A Special Health Accommodation facility for COVID positive cases is about to come online at the new Bulli Hospital with the first patients expected to be admitted today.
The Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District has set up the SHA for positive cases that don't require higher level hospital treatment but can isolate safely.
LHD boss Margot Mains said it is located in a vacant part of the Bulli facility.
"The impact of the Delta variant within households has been significant and many people simply cannot safely isolate at home.
"We have now established safe, local accommodation for patients who do not need higher level hospital treatment, but who do need care and to be isolated from household contacts," she said.
"This site has always been part of our considerations in responding to COVID, but it has not been required until now," Mains said.
"We want to assure the community, patients and staff within the hospital section of the Bulli campus that the two sites are completely separate entities, with independent functionality, including air flow and water supply.
"The safety of our patients, staff and the community is absolutely paramount and this facility has been reviewed from top to bottom to ensure it is safe for all," Mains said.
The Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District's COVID taskforce chair, Dr Trevor Gardner said the special facility has been set up using the learnings from the COVID ICU and wards at Wollongong Hospital.
"We firstly looked at the rooms and how the air flow goes to make sure that the way the air moves is safe and is away from staff if you like and away from other people within the SHA.
"It certainly doesn't go anywhere near the hospital.
"The community can be assured that the hospital is completely safe from any contamination from the SHA.
"In the same way people that live around Wollongong Hospital can be safe that the badness that's happening inside a COVID ward in the hospital is not exposing anybody on the street nor anybody else in any part of the hospital to COVID," Dr Gardner said.