We are experiencing increased COVID-related hospitalisations as the Omicron variant spreads. To ensure all patients are safe, get the right care for their symptoms and our hospital system is not overwhelmed, we are making changes to the way manage COVID-19. These changes have been carefully planned and the precautions we take mean our hospitals are the safest places to be in the ACT for those who need our care.
What the changes mean for
To reduce the risk of transmission, we will manage all patients under COVID-19 precautions. This means:
- patients will wear a surgical mask at all times when in a shared room/environment.
- curtains must be around their beds unless there is a clinical need to do otherwise.
- our team members wear an N95 mask and appropriate eye protection at all times when around patients.
COVID-19 patients needing hospitalisation
Our clinical teams will work to ensure all patients with COVID will be placed in the best ward for their clinical needs. All necessary precautions will be in place to ensure no onward transmission within the health facilities. Our experience over the last two years, and lack of health facility based transmission, demonstrates that our infection prevention and control procedures are safe.
Patients most at risk of severe disease
We have introduced specific additional precautions for those who are most at risk of severe disease if they were to contract COVID-19. Measures include:
- grouping these patients in particular wards and ensuring the patients and the staff who are caring for them are regularly tested.
- patients will be assessed in line with ATAGI advice regarding those with immunocompromising conditions and therapies who are most at risk of severe illness –the criteria used to determine where a third primary dose of a COVID-19 vaccine is recommended.
- Also included will be the small number of patients who are unvaccinated and in a high-risk category.
If you think you might meet these criteria and are needing to come to hospital let us know.
We are committed to keeping everyone safe from COVID. If you don’t need acute care at the moment please consider whether your GP, other primary health carer, or our Walk in Centres can help you. There are also a range of telehealth options available including HealthDirect If you need care, you should not delay treatment. The precautions we take mean our hospitals are the safest places to be for those who need our care.
Other precautions include:
- No visitors are to enter a health facility without an exemption.
- Digital screening of all those coming into health facilities will continue.
- All visitors and patients will be required to wear a surgical mask, unless there are clinical reasons why they can’t.
- If you have an outpatient and/or a community health clinic appointment, Telehealth encouraged where possible.