COVID-19 information and data specific to healthcare workers.

The Victorian Government is committed to protecting our healthcare workers and keeping them safe.

This information and data on this page are specific to healthcare workers. You can find other data at Victorian coronavirus (COVID-19) data.

The data on this page was last updated on 20 January 2021 and reports on cases notified to the department up to and including 19 January 2021. The report is based on the most accurate data available to the Department of Health and Human Services at the time of publication.

Hospitals, GP clinics and other healthcare services remain open, safe and ready for Victorians to visit. People who need routine or emergency medical care or support are advised not to delay their visit.

Summary

Clinical healthcare workers

  • Clinical healthcare workers work in health and aged care settings and provide direct care to patients or clients; for example, nurses, doctors and personal care assistants. A total of 3561 healthcare workers have been infected with coronavirus (COVID-19).

  • Of the total number of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in healthcare workers 73.0% (2599) of cases were acquired in a healthcare setting, and 14.6% were not. In 12.3% of cases, the source of infection could not be determined

  • Of the healthcare workers who acquired COVID-19 in a healthcare setting, 62.6% of cases were acquired in aged care settings, 29.4% of cases were acquired in hospital settings, and 8.0% of cases were acquired in other settings.

  • Of the healthcare workers who acquired COVID-19 in a healthcare setting, 1300 (50.0%) were aged care or disability workers, 1038 (39.9%) were nurses or midwives, 124 (4.8%) were medical practitioners and 83 (3.2%) were healthcare workers in other occupations.

  • There is currently one active healthcare worker case in hotel quarantine (acquired overseas)

Non-clinical workers in healthcare settings

  • Non-clinical staff in healthcare settings work in health and aged care settings but do not provide direct care to patients; for example, cleaners, caterers and administrative staff. A total of 609 coronavirus (COVID-19) non-clinical workers in healthcare settings have been infected with coronavirus (COVID-19).

  • Of the total number of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in non-clinical staff in the healthcare setting 57.1% (348) cases were acquired in a healthcare setting, and 24.3% were not acquired in a healthcare setting. For 18.1% of cases the source of infection is unable to be determined.

  • Of the non-clinical staff who acquired COVID-19 in healthcare settings 72.1% of cases were acquired in aged care settings, 17.5% of cases were acquired in hospital settings, and 10.3% of cases were acquired in other settings.

  • Of the non-clinical staff who acquired COVID-19 in a healthcare setting, 123 (35.3%) were cleaners, 73 (21.0%) were hospitality workers (food service attendants and kitchen staff), 17 (4.9%) were reception and assistants, 34 (9.8%) were social and welfare workers, 10 (2.9%) were office administration, 9 (26%) were security staff, and 82 (236%) were other occupations.

 

Latest Victorian healthcare worker numbers

Updated:

1

Active healthcare
worker cases

2599

Healthcare worker cases
acquired in the workplace

3561

Total healthcare worker
cases

Latest Victorian numbers for non-clinical staff in healthcare settings

Updated:

0

Active cases among
non-clinical staff in healthcare
settings.

348

Non-clinical staff cases
acquired in the
workplace

609

Total cases among
non-clinical staff

Note

On 19 January 2021, DHHS conducted healthcare worker data quality improvements to allow more accurate and complete analysis. Changes included more accurate assignment of occupations, which affected the reported numbers of healthcare worker infections and non-clinical staff infections. Overall, there was a decrease in HCW numbers by 15 and an increase in non-clinical workers in a healthcare setting by 13, reported on 20 January 2021.

Healthcare workers (clinical staff)

Healthcare worker cases over time

Source of infections in healthcare workers over time

Healthcare worker cases by occupation

Occupation Total cases
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health worker 1
Aged care or disability worker 1615
Allied health 145
Dental professional 30
Medical imaging professional 22
Medical practitioner 211
Midwife 19
Nurse 1337
Other healthcare worker 76
Paramedic or patient transport officer 42
Pharmacist 63

Notes regarding occupations:​

‘Other healthcare worker’ includes undisclosed or healthcare occupations pending classification. ‘Aged care or disability workers’ include workers in clinical roles who are not doctors/nurses/allied health, e.g. personal care assistants and disability support officers.

Healthcare worker cases by healthcare setting/workplace

Healthcare setting Total Cases Active Cases
Aged care 1732 (48.6%) 0
Hospital 1090 (30.6%) 0
Other 739 (20.8%) 1
Total 3561 (100%) 1 (100%)

Note

Some cases have worked in more than one healthcare setting. If they have been linked to an outbreak in an aged care setting they will be included in that category and no other categories. If they work in a hospital or are linked to a hospital-based outbreak, they will be included in that category UNLESS they are also linked to an aged care outbreak

Acquisition of COVID-19 in healthcare settings (healthcare workers)​

Occupation Healthcare acquired Not healthcare acquired Unable to be determined Under Investigation Total
Aged care or disability worker 1300 174 140 1 1615
Allied health 54 55 35 1 145
Medical practitioner 124 42 44 1 211
Nurses and midwives 1038 155 163 0 1356
Other healthcare worker 83 94 57 0 254
Total 2599 520 439 3 3561

Note

Acquisition in a healthcare setting means that the healthcare worker contracted COVID-19 in the healthcare setting where they work.

Breakdown of healthcare acquired COVID-19 cases – by setting (healthcare workers)

Occupation Aged care Hospital Other Setting
Aged care or disability worker 1162 38 100
Allied health 26 21 7
Medical practitioner 4 106 14
Nurses and midwives 419 571 48
Other healthcare worker 15 29 39
Total 1626 765 208

​Note

Some cases have worked in more than one healthcare setting. If they have been linked to an outbreak in an aged care setting they will be included in that category and no other categories. If they work in a hospital or are linked to a hospital-based outbreak, they will be included in that category UNLESS they are also linked to an aged care outbreak.

Non-clinical staff in healthcare settings

Cases among non-clinical staff in healthcare settings by occupation

Occupation Total cases
Cleaners 172
Hospitality Worker 128
Reception and assistants 55
Social and welfare workers 48
Office administration 20
Security staff 17
Other occupation 169
Total 609

Note: ‘Hospitality worker’ refers to staff who work in hospitality roles within healthcare settings. This includes roles such as cooks, food preparation staff, catering managers, food and drink sales assistants, and accommodation managers. ‘Other occupation’ includes construction onsite staff, drivers, beauty staff, church staff and occupations pending classification.

Cases among non-clinical staff in healthcare settings by healthcare setting/workplace

Healthcare setting Total Cases
Aged care 293 (49.1%)
Hospital 150 (24.6%)
Other settings 160 (26.3%)
Total 609 (100.0%)

Note: Some cases have worked in more than one healthcare setting. If they have been linked to an outbreak in an aged care setting they will be included in that category and no other categories. If they work in a hospital or are linked to a hospital-based outbreak, they will be included in that category UNLESS they are also linked to an aged care outbreak.

 

Acquisition of COVID-19 in healthcare settings (non-clinical staff in healthcare settings)
 

Occupation Healthcare acquired Not healthcare acquired Unable to be determined Under investigation Total
Cleaners 123 25 22 2 172
Hospitality Worker 73 34 20 1 128
Reception and assistants 17 20 18 0 55
Social and welfare workers 34 11 3 0 48
Office administration 10 6 4 0 20
Security staff 9 3 5 0 17
Other occupation 82 49 38 0 169
Total 348 148 110 3

609

Note: Acquisition in a healthcare setting means that the staff case contracted COVID-19 in the healthcare setting where they work.

Breakdown of healthcare acquired COVID-19 cases – by setting (non-clinical staff in healthcare settings)

Occupation Aged care Hospital Other Setting
Cleaners 100 21 2
Hospitality Worker 59 11 3
Reception and assistants 9 5 3
Social and welfare workers 23 0 11
Office administration 7 1 2
Security staff 4 4 1
Other occupation 49 19 14
Total 251 61 36

Note: Some cases have worked in more than one healthcare setting. If they have been linked to an outbreak in an aged care setting they will be included in that category and no other categories. If they work in a hospital or are linked to a hospital-based outbreak, they will be included in that category UNLESS they are also linked to an aged care outbreak.

Information about the data

  • For the purposes of this report, a healthcare worker is someone who works in health and aged care settings providing direct care to patients. This includes registered health practitioners, other health practitioners, diagnostic and ancillary staff. Other health practitioners include those working in dentistry, paramedics, pharmacy, medical imaging, etc.

  • A healthcare worker case is a person who works as a healthcare worker and has a positive laboratory test for coronavirus (COVID-19), regardless of whether they contracted the infection at work or elsewhere.

  • For the purposes of this report, non-clinical staff in a healthcare setting are people who work in health and aged care settings but do not provide direct care to patients. They are also known as support or ancillary staff and include administrators, cleaners, etc.

  • A non-clinical staff case in a healthcare setting is a person who works as a non-clinical healthcare worker and has a positive laboratory test for coronavirus (COVID-19), regardless of whether they contracted the infection at work or elsewhere.

  • An active case is someone who has tested positive and is currently in isolation, being treated in hospital, or still being investigated.

  • Total cases refers to the number of all confirmed cases in the population of interest that have occurred since the beginning of the COVID-19 epidemic in January 2020 (regardless of how the infection was acquired).

  • Recovered cases are calculated by taking the total number of cases and subtracting active cases, lives lost and cases where the individual could not be contacted.

  • ‘Acquired in the workplace’ or ‘in a healthcare setting’ means it is most likely that the clinical or non-clinical worker contracted their infection in the workplace, and it is highly unlikely to have been community acquired based on recorded information

Interpreting data

Data presented in this report is subject to change as more information becomes available. Cases are included in this report based on the date on which the positive lab result was first received by the department.

Daily case numbers may decrease as duplicate entries are removed from the data set. These entries may occur when an individual is tested multiple times, or their results are reported by multiple health professionals or laboratories.

You should not use the information within this report to determine whether or how to access healthcare services. If you require routine or emergency medical care and support, GP clinics, hospitals and other healthcare services remain open, safe and ready for you to visit.

Source of data

The Department of Health and Human Services sources this data through case interviews, contact tracing and management of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Under the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2009, the department is authorised by law to collect information from doctors and laboratories about diagnoses of certain health-related conditions in Victoria. The law exists to monitor and control the occurrence of infectious diseases and other medical conditions and helps to prevent further illness. The aim is to protect the health and safety of the community.

On 29 January 2020, the Public Health and Wellbeing Regulations 2019 were amended to add Novel Coronavirus 2019 to the list of notifiable conditions in Schedule 3 and 5 requiring medical practitioners and pathology services to notify the department of confirmed cases as soon as possible.

Related information

The department established the Healthcare Worker Infection Prevention and Wellbeing Taskforce on 10 August 2020. For more information, visit Healthcare Worker Infection Prevention and Wellbeing Taskforce.

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