
Safe Steps – 1800 015 188  
Victorian women and their children who are experiencing family violence through a 24/7 phoneline and specialist support services.

1800 RESPECT – 1800 737 732
National sexual assault, domestic and family violence counselling service, open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

1800 MY OPTIONS – 1800 696 794
For information about contraception, pregnancy options and sexual health in Victoria.

If you are concerned about your behaviour and recognise your actions are putting family members in a harmful environment call:
No to Violence Men's Referral Service - 1300 766 491    

And remember there is NEVER an excuse for violence!
This is a difficult time for everyone and although it might be challenging for you not being able to see friends and family, it can be extremely isolating for some of our most vulnerable community members. 
If you are able to, try checking in with someone who you think may be struggling a little more than others during this time. It could be checking on a neighbour over the fence (while practicing social distancing) or giving someone a call. A simple gesture is all it takes to put a smile on someone's face. 

If there is someone within the community who you are particularly worried about please make contact with us at and we can endeavour to help.  
Remember we are all in this together! 

Being physically active is more important than ever before.
Not only is it a great way to boost your mental and physical health but it also:
  • Releases serotonin and endorphins, which are great for your mood
  • Can lead to better sleep and give you more energy
  • Can help to ease tightness in your neck and shoulders - which may be occurring because of stress or anxiety 
  • Is good for your immune system
(Source: VicHealth)

We can't think of a reason why moving your body isn't a great idea! 
If your regular gym or sporting activity is closed, here is some great ideas to stay active at home: 

Walk, Run or Cycle - These are great activities that you can do by yourself or with your household in the streets around your home. 
Move My Way - This is a low intensity physical activity program that you can do in your own home. It's designed to prepare your body for more challenging physical activity so it's a great place to start! 
Les Mills - If you're looking to maintain your fitness or challenge yourself, this is the place for you. With plenty of free workouts that you can stream at any time there is everything from strength, dance fitness, bodycombat, high intensity interval training (HIIT) and much more! 
Cosmic Kids Yoga - If you're looking for an activity for the whole family, why not try this! 
Active April is still happening...
Premiers Active April has already started and we can still participate safely in the home and whilst maintaining social distancing!
Are you looking for a way to keep active while you are social distancing?  You can do this through the Premier’s Active April campaign!
Premiers Active April is a state-wide initiative that encourages Victorians to do at least 30 minutes of physical activity a day during April.
Being physically active during this time is recommended by the World Health Organisation to maintain good physical and mental health, and to keep our stress levels at bay!  

How to register?
Step 1 - Visit Active April
Step 2 - Register for 2020
Step 3 - Join the Hepburn Shire team 
Name: Active Hepburn Shire   Team ID: active-hepburn-shire (make sure to use lower case)
Step 4 - Start logging your activity minutes!
If you use a mobile device that is iOS or Android, you can download the Premiers Active April mobile app, to see workouts and log your minutes through this. 

Make sure to follow us on instagram @activehepburnshire and tag
#activehepburnshire and #activeapril

Alternatively share your creative ways of being active with us at  
Olivia Gourley – Accredited Practising Dietitian

With the rise of COVID-19 and physical isolation measures, comes many changes to the way we eat and shop. For some, this simply means no longer going out for meals, or having to buy a second-favourite brand of bread due to popular stock being sold out. For others however, this may mean uncertainty about having food at all. 
Across our community, eateries and food businesses have adapted to help support locals, by providing services to those who may be struggling with food insecurity at this time. For a full list of those businesses and the services they are offering click here.  

At these times, your usual cooking may need to be adapted. Easy, healthy and cheap meal ideas could include:
•    Two minute noodles with mixed freezer veggies and a fried egg
•    Tinned baked beans on seed/grain toast (add some avocado for healthy fats or cheese for extra protein)
•    Tinned tuna, frozen corn and rice (microwaved or fresh)
•    Soup made with left-over veggies (add some tinned beans/soup mix to increase quantity)
•    Wrap bread pizzas (e.g. shredded chicken breast with capsicum, pesto and spinach; or beef mince, basil, tomato and cheese)
•    Tinned soup with a cheese and tomato toastie (choose soups with meat/legumes)

Consider how smart phone apps can also help at this time. SuperCook Recipe by Ingredient allows the user to input their available food items and the app produces recipes to match. Olio is a food sharing app where people can connect with neighbours to share excess food ( currently working on a no-contact pickups only basis). No Waste is a food inventory app that helps you keep track of your food with alerts for food due to expire, barcode scanner and meal planning feature. 

During times of uncertainty, it’s important to practice self-compassion when it comes to food. Instead of seeking out superfoods or chasing the latest food trend; nourish yourself – choose foods that are available, enjoyable and within your means.
Are you interested in receiving Meals on Wheels? Tasty meals are delivered to your door Monday – Friday by amazing staff from Central Highlands Rural Health (CHRH), Hepburn Shire Council and community volunteers.

Due to the impacts of COVID-19, Hepburn Shire Council have partnered with CHRH to help with daily meal delivery. 

If receiving Meals on Wheels is of interest to you or someone you know, please contact CHRH for more information and to check if you are eligible – 5345 9750.
It's always important to maintain good nutrition and hydration, but particularly during this time. 

Maybe you're a fabulous nurse who wants an easy meal to cook after a long shift, or maybe your working from home and want something easy the kids can help out with. Either way we have the perfect recipe for you! 

Serves 10 
We know this might seem large, but chuck some extra servings in the freezer for when you really have no time!

Rice, long grain (uncooked)      5 cups (1kg) 
Sesame Oil                               1 tablespoon 
Eggs, beaten                             6 medium
Carrots, finely diced                  3 medium 
Peas, frozen                              1.5 cups 
Red capsicum, finely diced       1.5
Soy sauce (salt reduced)          5 tablespoons (100mL)
Spring onions, chopped            5 



  1. Cook rice according to packet instructions.
  2. Heat half the oil in a large wok over high heat. Add the eggs and swirl to make an omelette. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes or until cooked through, then slide onto a chopping board to cool.
  3. Heat the remaining oil. Add the vegetables and stir fry for 2 to 3 minutes.
  4. Slice the omelette into thin strips and return to the wok.
  5. Add the rice and cook for a further 2 minutes.
  6. Add the soy sauce and half the spring onions. Stir to combine. Remove from heat.
  7. Serve the fried rice garnished with the remaining spring onions.


  • For a non-vegetarian version, add some lean ham, cooked skinless chicken breast or tuna canned in spring water at Step 3.
  • Any frozen or seasonal vegetables can be used for this recipe. Zucchini and corn kernels are a good combination.

If this recipe doesn't peak your interest check out HEAS or The Heart Foundation where you'll be sure to find something tasty!  
Remember to drink water regularly (approximately 6-8 glasses a day) to stay healthy and hydrated and try to eat a variety of 5 portions of vegetables and 2 of fruit each day.
Due to restrictions in place, the CHRH Oral Health Team are unable to perform any clinical duties. However we are still able to triage any eligible patients that have a major dental emergency and you will be vouchered to a private dental practice. For further information please contact our Dental Receptionist on 5321 6580.

In the mean time, we realise that you may miss your regular dental check, so be sure to follow these key messages: 
Eat Well - a variety of healthy and nutritious food, textures and flavours.
Drink Well - tap water is the drink of choice. Avoid sugary soft drinks, juices and sports drinks.
Clean Well - with a fluoridated tooth paste twice a day. Flossing is a very important role in our oral health care. If you are not undertaking flossing regularly, now is a good time to include this with your oral health routine at least every second day.  

As of Monday March 30, there will be no public access to our IPC buildings to minimise the risk of COVID-19 transmission in the community. 
All community health services have transitioned to phone based consultations, with clinicians still being able to provide support and services.   
If you require our assistance please call our reception at Daylesford on 03 5321 6550 or Creswick on 03 5345 9550.  

The Population Health team would like to acknowledge the expertise and contribution provided from IPC to support the ongoing development of our community resources.  
Manager Integrated Primary Care - Shane Richardson
Coordinator Maternal and Child Health - Sara White
Coordinator Mental Wellbeing - Brian Dunn
Coordinator Oral Health - Liz McLoughlin 
Coordinator Physical Wellbeing - Eliz Rhook
Coordinator Population Health - Belinda Buck

As of 5pm Thursday March 26th our Acute Hospitals at Kyneton, Daylesford and Creswick as well as our Residential Aged Care Facilities in Trentham, Daylesford and Creswick have been locked down.
This was a difficult decision, but one that will help to ensure the safety of everyone and limit the impact of COVID-19. 
Under this lock down only rostered staff will be permitted to enter the facilities and only after being screened for symptoms or risk of COVID-19 and having temperature taken.
We understand this will be a difficult time for patients, residents and families and have ensured that all sites have the ability to facilitate video calls. We encourage you to speak to the nurse in charge to set up a time for this to take place. 

If you have any questions or concerns please do not hesitate to get in touch:
Creswick Health: 03 5345 9150
Clunes Health: 03 5345 9750 
Daylesford Health: 03 5321 6500 
Kyneton Health: 03 5422 9900
Trentham Health: 03 5421 7200 

While some facilities have been locked down we want to ensure that anyone who is sick or requiring immediate attention can still present at our Urgent Care facilities in Daylesford and Kyneton.
We just ask that you phone ahead and speak to one of our wonderful nurses so they can give you the best advice for the situation. 
Everyone has been doing a fabulous job of helping to "flatten the curve", but we need to remember to keep up these efforts!
  • Wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds (try singing Happy Birthday twice), or use an alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Cough and sneeze into a tissue or into your elbow.
  • Dispose of tissues straight into a bin and then wash your hands.
  • Avoid close contact with anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms. 
  • Practice social distancing of more than 1.5 metres to create space between each other in social situations.
Patients who meet at least one clinical AND at least one epidemiological criterion should be tested. Do this by contacting the dedicated hotline at 1800 675 398 for further advice. 
Fever (≥38°C) or history of fever (for example night sweats, chills)
Acute respiratory infection (for example, shortness of breath, cough, sore throat).

Close contacts of confirmed COVID-19 cases with onset of symptoms within 14 days of last contact
Travelers from overseas with onset of symptoms within 14 days of return
Cruise ship passengers or crew with onset of symptoms within 14 days of disembarkation
Paid or unpaid workers in healthcare, residential care, and disability care settings
People who have worked in public facing roles in the following settings within the last 14 days:
  • Homelessness support
  • Child protection
  • The police force
  • Firefighters who undertake emergency medical response
  • Childcare and early childhood education
  • Primary or secondary schools
Any person aged 65 years or older
Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander peoples 
Patients admitted to hospital where no other cause is identified
Any person in other high-risk settings, including: 
  • Aged care, disability and other residential care facilities
  • Military operational settings
  • Boarding schools
  • Correctional facilities
  • Detention centres
  • Settings where COVID-19 outbreaks have occurred, in consultation with the department
If you do not meet the above criteria - but are feeling unwell, you should stay at home and contact your medical practitioner for advice. 
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Integrated Primary Care 
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Central Highlands Rural Health · 13 Hospital Street · Daylesford, Vic 3460 · Australia

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