Visitor restrictions – changes to take effect from Monday 26 October 2020
All ACT health facilities and community health centres will ease their visitor restrictions from Monday 26 October.
This easing has been made possible due to continued health screening, physical distancing, and hand hygiene measures. These are the frontline of our defence against COVID-19 and will continue across all our health facilities.
The visitor policy includes:
- Two visitors per patient on each site per day.
- Visitors can see a patient at the same time, or separately, during visiting hours.
- Wherever possible, we ask that you do not bring children under 17 years with you to the hospital.
- If you are attending an outpatient or a community health clinic, please attend alone wherever possible. If you need support, please limit this to one other person.
- When a woman is admitted for care related to birthing, she may have up to two support persons present.
- When on our sites, please use the hand sanitiser and keep your distance from other people where possible.
The decision to continue to restrict visitors to our health facilities is always a difficult one, but it ensures we can protect the health and safety of everyone. This is especially necessary for our most vulnerable, particularly patients whose health is already compromised.
Our staff will continue to apply this visitor policy with compassion and common sense. Exceptions for compassionate reasons will continue to be determined on a case by case basis. These decisions will be made in consultation with the relevant clinical staff.
We understand these times can be stressful and we thank you for your patience.
We have zero tolerance for violence or aggression towards our staff or others.
Anyone exhibiting this behaviour may be refused entry.
Digital screening tool
Before entering any of our health facilities and community health centres, you must complete the screening tool (or you will be refused entry). The information may be used for contact tracing purposes if needed.
To access the screening tool, simply choose one of the following:
- download the ACT Health App and select ‘ACT health facilitates screening tool’
- scan the QR code on the health screening posters as you enter our health facility
- fill in your details online at screening.covid19.act.gov.au, or
- fill in a form at the screening desk on site.
Show your completed form (or the ‘green tick’ on your mobile/device) to staff at the screening desk as you enter any of our health facilities.
Why are we screening at entrances?
To keep people safe from COVID-19. This process also allows for a coordinated and uniform approach across the Territory and is in line with the tightening of visitor restrictions as of Monday 13 July 2020.
Why aren’t we including temperature checks as part of the screening?
Unlike Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), the presence of a fever is not an early symptom in COVID-19.
Will screening create delays and ‘bottle necks’ at entrance points?
If you fill out the digital form and have a green tick, you will need to show it to the staff at the screening desk and you will be allowed straight in. For those filling out a paper form,
appropriate physical distancing must be maintained. Staff at entrance screening will have hand sanitiser and wipes for cleaning surfaces and equipment.
I have been denied entry into a health facility following screening. What happens now?
If you have been denied entry into a health facility (red cross appears on the digital screening tool) then you have indicated that you may have COVID-19 symptoms and/or you have (in the last 14 days) been to a high-risk COVID area (visit the COVID-19 website for the current list).
If you have any COVID-19 symptoms, no matter how mild, you should get tested and isolate at home until you get your result.
If you work at a health care facility (as a staff member, a contractor or volunteer) and you are feeling unwell please stay home rather than come to work. This is to protect our patients and your colleagues.
For more information on COVID-19, testing and symptoms, visit the ACT COVID-19 website.
I want to visit a loved one in hospital, but I have recently been in Victoria. Can I apply to visit them on compassionate grounds?
Yes, you can. If you have been in an area subject to a public health direction in the last 14 days (for example, Victoria), please complete the ACT exemption online form. This form will need to be approved by both ACT Health and the Hospital Executive. If approved, you will need to quarantine as per ACT Health guidelines.
If you want to visit someone in hospital and have recently been to a COVID-19 hotspot in either Greater Sydney or one of the identified Queensland Local Government Areas, you will need to email CHS.CentralOperationsUnit@act.gov.au to apply for an exemption.
I have an appointment at the hospital – can I proceed to the clinic if I have symptoms?
If you have not called ahead to the clinic before coming to the hospital, the screening staff will notify the clinic/appointment that you are attending that you are waiting at the front entrance and have presented with symptoms. Clinical staff from this area will need to come to the hospital entrance to determine if you can enter the facility.
How do I know the information is safely stored and remains confidential?
Your privacy is important to us. The screening tool and associated data will only be used for contract tracing, and de-identified data may be used for reporting purposes only.
All data collected by the screening tool will be stored as per ACT Health privacy laws.