Changes to keep you safe
Given the evolving COVID-19 situation in Australia, health care facilities in the ACT have made precautionary changes to keep our most vulnerable patients safe and to further protect staff and visitors.
Surgical face masks
Surgical face masks are now mandatory at all health facilities across Canberra, including hospitals, community health centres and walk-in centres.
Masks will be handed out at all screening points on entry to the facility and you must wear a new mask each day.
Masks may be removed in the following circumstances (while maintaining 1.5m distance wherever possible):
- While eating and drinking
- While communicating with another person who is deaf or hard of hearing
- If wearing a mask creates a risk to health and safety, or security
- Where clear enunciation or visibility of your mouth is essential
- Where the removal of a face mask is necessary for the provision of a good or service
Mask-wearing is not required for:
- persons aged under 12 years old
- Anyone with a disability or physical or mental health illness or condition that makes wearing a face mask unsuitable. For example, a skin condition, an intellectual disability, autism or trauma.
If you are a patient, visitor or carer and have any questions or concerns, please speak to your treating team or someone on the ward.
Given the evolving COVID-19 situation in NSW and the ACT, we have made the difficult decision to restrict access to health facilities in the ACT.
Visitors are not permitted to enter health facilities in the ACT unless in exceptional circumstances such as end of life, birthing or for paediatric care.
The decision to tighten restrictions is a very difficult one, especially at this time of year.
There have been several exposures in health care setting in recent weeks. These exposures not only present a risk to the safety of vulnerable patients, health care workers and visitors, they also result in team members spending time in quarantine rather than at work caring for our patients. This places a huge strain on health care delivery. The impact of furloughing is being seen across the nation.
Until midnight on Christmas Day, two visitors per day will continue to be permitted. All COVID-safe principles should be followed.
Family and friends are strongly encouraged to keep in touch with patients via phone and/or video calls.
Children and young people under 12 years of age should continue to avoid visiting health facilities where possible.
Patients attending an outpatient and/or a community health clinic should, where possible, attend alone. If patients do require a support person, this should be limited to one person.
Admitted babies, children and young people (0-17 years) may have one parent/carer per day.
Women admitted for care related to birthing may have one support person for the duration of their admission.
It is strongly recommended that visitors are fully COVID-19 vaccinated.
We will apply this visitor policy with compassion and common sense. Exceptions for compassionate reasons will be determined on a case-by-case basis. These decisions will be made in consultation with the relevant clinical staff.
Please make sure you complete a digital screening tool before entering a health facility in the ACT.
You can access the tool via the ACT Health app or online at screening.covid19.act.gov.au, or by scanning the QR code you will see displayed at various locations around health services.
Surgical masks are available at screening points upon entering our facilities.
COVID-19 safe behaviour
This is a timely reminder that we must remain vigilant to the threat of COVID-19 and ensure we are observing all COVID-safe behaviours.
Please maintain physical distancing, wear a surgical mask and practice good hand hygiene protocols.
For more information visit: www.covid19.act.gov.au
Digital screening tool
Before entering any of our health facilities and community health centres, you must complete the screening tool (or you will be refused entry). The information may be used for contact tracing purposes if needed.
To access the screening tool, simply choose one of the following:
- download the ACT Health App and select ‘ACT health facilitates screening tool’
- scan the QR code on the health screening posters as you enter our health facility
- fill in your details online at screening.covid19.act.gov.au, or
- fill in a form at the screening desk on site.
Show your completed form (or the ‘green tick’ on your mobile/device) to staff at the screening desk as you enter any of our health facilities.
Surgical masks are available at screening points upon entering our facilities and must be worn indoors.
Canberra Hospital is the largest public hospital in our region. We provide care to more than 500,000 people through a range of services that include acute inpatient and day services, outpatient services, women’s and children’s services, paediatrics and pathology.
Our visiting hours are from 6am to 9pm daily.