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Latest update for our community

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Latest update for our community

​This information has been published on 29 September 2022. This information will be regularly updated to ensure our community is receiving the most up-to-date advice.

 

COVID Testing Clinics


Western Health testing clinics are no longer operational. For other clinics in Victoria, please refer to the Department of Health and Human Services site: https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/getting-tested-coronavirus-covid-19#where-to-get-tested


Information for patient visitors


Visitors are welcome at Western Health, however, screening for COVID risk factors and some restrictions remain in place to ensure that physical distancing can be maintained and all visitors, patients and staff are safe. 

  • Visitors are registered at entry points and screened for COVID-19 risk factors through completion of the COVID-19 Visitor and Patient Registration electronic survey.

  • Visitors must wear an N95 mask and practice good hand hygiene. Visitors aged between 8 and 17 years are required to wear a surgical mask.

  • Visitors unable to wear the appropriate mask may not be able to enter.

  • Visitors who remove their mask while onsite 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 an exemption is granted.


Guidelines for entry to all Western Health sites

Visitors who have recently tested positive are required to provide evidence of a negative Rapid Antigen Test (RAT)* if visiting a Western Health site on day 7, 8, 9 and 10. 

Visitors to Grant Lodge must declare a negative RAT*, before being allowed to enter. * Please note visitors can test prior to or on arrival to a Western Health site.





Who can visit a patient at Western Health?

All visitors are welcome at Western Health, provided that they do not have COVID risk factors such as symptoms or are required to quarantine or isolate due to a recent COVID diagnosis. All visitors will be screened upon arrival.

All visitors must wear an N95 mask throughout the duration of their visit. 

Children under 16 are permitted to visit inpatient areas if accompanied by an adult. 

Children aged 5 years or under are not required to perform a RAT.

How many visitors are permitted per inpatient?

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.


However, physical distancing of 1.5m must be maintained and this may mean that some areas permit fewer visitors due to space limitations. 

How long can visitors stay? 

Visits are to be limited to 2 hours. 

The duration may be extended in with the approval of the Unit Manager or AHA in situations where:

  • the visit is related to end of life care;

  • 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 OPs)? 

Due to space restrictions, 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 if space permits. For children attending outpatients 2 parents or guardians are permitted to attend. Depending on the location and type 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



Western Health has prepared single entrances for visitors to enter the hospital. On entry, visitors will be screened for COVID-19 and their details will be entered into a visitor register. Each visitor will be provided with a colour coded wrist band (where colour denotes the day of the week) indicating they have been screened and registered.

Visitors are prohibited from entering Western Health if they: 

  • 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:

o   Shortness of breath

o   Temperature higher than 37.5⁰C, fever or chills

o   Cough

o   Sore throat

o   Runny nose

o   Loss of taste or smell

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.

For those allowed to visit a patient, the following guidelines must be followed :

 

  • Visitor name, contact details, time of arrival and the patient they are visiting will be recorded by Security upon entry.  

  • 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 should minimise the consumption of food/drinks during their visit.

  • Visitors over 18 years will be provided with a single use N95 mask when entering the hospital and those aged between 8 and 17 will be provided with a surgical mask. As a condition of entry, visitors are required to wear a mask throughout their visit until they exit the hospital, unless they are exempt from doing so.

  • Visitors must maintain social distancing requirements. There should be no physical contact, keeping a distance of at least 1.5 meters or two arm’s length between themselves and the patient, as well as staff.

  • 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.

  • When the visit is over, visitors should leave the hospital and avoid spending time in public areas, including waiting areas, cafeterias and vending areas. Visitors should leave through their point of entry and report to security so the time of departure can be noted. Single use N9masks should be discarded upon leaving the hospital in the bins provided.

  • 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.


Patient information - What can you bring to Western Health for patients
Patient information - How to prepare food and bring food into Western Health for a patient


What is coronavirus?

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.

 

How do I reduce my risk of contracting COVID-19?

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:

 


I have been told to self-isolate for 7 days. Should I attend the Hospital?


No, you should not attend the hospital.

You can read more about COVID-19 isolation on the Victorian Government Department of Health website.
 

Related links