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Important information about novel coronavirus (COVID-19)

Information on this page

Overview

We are closely monitoring and proactively responding to the developments in Australia associated with COVID-19, in conjunction with both the Australian Government authorities and local public health units.

We understand the rapidly evolving and unprecedented and widespread effects of COVID-19 may result in high levels of concern. However, we want to reassure you that we are well-prepared and well-resourced to manage the impacts.

We have strict infection control and prevention protocols in place to protect patients, health care workers and visitors to minimise the risk of any infection, including COVID-19. The symptoms of COVID-19 are documented on the Australian Government’s Department of Health website. If you are unwell and require urgent medical attention you should contact your GP or call 000 for an ambulance (this will work even without phone credit).

Information for patients

If you have visited a current COVID hotspot in the past 14 days, please contact the hospital or your doctor before your scheduled appointment or surgery. If you are unwell with any cold or flu like symptoms, and are scheduled for a procedure, please contact your doctor before attending the hospital.

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Information for visitors

The requirement for social distancing has resulted in a decision to limit the number of visitors to our facilities. Please click here for more information about current visitor restrictions to our facility.

Visitors will be screened by staff before entering the hospital and will not be able to visit if they:

  • Are unwell with any cold or flu like symptoms, even a runny nose.
  • Have travelled from a COVID hotspot or overseas in the past two weeks.
  • Have been identified as close personal contact with a confirmed case.
  • Have been in close contact with a suspected case.

This screening point also applies to any essential contractors or representatives who need to attend a facility in order to attend site meetings, prepare reports, or assess equipment for any reason.

For safety reasons, we are also implementing the following restrictions:

  • Hospitals will be restricting children under the age of 16 years from visiting the facility (exceptions can be considered on a case-by-case basis in discussion with the nurse in charge).
  • Volunteers and other non-essential visitors will not be visiting our site until further notice.

If you enter the hospital, you must practise the following precautions:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water before and after eating as well as after attending the toilet
  • Avoid contact with others (including touching, kissing, hugging, and other intimate contact)
  • Cough and sneeze into your elbow
  • Ensure your face mask covers your nose and mouth, and after putting it on, do not touch the front of the mask. Remove the mask by using the ear loops or head straps.
  • Dispose of the used mask into a waste bin and perform hand hygiene with soap and water or alcohol hand rub.

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Social distancing

It is important to practise social distancing to stop or slow the spread of infectious diseases, such as COVID-19. The more space between you and others, the harder it is for the virus to spread.

Important tips include:

  • You should aim to remain 1.5 metres apart at all times. If you are required to move closer than 1.5 metres, ensure that the time does not exceed 15 minutes
  • Do not shake hands
  • Do not share food

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FAQs

What is this virus?

Coronaviruses can make humans and animals sick. Some coronaviruses can cause illness similar to the common cold and others can cause more serious diseases, including Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS). The virus first seen in Hubei Province, China is called ‘novel’ because it is new. COVID-19 has now been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) and there has been a significant increase in new cases across many countries in Europe and around the world. It is likely that the virus originally came from an animal, and there is evidence that it can spread from person-to-person.

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms include fever OR an acute respiratory infection and include (but are not limited to) cough, sore throat, fatigue and shortness of breath with or without a fever.

How is the coronavirus spread?

The coronavirus is most likely to spread from person-to-person by:

  • Direct close contact with a person whilst they are infectious;
  • Close contact with a person with a confirmed infection coughs or sneezes; or
  • Touching objects or surfaces (such as doorknobs or tables or face masks) contaminated from a cough or sneeze from a person with a confirmed infection, and then touching your mouth or face.

Most infections are transmitted by people when they have symptoms. There is now some evidence that people could be contagious before showing symptoms.

How can I help prevent the spread of COVID-19?

Practising good hand and sneeze/cough hygiene is the best defence against most viruses. You should:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water before and after eating as well as after attending the toilet
  • Avoid contact with others (including touching, kissing, hugging, and other intimate contact)
  • Cough and sneeze into your elbow
  • If you are asked to wear a surgical face mask, after putting it on to cover your nose and mouth, do not touch the front of the mask and remove it using the ear loops or head straps.
  • Dispose of the used mask into a waste bin and perform hand hygiene with soap and water or alcohol hand rub.

Where are the COVID-19 clinics and testing centres located?

COVID-19 clinics and assessment centres have been established at various sites across Australia. Please click on the relevant link below to view the services available in your state:

Can I still visit my specialist/doctor even if we are locked down for COVID-19?

Yes, visiting your doctor is considered an essential indoor gathering under current guidelines. That means you must adhere to social distancing measures by keeping a distance of 1.5m between yourself and other people and good hygiene practices including using hand sanitiser before and after your visit with your doctor.

What does isolate in your home mean?

People who are recommended to be isolated should not attend public places, in particular work, school, childcare or university. Only people who usually live in the household should be in the home. Do not allow visitors into the home. There is no need to wear masks in the home. Where possible, get others such as friends or family, who are not required to be isolated to get food or other necessities for you. If you must leave the home, such as to seek medical care, wear a surgical mask if you have one.

How is the virus treated?

There is no specific treatment for coronaviruses. Antibiotics are not effective against viruses. Most of the symptoms can be treated with supportive medical care. Some people will require hospitalisation.

What are the restrictions on visitors at hospitals and clinics?

Please see our home page for more information on current restrictions to visitors at our hospital.

Should I wear a face mask?

A face mask will not protect you against becoming infected. The use of face masks can help to prevent transmission of disease from infected patients to others.

Where can I get more information?

Visit the Australian Government Department of Health homepage at www.health.gov.au.

Call the Public Health Information Line on 1800 004 599.

Discuss any questions you have with the Public Health Agency monitoring you.

Contact your state or territory public health agency:

  • ACT call 02 5124 9213
  • NSW call 1300 066 055
  • NT call 08 8922 8044
  • QLD call 13HEALTH (13 43 25 84)
  • SA call 1300 232 272
  • TAS call 1800 671 738
  • VIC call 1300 651 160
  • WA visit www.healthywa.wa.gov.au or call your local public health unit.

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