One hospital visitor per patient: new rules in place
ONE visitor per patient per day, temperature checks at the door and no children under the age of 16 allowed in - these are a few of the new restrictions being implemented at Noosa Hospital.
While our local private hospital has not yet treated any patients with coronavirus, staff are being prepared for that eventuality.
"We haven't had any patients in Noosa and haven't had any staff members with the virus - it's a good position to be in," said Sam Dodd, northern region operations executive for Ramsay Health.
"However, we are preparing all of our hospitals for covid-positive patients in the event that they appear.
"We want to make sure that we're adequately prepared for that."
Ms Dodd said Ramsay Health had a plan "for all eventualities"
"We plan for the worst and hope for the best," she said.
Noosa Hospital has made several changes to reduce any possible impacts from coronavirus, including limiting visitor numbers to one per patient per day.
And for those visitors who are allowed in, they are asked to avoid contact with others, including touching, kissing and hugging.
"In general, most people understand that it isn't something that we want to do but, in order to keep as many people as safe as possible, it's a measure that's been put in place by the Queensland Government," Ms Dodd said.
"I would say 99.9% are completely understanding and supportive of it."
Ms Dodd said screening points had been set up at the entrance to all Ramsay hospitals.
"Our hospitals have someone stationed at the door to check as visitors come in, do a temperature check and check off names from a master list.
"Everything's going pretty well," she said.
"The community has been supportive … Woolworths dropped off some hot cross buns to us and the number of patients that we have just drop in with chocolates, it's absolutely amazing.
"The hospital group feels like the community is behind them.
"The message is well and truly out there as to what we're all trying to achieve as a community," she said.
This screening point also applies to any essential contractors or representatives who need to attend site meetings, prepare reports, or assess equipment for any reason.
The following restrictions are in place:
- Hospitals will be restricting children under the age of 16 years from visiting the facility (exceptions can be considered on a case-by-case basis in discussion with the nurse in charge).
- Maternity wards cannot be used as thoroughfares and only essential staff can enter. Any visitors will be re-screened before entering the maternity unit
- Volunteers and other non-essential visitors will not be visiting until further notice.