COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Visitor restrictions now in place

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Visitor restrictions now in place

In accordance with the current pandemic risk and the stage 4 restrictions currently in place in metropolitan Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire, visitors are not permitted to any Eastern Health facility except if required as an essential caregiver or in accordance with the list of exemptions below.

Maternity and Neonatal Wards (special care nursery)

  • Postnatal Unit: Partners of women are permitted for 2 hours per day from 5pm – 7pm. 
  • Birthing Suite: Partners of women are permitted 24 hours a day.
  • Antenatal and FMAC appointments: Women must attend alone.
  • Neonatal wards (Special Care Nursery): Special Care Nurseries will continue to allow women full access to their babies.  The father/partner/nominated support person will only be allowed to visit between 5-7pm. 

 

Paediatric Wards including Paediatric Short Stay and Children attending Day Procedure Unit

  • Parents/guardians of children on the Paediatric Ward, in Paediatric Short Stay and of children attending the Day Procedure Unit will be permitted to visit/accompany their child.  Eastern Health requests only one parent/guardian to visit at a time. 
  • If a parent is symptomatic, it is preferable for another parent or carer who is well to remain with the child whilst in hospital.  

Mental Health

  • Adolescent Inpatient Psychiatric Unit (AIPU) - 2 nominated visitors per patient will be permitted between 6 – 8pm during weekdays and between 8am and 8pm on the weekends and public holidays. Additionally, parents and family members will be permitted to attend clinical meetings on the ward when required.
  • CYMHS Community Sites, Yarra Ranges Health, Wundeela, Chandler, Carrington Road - Parents, and at times other family members, are permitted to attend clinical appointments.   Where telehealth is not possible, the accompanying number of family members will be restricted to 2 members to ensure compliance with physical distancing requirements.   

 

For patients deemed at end of life in any ward (including a COVID-19 ward) or residential aged care facility across Eastern Health:

  • No more than two visitors at a time for a maximum of two hours
  • Visiting times will be at the following times: 1000-1200 and 1800-2000
  • As per current practice, the NOK will be notified in any rapid or significant deterioration in condition of the patient.
  • Visitors may include partner, parents, children, siblings and/or identified NOK
  • Maximum of four visitors per day, as advised by the NOK
  • Visitors will only be allowed to Residential Aged Care Facilities if they provide evidence of an up to date vaccination against influenza.

*as assessed by the patient’s treating team (as defined in Health Professional Guidance for the Care Plan for the Dying Person – Victoria, which states the patient is likely to die in hours to days). Some patients may be deteriorating in weeks, rather than days, but still be dying. Visiting as per “end of life” guidelines would be appropriate in this case, to provide an opportunity for families to interact meaningfully with their loved one during this limited timeframe. Please contact a member of the Supportive & Palliative Care team if help with prognostication is needed.

 

Essential Carer:

For the purpose of visitor restrictions, an essential caregiver is defined as an individual who:

  • Is providing care that is of therapeutic benefit to the patient e.g. supporting delirium.
  • Requires training onsite in order to be able to provide care once patient is discharged.
  • Needs to be involved in clinical decision making which cannot be undertaken via phone.
  • Is required to collect a patient who is being discharged and needs assistance.
  • Is required to support an outpatient who requires assistance (due to physical or cognitive disability) to ensure they safely access their appointment.
  • Is accompanying a child or adolescent under 18 years of age to an appointment.
  • Is accompanying a baby who requires breastfeeding by an inpatient.

 

Process to approve visitor as an essential caregiver:

 

Elective patients:

  • Elective surgery screening checklist completed via phone day before admission includes screening for need for essential carer.
    • If essential caregiver is not required – patient advised of current visitor restrictions
    • If essential caregiver is required – exemption form is clipped to admission paperwork, exemption log (BHH & MH) updated, screening staff (AH, HV & YRH) provided copy of exemption form.

Non-elective inpatients:

  • On admission, admitting nurse to flag with NUM/ANUM that an essential caregiver may be required. NUM/ANUM (in conjunction with multidisciplinary team if required) determines if essential carer is required. 
    • If essential caregiver is not required – patient advised of current visitor restrictions
    • If essential caregiver is required – exemption form is completed, exemption log (BHH & MH) updated, screening staff (AH, HV & YRH) provided copy of exemption form.
  • Staff will add essential caregiver details to patient communication board
  • For Mental Health Inpatient Units, escalation to Mental Health Program Coordinator.

Please see visitor exemption form below. 

Screening and Visitor Logging Process:

All visitors will have their temperature taken and will be asked the following health screening questions:

  • Have you been diagnosed with coronavirus (COVID-19) and have not been discharged from isolation?
  • Have you arrived in Australia from overseas in the last 14 days?
  • Have you recently come into contact with a person who has a confirmed case of coronavirus (COVID-19)?
  • Do you have any symptoms of acute respiratory infection such as breathing difficulty, cough, sore throat, runny nose & loss of sense of smell or taste

People who respond yes to any of the health screen questions or have a temperature higher than 37.5 degrees Celsius will be denied entry. If the visitor has symptoms they will be directed to the Respiratory Assessment Clinic for screening for possible COVID-19 infection.

  • If eligible to enter the hospital, the visitor will be required to wear a sticker that is visible at all times and wear a mask or facial shield
  • the visitor’s name, time of entry and contact number will be recorded in a log book
  • when visitor is leaving the hospital, the time of exit will be documented in the log book
  • the patient being visited by the approved visitor will be highlighted on the daily patient list
  • exceptional circumstances to the restrictions outlined above may be considered on a case by case basis whilst at all times ensuring minimization of risk of transmission of COVID-19
  • Patient cultural and spiritual beliefs should be supported wherever possible, especially in end of life care. Where a person attends a patient in this regard they are to be considered a visitor and so should meet all other visitor screening requirements.
  • Where there is uncertainty regarding application of these restrictions or clinical judgment indicates an exception to the restriction, staff should discuss it with their Nurse/Midwife Unit Manager/Medical Consultant/Hospital Coordinator.

 

Visitor Exemption Form (PDF, 153kb)

Tags COVID19