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We are closely monitoring and proactively responding to the developments in Australia associated with coronavirus (COVID-19) in conjunction with both the Australian Government authorities, local public health units.

We understand the rapidly evolving and unprecedented and widespread effects of COVID-19 may result in high levels of concern, however we want to reassure you that we are well-prepared and well-resourced to manage the impacts.

Hospital Infection Control Policies

We have strict infection control and prevention protocols in place to protect patients, health care workers and visitors to minimise the risk of any infection, including COVID-19.

The symptoms of COVID-19 are documented on the Australian Government’s Department of Health website. If you are unwell and require urgent medical attention you should contact your GP or call 000 for an ambulance (this will work even without phone credit).

Information for patients

If you have travelled overseas in the past 14 days, please contact the hospital or your doctor before your scheduled appointment or surgery. If you are unwell with any cold or flu like symptoms, and are scheduled for a procedure, please contact the hospital or your doctor before attending the hospital.

Information for visitors

We ask that you consider not visiting the hospital unless you are an immediate family member or carer of the patient. This is to protect our patients, staff and doctors, we are restricting non-essential visitors.

Patients may each have a maximum of one designated visitor per patient per day.

Visitors will be screened upon entry to the hospital and will not be able to visit if they:

  • Are unwell with any cold or flu like symptoms, even a runny nose.
  • Have travelled from overseas in the past two weeks.
  • Have been identified as close personal contact with a confirmed case.
  • Have been in close contact with a suspected case.

This screening point also applies to any essential contractors or representatives who need to attend a Macquarie private hospital in order to attend site meetings, prepare reports, or assess equipment for any reason.

For safety reasons, we are also implementing the following restrictions:

  • 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).
  • Volunteers and other non-essential visitors will not be visiting our site until further notice.

If you enter the hospital, you must practise the following precautions:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water before and after eating as well as after attending the toilet
  • Avoid contact with others (including touching, kissing, hugging, and other intimate contact)
  • Cough and sneeze into your elbow
  • If you are asked to wear a surgical face mask, after putting it on to cover your nose and mouth, do not touch the front of the mask and remove it using the ear loops or head straps.
  • Dispose of the used mask into a waste bin and perform hand hygiene with soap and water or alcohol hand rub. 

Social distancing

It is important to practise social distancing to stop or slow the spread of infectious diseases, such as COVID-19. The more space between you and others, the harder it is for the virus to spread.

  • You should aim to remain 1.5 metres apart at all times. If you are required to move closer than 1.5 metres, ensure that the time does not exceed 15 minutes
  • Do not shake hands
  • Do not share food

Have you recently travelled overseas or are you unwell?

If you have travelled overseas within the last 14 days prior to your planned or unplanned admission, or have any of the symptoms of COVID-19, you should advise the hospital and your doctor so appropriate precautions can be in place when you are admitted, protecting you and others in the hospital. 

If you have had contact with a known or suspected case of COVID-19, then please alert the hospital so appropriate precautions can be implemented for your admission and follow the instructions from Public Health authorities.

If you have symptoms of a respiratory infection, please alert the hospital and Public Health authorities. You will be able to be admitted but precautions will be put in place for your admission and remain in place until removed by Public Health.

FAQs

What is this virus?

Coronaviruses can make humans and animals sick. Some coronaviruses can cause illness similar to the common cold and others can cause more serious diseases, including Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS). The virus first seen in Hubei Province, China is called ‘novel’ because it is new. COVID-19 has now been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) and there has been a significant increase in new cases across many countries in Europe and around the world. It is likely that the virus originally came from an animal, and there is evidence that it can spread from person-to-person.

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms include fever OR an acute respiratory infection and include (but are not limited to) cough, sore throat, fatigue and shortness of breath with or without a fever.

How is the coronavirus spread?

The coronavirus is most likely to spread from person-to-person by:

  • Direct close contact with a person whilst they are infectious;
  • Close contact with a person with a confirmed infection coughs or sneezes; or
  • Touching objects or surfaces (such as doorknobs or tables or face masks) contaminated from a cough or sneeze from a person with a confirmed infection, and then touching your mouth or face.

Most infections are transmitted by people when they have symptoms. There is now some evidence that people could be contagious before showing symptoms.

How can I help prevent the spread of COVID-19?

Practising good hand and sneeze/cough hygiene is the best defence against most viruses. You should:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water before and after eating as well as after attending the toilet
  • Avoid contact with others (including touching, kissing, hugging, and other intimate contact)
  • cough and sneeze into your elbow
  • If you are asked to wear a surgical face mask, after putting it on to cover your nose and mouth, do not touch the front of the mask and remove it using the ear loops or head straps.
  • Dispose of the used mask into a waste bin and perform hand hygiene with soap and water or alcohol hand rub.

Where are the COVID-19 clinics and testing centres located?

COVID-19 clinics and assessment centres have been established at various sites across Australia. Please click on the relevant link below to view the services available in your state:

What does isolate in your home mean?

People who are recommended to be isolated should not attend public places, in particular work, school, childcare or university. Only people who usually live in the household should be in the home. Do not allow visitors into the home. There is no need to wear masks in the home. Where possible, get others such as friends or family, who are not required to be isolated to get food or other necessities for you. If you must leave the home, such as to seek medical care, wear a surgical mask if you have one.

How is the virus treated?

There is no specific treatment for coronaviruses. Antibiotics are not effective against viruses. Most of the symptoms can be treated with supportive medical care. Some people will require hospitalisation.

What are the restrictions on visitors at Macquarie hospitals and clinics?

Given the evolving situation, we are restricting visitors to our facilities to one visitor per patient per day. 

Should I wear a face mask?

A face mask will not protect you against becoming infected. While the use of face masks can help to prevent transmission of disease from infected patients to others, face masks are not currently recommended for use by healthy members of the public for the prevention of infections like novel coronavirus. If you are unwell with cold and flu-like symptoms, then a mask can be worn when you attend the hospital or GP office for assessment.

Where can I get more information?

Visit the Australian Government Department of Health homepage at www.health.gov.au.