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Saturday, May 15, 2021

Visitor restrictions eased at ACT health services

From today, 4 June, visitor access restrictions have been eased at health services across the ACT meaning that for women who are admitted for maternity or birthing-related care, two support people can be present.

Under the new arrangements, patients can have up to two visitors per day; however, only one visitor will be allowed with the patient at any one time to ensure physical distancing requirements are met.

For children (up to and including 17 years), one parent or carer can now be present at all times, with an additional visitor welcome to join them for up to one hour each day.

Bernadette McDonald, Chief Executive Officer of Canberra Health Services and Deputy Health Controller Clinical Services, said that the careful ongoing management of visitor access to Canberra’s health facilities was to ensure staff, patients and the broader community were protected from the transmission of COVID-19.

“This policy has been developed in close consultation with clinical experts and health care consumers,” Ms McDonald said.

“Ultimately, the fewer non-essential visitors we have on site in Canberra hospitals during the global COVID-19 pandemic, the better for our ongoing response and recovery.”

Ms McDonald said social distancing principles would still apply to all carers and visitors, and health providers would continue to take down information about those entering hospitals to assist with future contact tracing, if required.

“We are also reminding visitors that they should not visit a health facility if they are unwell, or if they have travelled overseas in the last 14 days or have been in contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case in the last 14 days.”

Compassionate exemptions to the visitor policy are assessed on a case-by-case basis, and in consultation with clinical staff. Wherever possible, visitors are asked to not bring children with them.

Calvary Public Hospital Bruce, Calvary Bruce Private Hospital and Calvary John James Private Hospital have also eased visitor restrictions. Social distancing will still be required, and screening and temperature checks for all visitors and staff will continue as usual.

For more information: www.covid19.act.gov.au

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