New restricted visitor hours at Far West LHD health services for COVID-19

Visitor hours at Far West Local Health District health services will be further restricted as of Thursday (23 July 2020) as an added precaution to prevent an outbreak of COVID-19 in those facilities.

Visitor hours will be restricted to 10am to 12noon and 5pm to 7pm each day. This is in addition to visitor measures already in place at FWLHD health services to ensure patient and staff safety during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The new hours come into effect on Thursday, 23 July 2020. They do not impact on people with health appointments or attending the Emergency Department.

Mr Umit Agis, Chief Executive, Far West LHD, said the extra visitor arrangements aim to further protect hospital patients, and those more vulnerable to the virus, as well as our staff and ultimately the community.

“I ask everyone to really think about whether they need to visit their health service at this time. We want to minimise, as much as we can, non-essential foot traffic through the health service. This will help in the event of an outbreak and contact tracing is required,” he said.

Mr Agis said it was particularly important at Broken Hill Health Service, the largest facility in the LHD.

Mr Agis added it would be preferable and safer for the time being for everyone to avoid all non-essential visits to the hospital.

He said individual circumstances impacted by the new arrangements may be considered on a case by case basis through requests to health service management.

The new arrangements will be in place indefinitely at this stage. Signs will be displayed about the new restrictions and information passed out at the entry Concierge service.

“I ask everyone to be understanding about this new measure and please have patience with the BHHS concierge and hospital staff,” said Mr Agis.

COVID-19 visitor measures implemented at the Broken Hill Health Service still remain in place. They include:

  • All visitors to the Broken Hill Health Service will have to provide their name and contact number if they wish to enter the facility.
  • Visitors asked whether you have visited Victoria. Anyone answering yes to the question, unless they are presenting for emergency treatment, won’t be allowed to enter for 14 days, from the date they left Victoria.
    • They will be advised they have to self-isolate for 14 days if they have come from Victoria.
    • If they have flu-like symptoms, they will be referred to that facility’s designated COVID-19 area for assessment.
    • The person is advised to be tested for COVID-19 even if the mildest of symptoms arise. . Even if a person from Victoria is swabbed and the swab comes back a negative, the person is still required to self-isolate for the full 14 days from the date they left Victoria as per the current Public Health Order
  • All visitors will be screened by temperature check, asked if they have flu-like symptoms, and if they have been in contact with a suspected COVID-19 case
  • No visitors to attend the facility with any respiratory symptoms and/or fever.
  • Admitted adult patients will be allowed a maximum of 2 adult visitors per day.
  • Adults attending outpatient appointments will be allowed 1 companion person to attend their appointment with them. Please only bring this person with you if absolutely necessary.
  • Anyone attending the Emergency Department will be allowed one companion person. Only one support person will be allowed bedside for the patient inside the ED.
  • Children who are admitted to hospital or attending an appointment may still be accompanied by two adult carers.
  • Children are no longer permitted as visitors. However, one sibling at a time is allowed to visit Maternity Unit for the purpose of meeting their new sibling and seeing their mother. This special exemption is required to be authorised by Maternity Unit Manager.

It is critical that anyone feeling unwell – even with the mildest of symptoms such as a runny nose or scratchy throat – seeks testing and self-isolates until they get the result. Stay at home, and do not go to work or catch public transport until you are cleared of COVID-19. Everyone should observe physical distancing and hygiene measures at all times.

If you have any questions or concerns about COVID-19 you can call the National COVID 19 Call Centre on 1800 020 080. For any Public Health related issues contact 1300 066 055.


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