This information has been published on 15 March 2023. This information will be regularly updated to ensure our community is receiving the most up-to-date advice.
Visitors are welcome at Western Health but they will need to wear a surgical mask when visiting patient areas. While in public-facing areas like the reception area or cafeteria, visitors no longer need to wear masks.
Visitors who remove their mask while in patient areas may be asked to leave the health service.
Patients on designated COVID wards and patients with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 are only permitted visitors if the ward Nurse Unit Manager grants an exemption. Exemptions are
available for end-of-life care, critically ill patients or patients with
high-level clinical or social needs. Visitors on COVID wards must wear a N95 mask.
Visitors who have tested positive to COVID are not permitted to visit for for seven days and must be symptom free.
Visitors should not visit Western Health if they are still displaying symptoms of COVID
Who can visit a patient at Western
All visitors are welcome at Western Health, provided that they do not have COVID risk factors such as symptoms, have not been a close contact with someone who has been diagnosed with COVID within the last 7days or have contracted COVID within the last 7 days. Visitors must be symptom free. .
Visitors must wear a surgical mask in all patient areas.
Children under 16 are permitted to visit inpatient areas if accompanied by an adult.
How many visitors are permitted per
In general, inpatients may have 2 visitors each day, 1 of whom can be an accompanied child.
2 parents or guardians of children who are currently inpatients are permitted to visit.
2 support persons are permitted to visit Newborn Services/NICU 24/7 (mother and father/carer).
2 visitors and children of the birthing woman are permitted to visit maternity services
Exemptions are available for end-of-life care, critically ill patients or patients with high-level clinical or social needs. Visitors seeking exemptions for these reasons should speak to the ward Nurse Unit Manager or After Hours Administrators.
How long can visitors stay?
Visits are to be limited to 2 hours.
The duration may be extended with the approval of the ward Nurse Unit Manager or After Hours Administrator in situations where:
the visit is related to end-of-life care, critically ill patients or patients with high-level clinical or social needs.
the visit involves the parents or caregivers of a child, to attend the birth of a child or for other compassionate reasons; or,
the visitor is able to provide care or support to the patient (e.g. assisting with feeding, settling confused patients, etc.)
How many visitors are permitted in
the ED, Urgent Care and for Outpatients (including
Adults, Paediatrics and Maternity
A maximum of 1 visitor or support person is permitted. In the event a child accompanies an outpatient, the clinical area can grant an exemption for the child to enter on a case by case basis.
For children attending outpatients 2 parents or guardians are permitted to attend. Depending on the location and type of care being provided, sometimes visitors may not be permitted.
When are visiting hours?
Visiting hours are between 12pm and 8pm daily, except in Joan Kirner Women’s and Children’s areas, where visiting hours are 8am to 8pm.
Have tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 7 days; or
Have been identified as a close contact1 of someone who has COVID-19 within the last 7 Days or
Have symptoms of COVID-19 such as:
Shortness of breathTemperature higher than 37.5⁰C, fever or chillsCoughSore throatRunny noseLoss of taste or smell
Shortness of breath
Temperature higher than 37.5⁰C, fever or chills
1 A close contact is someone who lives with or has spent more than 4 hours in a house, accommodation or care facility with someone who has COVID-19 while they were infectious.
Visitors must stay in the patient’s room at all times and limit movement around the building. They can make quick trips to the bathroom or to purchase food.
Visitors over 18 years will be provided with a single use surgical mask when entering patient areas.. Visitors who remove their mask while in patient areas may be asked to leave the health service.
Visitors should limit the number of personal items that they bring into the hospital when they visit. This will reduce the number of unwanted germs they bring into the hospital and take back home with them.
Visitors should wash their hands with soap or use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser after using the lifts, holding railings and every time they enter or exit a patient room.
Visitors should use a tissue and cover their mouth when they cough or sneeze, or cough or sneeze in to their elbow.
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that cause illness in animals or humans. These coronaviruses include the common cold and more severe diseases like the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV).
COVID-19 is a new form of coronavirus, which causes respiratory symptoms, similar to the flu.
Most people who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 have only experienced a mild illness and recovered, however the illness can be more severe for others, including vulnerable populations such as the elderly.
The risk of contracting COVID-19 can be reduced through proper hand hygiene, wearing a face covering, respiratory etiquette and social distancing.
Hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette are two terms that you may have heard of when you have heard about how to reduce your risk of COVID-19. This refers to washing your hands properly and often, and using proper sneezing and coughing practices (covering your nose and mouth with a tissue or coughing or sneezing into your upper sleeve and elbow).
Here are 10 ways you can reduce your risk of getting COVID-19:
Wash hands often with soap and running water, for at least 20 seconds. Dry with paper towel or hand dryer.
Try not to touch your eyes, nose or mouth.
Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. If you don’t have a tissue cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve or elbow.
Isolate yourself at home if you feel sick. If you take medication ensure you have adequate supplies.
Phone your GP first if you need medical attention. They will tell you what to do.
Continue healthy habits: exercise, drink water, get plenty of sleep, and now is the time to quit smoking. Call the Quitline 137 848.
As per direction of the Victorian Chief Health Officer, you must wear a face covering whenever you leave your home, unless an exception applies.
Get the flu shot (available April).
Watch this video from the World Health Organization on how you can protect yourself and others from the coronavirus:
No, you should not attend the hospital.
You can read more about COVID-19 isolation on the Victorian Government Department of Health website.
About coronavirus (COVID-19) - Department of Health and Human Services
COVID-19 - Australian Government Department of Health
COVID-19 - Smartraveller
COVID-19 advice for the public - World Health Organisation
Coronavirus (COVID-19) isolation guidance - Department of Health