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District asks visitors to wear face masks while inside facilities

More changes to visiting our hospitals

July 2020

District asks visitors to wear face masks while inside facilities

District asks visitors to wear face masks while inside facilities

Sydney Local Health District has made more changes to visiting to help further protect patients, their loved ones, staff and the community from COVID-19.

“There continues to be an increase in community transmission of COVID-19 in NSW and Victoria. To help us keep everyone safe, we need to continue to limit the number of visitors to our hospitals,” Dr Teresa Anderson AM, the District’s chief executive, said.

“We are now asking hospital patients to have only one visitor a day. Where possible, we ask that the visitor only stays one hour so that we can maintain physical distancing on our wards,” Dr Anderson said.

In some areas visiting may be further restricted. The District is requesting visits by children to its facilities be avoided.

All visitors and outpatients will now be asked to wear face masks when inside the District’s facilities. Visitors and outpatients are encouraged to bring their own masks.

A mask will be provided, if needed,

Inpatients will be asked to wear a mask when they leave their ward. And, all staff will now also wear surgical masks when they are within 1.5 metres of patients.

The measures are in addition to other precautions which include regular hand hygiene, wiping down surfaces and ensuring physical distancing is maintained.

The changes will further 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.

Everyone is asked to check the NSW COVID-19 Case Location list of suburbs prior to coming to the District’s facilities. People who have been in a Case Location at the designated time will not be able to enter the District’s facilities.

People 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.

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.

These include:

  • the partner, or support person, of a patient who is pregnant, giving birth or in hospital after giving birth
  • the parent/s of a baby or child, including those in RPA Newborn Care or the Special Care Nursery at Canterbury Hospital
  • an essential hands-on carer (as determined by the treating team)
  • a legally appointed guardian for a patient who lacks capacity to give their consent
  • when a multidisciplinary treating team deems that a visit needs to be extended to support the medical, physical and mental wellbeing and recovery of the patient
  • when a patient is receiving end of life care

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 District is working hard to ensure 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.

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Page Last Updated: 29 July, 2020