Bendigo Health is leading a COVID-19 aged care rapid response team for the Loddon Mallee region that will prepare for and assist in the event of a virus outbreak.
Bendigo Health chairman Bob Cameron said COVID-19 outbreaks in aged care have been particularly problematic in Victoria's private aged care facilities.
"The private sector, regulated by the Federal Government, recognise something had to change," Mr Cameron said.
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"As a result, the federal and state government's are working together to make sure there can be a quick response when there are issues in any private nursing home."
Bendigo Health will be notified immediately in the event of a COVID-19 case in private aged care and deliver a rapid response.
There are 30 public and 30 private aged care facilities in the Loddon Mallee.
The recently developed team has scope to work across major workplace outbreaks, as it did at Lockwood's Hazeldene's Chicken Farm, which is linked to 36 COVID-19 cases.
Bendigo Health chief nursing and midwifery officer David Rosaia said the team includes clinicians, logistics and administration staff.
"The team is activated quickly and can be sent within 12 hours," Mr Rosaia said.
"At Hazeldene's, we did 300 swabs in six hours, with 12 staff."
An objective of the new initiative is to plan for workforce changes, in the event an aged care staff member contracts COVID-19.
Agency staff could be deployed to assist, if necessary and subject to clearing strict screening criteria, according to Mr Rosaia.
"We are working as a hub to explore what resources we have in the region, not just at Bendigo Health, but region wide," he said.
A trend of less active COVID-19 cases in Bendigo is expected, given people are at home more, Mr Cameron said.
"If we all do the right thing, we can get this to zero," he said.
"To do that we aim to quickly trace, contain and eliminate."