A Border region health service has introduced stricter measures regarding wearing masks and visiting hours to reduce the risks of COVID-19 transmission.
Murrumbidgee Local Health District said from Friday, July 24, its health workers would be wearing surgical masks if within 1.5 metres of patients.
Patients in hospital and community health settings will also be required to wear a mask, where possible.
From Monday, July 27, the service will reinstate a visitor policy for all hospitals and multipurpose services that restricts visitor numbers to one visitor per patient/resident at any time for up to 60 minutes during dedicated hours.
Visitors must be over 16 years and will need to complete a COVID-19 visitor assessment form. Visitors will also be required to wear a mask before entering the facility.
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Murrumbidgee Local Health District incident controller COVID-19 health emergency operations centre Carla Bailey said people shouldn't be alarmed by seeing a health worker wearing a surgical mask.
"This is an extra precaution we are taking in order to protect our staff and the broader community, on top of a range of other infection control measures," she said.
Ms Bailey said decisions around visiting were always made with the patient in mind.
"Patient safety is always our priority, but we also need to balance this with their need to be with loved ones," she said.
Special consideration will be made for children, maternity patients and critically ill patients.
"Women receiving obstetric care are able to be supported by up to two people for unrestricted periods," Ms Bailey said.
"Children in hospital are able to be supported by up to two people, either their parents or carers, at any time.
"Families of patients who are end of life can make arrangements with the local hospital manager or nurse in charge for family visits."
IN OTHER NEWS:
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, sore throat and dry cough. Symptoms will generally appear three to four days after exposure to the virus but can be up to 14 days later.
Members of the public are advised to minimise travel, increase personal awareness around hand hygiene and practise physical distancing.
Tips to reduce potential for virus transmission:
Wash your hands regularly
Stay home as much as possible
Stop shaking hands, hugging or kissing other people
Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces regularly
Avoid visiting vulnerable people, such as those in aged care facilities or hospitals.
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