COVID-19 update: 16 July 2021

Today the Victorian Government has updated its guidelines on hospital visitors:

  • Visitors are not permitted into any of our hospitals during this lockdown, unless for exceptional circumstances. This is in line with the restrictions and guidelines issued by Victoria’s Chief Health Officer

Exceptions apply for:

  • those visiting critical, palliative patients or supporting a birth partner. In these cases, two visitors are permitted at a time. They do not have to be from the same household and there are no time limits
  • in our maternity units:
    • two support people are allowed in our birth suites, including partners. Support people cannot be swapped.
    • one partner/support person is allowed in the postnatal ward for the duration of the patient's stay.
    • in exceptional circumstances siblings are allowed if they are unable to be cared for elsewhere.
    • two parents are permitted to stay in the special care nursery.
  • providing support necessary for a patient's emotional or physical wellbeing
  • if they are the parent or carer of a paediatric patient
  • a nominated person under the Mental Health Act, interpreter or carer of a patient with a disability
  • if necessary, visitors are also permitted to accompany a patient attending Emergency or outpatient clinic
  • those in a group visiting in exceptional circumstances may exceed the 'two visitors at a time' rule if they are dependants of a visitor (or hospital patient) who are unable to be cared for elsewhere.

Non-essential visits should not take place during this lockdown period.

We encourage loved ones of our patients to keep in contact with them via phone and via skype to provide support.

Outpatients and day programs

Services are continuing as normal and in accordance with COVID safe protocols and policies.

Before visiting our hospitals, please regularly check the exposure sites listed. If you have visited an exposure site in the times mentioned, it is essential to get tested and follow quarantine advice.

Even if you have not been to an exposure site, it is essential to get tested immediately if you have any symptoms of COVID-19, such as fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, chills or sweats or change in sense of smell or taste.

Daily Attestations and QR Codes

In accordance with Victorian Government regulations, we introduced new QR processes for visitors from Friday, 25 June 2021.

All visitors are now required to scan the Vic Gov QR code with a mobile device to complete attestation. If you are unable to register with a mobile device, please ensure you complete a manual check in. Our staff at any of our entry points will assist you.

COVID-19- Permit zones

The Victorian government introduced a permit system for anyone re-entering Victoria. Epworth patients and visitors will need to adhere to the ruling of the zone from where they have travelled. The requirements fall under three zones:

  • Red zone: those who have travelled to a designated red zone are not permitted to enter Victoria without an exemption, permitted worker permit or exception.
  • Orange zone: anyone who has been in an orange zone must self-isolate, get a COVID-19 test within 72 hours and self-isolate until they receive a negative result. Patients must receive a negative result prior to admission.
  • Green zone: no requirements, other than monitor for symptoms and get tested immediately, if symptoms appear.

The map showing Australia’s different zones can be found here.

As a precaution, anyone who has visited a red zone or high risk exposure site in Australia, should get tested and receive a negative result before entering our hospitals.

For the latest case locations and outbreaks, please visit the DH website.

Wearing masks

  • Anyone entering our sites will need to wear a mask upon arrival, register their attendance and complete an attestation.
  • Patients who are already in our hospitals will wear masks, based on clinical circumstances.
  • Patients and visitors must change into a hospital provided mask when entering the hospital.
  • Anyone who may have a mask exemption is advised to bring their exemption to show entry staff. We ask for your cooperation with any requests made by our entry staff.

To help slow the spread of COVID-19 and stay safe, regularly wash your hands, keep at least 1.5 metres from other people, and stay home if you feel unwell.

If you have any symptoms of fever, cough, sore throat, breathing difficulties or wheezing or any other signs of respiratory infection, however mild, seek advice and get tested.

For more information about COVID-19 go to the Victorian Department of Health.