New visitor limits at hospitals will come into effect on April 3.
New visitor limits at hospitals will come into effect on April 3. Marc Stapelberg

One visitor per patient: New rules at our hospitals

NEW limits on the number of people allowed to visit patients in hospital will come into effect on Friday.

Northern NSW Local Health District chief executive, Wayne Jones, said only one visitor would be allowed per patient in all hospitals.

"In light of the most recent social distancing requirements, Northern NSW Local Health District has further revised its visitor restrictions and screening for people coming to our hospitals," he said.

"From Friday, April 3, there will be a limit of one visitor per patient in all our hospitals.

"This person is to be identified by the patient in consultation with their family or carer.

"The visiting hours have also been restricted to between 1pm-6pm daily.

"Visits will occur in the patient's room, and will be limited to one hour only, once per day."

Upon entering a facility, as a precautionary measure, visitors will be asked:

  • Have you returned from overseas in the past 14 days?
  • Have you had close contact with a person confirmed or suspected to have COVID-19?
  • Are you feeling unwell with any flu-like symptoms?

Anyone answering yes to any of these questions will not be permitted to enter.

Mr Jones said a patient's designated visitor will be provided with detailed information regarding social distancing and must adhere to all personal protective and hand hygiene requirements already in place when on site.

"The designated visitor will be screened prior to each visit," he said.

"The current restrictions in Maternity/Women's Care Units and Birthing Suites remain at one support person per birth, with no other visitors while in hospital.

"Multi-Purpose Services have their own restrictions which are one designated visitor once per day for 15 minutes.

"We accept that these measures may cause concern for some patients and community members, but the restrictions are in place to protect our hospital system, our patients, our staff and the wider community, especially those in vulnerable age groups.

"We encourage everyone to continue with social distancing and isolation measures, and thank our community for their vigilance to date.

"Visitors, carers and family members should speak with the nurse in charge about any extenuating circumstances."