Patients will be screened for COVID-19 risks prior to admission, including ascertaining their vaccination and risk status. Due to the evolving situation, these protocols outlined below are subject to change. We encourage you to contact either your treating doctor or relevant hospital to confirm specific requirements:
- PCR testing is not required for patients.
- Rapid antigen testing is required for the following patients:
- Asymptomatic unvaccinated patients being admitted for an overnight stay. (Unvaccinated patients are at increased risk of significant illness.)
- Patients in high-risk contact category.
- Asymptomatic patients who have been diagnosed with COVID in the past 30 days do not need to undergo testing on admission.
If the VMO wishes to continue with PCR testing prior to admission, this can be done at their discretion and organised directly from consulting rooms.
All visitors will be screened on entry and must wear a mask and follow the advice of staff at all times.
Patients will be permitted 2 nominated visitors for length of stay.
Visitors will be permitted if they:
• Have had at least two doses of the recognised vaccine (unless they can provide a medical exemption)
• Have not tested positive for COVID-19 within the last 7 days
• Are not a high risk contact *of someone who has had COVID -19 within the previous 14 days
• Do not have COVID -19 symptoms
• Have not arrived from overseas within the last 7 days
*High risk contact is someone who has spent more than four hours in a home or accommodation premises or care facility with someone who has COVID-19
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:
- Click here for COVID-19 clinics in New South Wales
- Click here for information about COVID-19 clinics in Queensland
- Click here for COVID-19 assessment centres in Victoria
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.