The government is unable to provide a clear timeline to North-West health workers and the broader community as to when the region's hospitals will be fully reopened.
The government took the extraordinary step last week to close the North-West Regional Hospital and Mersey Community Hospital due to a coronavirus outbreak and send its workers and their family members into mandatory self-quarantine.
Health Minister Sarah Courtney said the hospitals needed to be thoroughly decluttered and cleaned before they were fully reopened and staff needed to be appropriately retrained on infection control and the use of personal protective equipment.
"We will communicate to staff over the next couple of days on how they can participate in that retraining and how they will be able to return to work in a safe way, she said on Thursday.
"We know that the decluttering and cleaning process does take an extensive period of time which is why we have bolstered our cleaning staff."
Ms Courtney said the department was working with senior clinicians at the hospitals to learn who was coming off quarantine and when, how they could be deployed appropriately, and which clinical areas could be prioritised.
She said she was aware of community concerns around the ongoing operation of the Mersey's emergency department.
"I want to be clear to that community that it is my expectation that the emergency department will reopen ... but I can't give a timeline on when that will be," Ms Courtney said.
She said the government would ensure a sufficient supply of personal protective equipment was available at both hospitals once they reopened and were used in accordance with national guidelines.
Ms Courtney said the Health Department secretary had written to hospital staff statewide to say there was no intention to authorise the reuse of facial masks.