Important COVID-19 reminder: Requirements for all visitors, effective Friday, 18 November 2022
While COVID-19 restrictions have been eased in the community, our priority is to protect our patients, staff and doctors.
Please do not visit any Epworth hospital if you are feeling unwell, have cold and flu symptoms or have tested positive for COVID-19.
We also ask you refrain from visiting, if there is a positive case in your household or a household member has COVID-19 symptoms and is awaiting a test result.
All visitors are required to wear a mask in our hospitals for the duration of the visit. Please wear one of the hospital-supplied masks available at the entrance of our sites, and continue to wear it throughout our hospitals, including in patient rooms.
Visitor restrictions below:
Ward Visiting hours General Wards and ICU
- Two visitors per patient for a maximum of two hours each day.
- This means two visitors at the same time or one visitor in the morning and one in the afternoon.
- 10am - 8pm daily
Rehabilitation and Mental Health
- Two visitors per patient, for a maximum of two hours each day.
- 4pm - 8pm weekdays
- 10am - 8pm weekends
Maternity at Epworth Freemasons and Epworth Geelong
- Post-natal wards: Two visitors, not including the support person (this number includes children) for a maximum of two hours per day between 10am - 1pm and 4pm - 7pm.
- Birth suite: two support people permitted
- Special Care Nursery: parents only
Current restrictions for areas that care for more vulnerable patients remain unchanged:
Day oncology, dialysis No visitors permitted Emergency Departments at Epworth Richmond and Epworth Geelong One person may accompany those seeking care in our Emergency Departments.
Patients receiving end of life care are exempt from the above guidelines and may have visitors, in discussion with treating teams. Visitor exemptions can also be authorised by the treating team to support the essential emotional and physical wellbeing of patients.
We know these restrictions are challenging but we request all visitors treat our staff with kindness and follow all instructions provided, as we work to keep your loved ones and our community safe.
FAQs for Maternity patients
Epworth Freemasons and Epworth Geelong Maternity Units
We are doing everything possible to minimise potential exposure to COVID-19 within our hospital.We have a number of protocols in place to protect you, your care team and other families.
For the latest information, please click on the relevant link:
We are pleased to welcome you to our Epworth Rehabilitation outpatient service and trusting us to care for you. These FAQs should answer most of the questions you may have in relation to attending your outpatient program in a COVID-safe way. Please don’t hesitate to ask any of the team if you have any other questions that are not answered below.
Do I need to be COVID-19 vaccinated to attend the program?
The Victorian Department of Health recommends that all eligible Victorians get vaccinated against COVID-19. In order to protect yourself, our staff and your fellow patients, we do recommend that you are fully vaccinated if you are attending an outpatient program onsite at one of our hospitals. If you have concerns about being vaccinated, please discuss this with your doctor who will provide you with individual clinical guidance. You will be asked about your COVID-19 vaccination status before you start the program for our records. Your vaccination status does not determine whether or not you can attend the program.
Will I be asked questions about my contacts, potential exposure to COVID-19 and whether I am vaccinated before I attend the program?
Yes, this is called ‘screening’. One of our team will contact you before you commence your program and ask you questions about potential exposure to sites you may have visited or whether you may have been in contact with anyone who has tested positive to COVID-19. Each time you attend the program you will also be asked these same questions.
What happens if I receive a positive COVID-19 test result?
Please do not come to our hospital. You will be contacted by the Department of Health if you have a positive test and they will advise you of the next steps, including the need for isolation. Call the Epworth Outpatient Department on 1300 345 600 between 9am and 4pm, or the Hospital Coordinator after hours to let us know.
For Epworth Geelong rehabilitation please contact 03 5271 7055.
What happens if I am in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19?
You must let us know as soon as possible. We ask that you do not attend our hospital. Please call the Outpatient Department on 1300 345 600 between 9am and 4pm or the Hospital Coordinator after hours. For Epworth Geelong rehabilitation please contact 03 5271 7055. You must follow instructions from the Department of Health in relation to getting tested and isolation.
Do I have to wear a mask during the program?
Yes. You will need to wear a hospital-supplied mask during the program. You cannot wear your own mask. You will be supplied with a mask at the entrance to our hospital. Please speak with your treating team if you have any questions about this.
Pre-operative and Pre-Admission COVID-19 testing
All elective procedures undertaken at Epworth will continue to require a negative test within 48 hours of their admission to hospital.
Pre-admission testing is also required for:
- All procedures including those performed under local anaesthetic
- All planned elective medical admissions including mental health and rehabilitation
- All direct-to-ward admissions
- All interhospital transfers
- Elective caesarean sections and all other maternity admissions (including natural delivery)
- Paediatric admissions.
We can now accept a negative PCR (swab) or Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) result that has been undertaken up to 48 hours ahead of admission. A RAT result screenshot or image with a date stamp must be provided on admission.
All patients, regardless of whether they are submitting a PCR or RAT result, should:
- be tested within 48 hours of their admission
- isolate after the test
Any patient who is unable to obtain a RAT should undergo PCR testing. If the result has not returned in time for surgery, additional screening and testing will be considered to avoid delay/cancellation and will be provided as part of our admitting process.
Epworth is unable to provide pre-admission PCR or Rapid Antigen Tests to patients. A patient can present a RAT they have obtained in the community or at a public testing site, in place of a PCR, but it must meet the criteria outlined above. Click here to find your closest local testing site.
Melbourne Pathology (MPS) has several available collection sites for pre-operative (ASYMPTOMATIC) patients including a “drive-through” site. Please ensure you have your completed request form when attending. Please see the following link for locations: MPS COVID-19 dedicated collection sites
All patients will also undergo the usual COVID-19 screening questionnaire.
If you have any questions, please speak to your treating doctor about your individual requirements.
Isolating after testing
It is important that patients self-isolate after their test, until the time of their admission to hospital (no matter what the test results are).
Please don’t put yourself and others at risk by going to work, school or public places, unless you need medical help or in an emergency.
If you are unable to self-isolate prior to your admission to hospital, please discuss your situation immediately with your specialist.
If you are dependent on a carer, your carer should also get tested and then isolate with you, prior to your admission to hospital.
We advise against using public transport, taxis or Ubers during your isolation. If you have no alternative transport options, please wear a mask.