COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Visitor restrictions now in place

Thursday, September 03, 2020

The Victorian Chief Health Officer has restricted access to hospitals where vulnerable Victorians receive care. This is to help protect elderly people, those with chronic medical conditions or those with low immunity from the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). Patients receiving treatment and care are especially vulnerable to the transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19) and may be critically at-risk if exposed. 

Given the current restrictions in Melbourne and regional Victoria, Eastern Health is focused on providing a COVID Safe Health Service for patients, staff and visitors. Visitors will not be permitted in areas providing care for patients with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 (exception: patient receiving end of life care). Hospital visitors are only permitted at Eastern Health for the following reasons:

  • If you are the parent or guardian of a child who is a patient then you are allowed to visit. The child can only have one visitor at a time. There are no limits on the number or duration of visits.
    • 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 for a period of 2 hrs. The health care team will work with families to schedule this time.   
    • Adolescent Inpatient Psychiatric Unit (AIPU) - 2 nominated visitors per patient will be permitted between 5 – 7pm during weekdays and between 8am and 7pm on the weekends and public holidays. Only 1 nominated visitor can attend at a time, unless both parents are requested by the treating team.
  • If you are the parent, partner, support person (for example friend or sibling), guardian, or carer of a patient aged 18 years or over then you are allowed to visit to provide emotional and social support to the patient, if this cannot be provided via electronic or non-contact means. The patient can only have one visitor. The visitor can only visit once per day, for a maximum of one hour.
  • If you are a nominated person under the Mental Health Act, then you can visit the patient. The patient can only have one visitor at a time. Visits must be related to treatment and discharge planning, or other functions related to the Act and may visit for up to one hour. This is to occur only if this cannot be provided via electronic or non-contact means.
  • If you are providing essential care and support necessary for the patient’s physical, emotional or social wellbeing that cannot be delivered by the health service care team or via electronic means, then you can visit a patient. The patient can only have one visitor at a time. The number and duration of visits should not exceed the time required to provide essential supports only. Training for carers to support a patient’s care when they are discharged from hospital is considered essential care. A Visitor Restrictions Exemption Form is required to be completed and approved to be listed as an essential caregiver.
  • A patient who is dying or receiving end of life care can have two visitors at any one time. Visiting times will be between: 1000-1200 and 1700-1900. In extraordinary circumstances visiting outside of these rules may be possible – this needs to be discussed with the medical specialist in-charge, and needs approval from the Clinical Director.
  • A pregnant patient can only have their partner or support person visit them. The patient can only have one visitor at a time. There are no limits on the number or duration of visits. This relates to birth suite. A partner may stay for a period of 2hrs following a caesarean delivery, regardless of the time of day.  
  • A patient in the maternity ward that has given birth can only have their partner or support person visit them. That visitor can only visit once per day for a maximum of two hours (between 5pm and 7pm).
  • A patient can be accompanied to the emergency department by one visitor. That visitor can only visit once per day for a maximum of one hour. To enable physical distancing in the Emergency Department, there may be times where a visitor is not able to attend.
  • A patient can be accompanied to an outpatient appointment by one visitor. That visitor can only attend once per day for a maximum of one hour. Mental Health outpatient appointments require prior approval for a visitor to attend with a patient.

Important information for APPROVED visitors:

  • All visitors will have their temperature taken and will be asked health screening questions prior to entry
  • Visitors must wear a mask or face shield and may be required to wear a visitor sticker
  • Visitors must provide their name and contact number to be recorded in the visitor log
    • The time of visitor entry and exit will be recorded
    • Patient visits from approved visitors are monitored daily, to ensure visits are in line with visitor restrictions
  • Visitors attending in the role of supporting cultural and/or spiritual beliefs will also be required to meet all other visitor screening requirements
  • Visitors attending to provide essential care or support must complete a Visitor Restrictions Exemption Form. This form can be obtained from the Nurse in Charge or at www.easternhealth.org.au. This form requires approval from a manager and for the visitor to be listed as an APPROVED visitor on the visitor log

For more information about how you can keep in touch virtually with your loved one, please contact their healthcare team.

Visitor Exemption Form (PDF, 579kb)

Tags COVID19