District requests visitors stay home to protect patients
In Sydney Local Health District we have had to make a lot of changes over the past six months to help protect patients, their loved ones, staff and the community from COVID-19.
“As restrictions begin to ease in the community, it’s important the District remains vigilant so we can continue to keep our patients and our staff safe,” Dr Teresa Anderson AM, the District’s chief executive, said.
“To help us keep everyone safe, we need to continue to limit the number of visitors to our hospitals, where possible. We’re asking our patients to have one visitor at a time and a maximum of two visitors each day,” Dr Anderson said.
The District is requesting visits by children to its facilities be avoided, and, visitors will be asked to limit their visits to no more than an hour where possible.
Patients and visitors will be able to stay connected in other ways – through telephone calls, email, or via smart devices using apps such as Facetime, Skype or WhatsApp.
“We recognise the importance of having family members and loved ones involved in patient care and we’ll continue to use innovative ways to support and engage them, during this time,” Dr Anderson said.
The District will allow hospital visitors in specific cases, unless it becomes necessary to impose restrictions to further minimise the risk of spreading COVID-19.
Patients who are COVID-19 positive, or who have been tested and are awaiting results, will be unable to have visitors, except in exceptional cases or on compassionate grounds.
The changes to visiting will allow staff to ensure physical distancing measures are maintained in waiting rooms, lifts, corridors and patient rooms.
It will also help to ensure good hand hygiene practices are followed to reduce the risk of the transmission of COVID-19.
Already, all staff and visitors are screened on entry to the District’s facilities, have their temperature taken and are given a visitor entry pass.
Visitors who are unwell with flu-like symptoms will be requested to reschedule their visit. Those with a fever, sore throat, difficulty breathing, or other flu-like symptoms will be encouraged to go to one of the District’s COVID-19 Clinics for a free test.