COVID-19 Alert: 1 January at 1pm – Changes to visitor restrictions

Changes to visitor restrictions

In response to community transmission of COVID-19 in Victoria, we have made updates to our hospital visitor restrictions, effective from 11.59pm tonight (1 January).

In most areas of the health service, visitation is now restricted to two visitors per patient for up to one hour per day (exemptions apply – see below). There are no changes to visiting hours in hospitals, and a reduction in visiting hours in Residential Care.

Updated visitor guidelines – effective 11.59pm 1 January

General wards

Adults

  • Two visitors per patient for a maximum of one hour.
  • Visiting hours are between the hours of 11am and 8pm. Please note: visitors to the Kingston Centre must enter by 7pm.

Children (under 18 years):

  • Two visitors per patient for a maximum of one hour.
  • Visiting hours between the hours of 11am and 8pm.
  • Parents/guardians are welcome any time with no time limit to the stay, and one parent/guardian can stay overnight.

Outpatients / Diagnostic Imaging / Pathology

  • One support person may accompany a patient to an appointment.

Emergency Departments

  • One person may accompany and remain with a patient in the Emergency Department.

Intensive Care Unit

  • Two visitors may visit a patient in Intensive Care for a maximum of one hour.
  • Visiting hours are between 11am and 8pm.

Paediatric Intensive Care (PICU) / Monash Newborn

  • Two people can visit between 11am and 8pm, one of which must be a parent/guardian.
  • Parents/guardians are welcome any time with no time limit to the stay, and one parent/guardian can stay overnight.

Births and Pregnancy Assessment

  • One partner or support person may be present at any time.

Maternity wards

  • Two visitors are welcome between 11am and 8pm, for a maximum of one hour.
  • Partners are welcome between 8am and 8pm.

Mental Health

Child (Oasis), Adolescent (Stepping Stones) and Perinatal and Infant Inpatient Unit

  • Parents/guardians may attend at any time by appointment.

Youth and Adult Mental Health Inpatient Units

  • Two patient-nominated visitors per visit, by appointment only, once per day, for a maximum of one hour.
  • Visiting hours are between 1pm–8pm daily.

Unit 4 Dandenong Hospital (SECU)

  • Two patient-nominated visitors per visit, by appointment only, once per day, for a maximum of one hour.
  • Visiting hours are between 1pm–8pm daily.

Aged Persons Mental Health Units (Unit 3 and Biala)

  • Two patient-nominated visitors per visit, by appointment only, once per day, for a maximum of one hour.
  • Visiting hours are between 1pm–7pm daily.

Community Residential Units (Community Care Units, Transitional Support Unit, Prevention & Recovery Care Services)

  • Two patient-nominated visitors per visit, by appointment only, once per day, for a maximum of one hour.
  • Visiting hours are between 10am-8pm daily.

Residential Aged Care

  • Two visitors, per resident, per day for a maximum of one hour.
  • Visiting hours are between 1pm–7pm daily.
  • Room density limits apply in common areas.
  • Visitors must have had an up-to-date flu vaccination and produce a certificate or sign a declaration stating they have had the vaccination. Visitors without a current flu vaccination must contact the facility ahead of visiting to ensure local arrangements can be made.

When visiting, people without a current influenza vaccination must:

  • perform hand hygiene on entering and leaving the facility,
  • apply a surgical face mask on entry to the facility,
  • meet with the person they are visiting outside or in the resident’s room,
  • maintain social distancing throughout the visit,
  • leave the facility immediately after the visit is finished, and,
  • not enter any common areas.
  • Residents may leave the facility. On leaving the facility, residents must follow current public health directives.

Terminal Care or Life-threatening situations

  • Two visitors can provide compassionate support for a patient at the late stages of a terminal illness, or where there is a high risk of death in relation to impending treatment or surgery.
  • Visits are not time-limited.

Unstable or deteriorating situations

  • Two visitors can provide support to a patient whose condition has been assessed as unstable or deteriorating. Visits are not time-limited.
  • Visiting hours are between 8am-8pm daily or as needed for acute deterioration.

Palliative care

  • Two visitors can provide support for Palliative care patients whose condition is stable.
  • Visiting hours are between 11am – 8pm daily.

Caregivers

One caregiver or support person is allowed in the following situations, where care cannot be reasonably provided via electronic or other non-contact means.

  • Essential care persons: Visitor’s presence is for the purposes of providing essential care and support necessary for the person’s physical wellbeing that optimises the care and support delivered by workers at the facility and cannot reasonably be provided by that person via electronic means (one visitor, no time limits).
  • Essential behaviour assistance person: Visitor’s presence is necessary to support individual behaviours of concern, such as for people living with dementia, cognitive impairment or cognitive disability, or who have a known or emerging serious mental illness (no time limits).
  • Interpreters or informal language support (no time limit).
  • Visitor is being assisted to handover care for discharge (maximum two hours).

Where a patient requires caregiver support it should be discussed with the local care team.

An updated visitation poster can be found here.

Visitors may find visitation restrictions challenging – please explain to them the importance of physical distancing and the need to keep our patients safe. Discuss any exceptional circumstances with your team leader and the treating team to make the best decision for our patients.

All managers are requested to share these updates with their teams and discuss at stand-ups and handovers. Please print a copy and display it in communication books and on employee noticeboards.

As advice and information evolve, please consult the latest updates and visit the Department of Health and Human Services and Monash Health COVID-19 website for employees regularly for the latest.



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