COVID-19 update: Friday, 26 February 2021

As we now transition to COVID-normal, we’re able to extend visiting hours at our hospitals from Saturday, 27 February 2021. While we do need to follow physical distancing rules in patient rooms and other confined spaces, we welcome you to visit your loved ones between these hours:

Site Visiting hours: effective Saturday, 27 February 2021 
 Epworth Eastern
  • 10am- 8pm
 Epworth Freemasons
  • 10am-7pm
  • Maternity: 10am-1pm and 4pm-7pm
 Epworth Geelong
  • 10am-8pm
  • Maternity: 10am-1pm and 4pm-7pm
 Epworth Rehabilitation and Mental Health
  • 3pm–7pm
  • Weekends and public holidays: 10am-7pm
 Epworth Richmond
  • 10am-7pm

Anyone with symptoms (eg sore throat, cough, fever), close contacts of COVID-19 cases and returned internal travellers are excluded from visiting.

COVID-safe practices still apply: please wear an Epworth-supplied mask inside our hospitals and practice physical distancing and good hand hygiene.


COVID-19- Permit zones

The Victorian government has 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 DHHS website


Screening

To ensure the safety of our patients, doctors and staff, screening processes for patients will continue, including screening 48 hours prior to admission.

It is every patient’s responsibility to respond to screening questions and disclose symptoms, travel history and proximity to confirmed COVID-19 people honestly and accurately. Failure to do so puts patients, staff and yourself at significant risk.

Patients presenting to Epworth sites for any elective/planned booking and are required to be screened prior to their booking by phone, and re-screened on presentation for their booking.

Questions you may be asked include the following:

Do you have any of these symptoms:

  • fever or history of fever ≥ 37.5C (e.g. night sweats, chills)?
  • breathing difficulty, shortness of breath, wheezing or other signs or symptoms of respiratory infection?
  • cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose?
  • headache, nausea, vomiting or diarrhoea?
  • any loss of sense of smell?

Have you been tested for COVID-19?

Have you had contact with a confirmed COVID-19 positive person?

Have you been in close contact with someone who:

  • Has travelled/transited overseas in the past 14 days?
  • Is awaiting a COVID-19 test result?
  • Is under self-isolation as per commonwealth guidelines?
  • Is symptomatic with undiagnosed respiratory symptoms?

Have you been contacted by the Department of Health and Human Services (or anyone else) and told:

  • that you have been in contact with a confirmed case?
  • to self-isolate for ANY reason?
  • to avoid hospitals / healthcare facilities?

If you answer yes to the above questions, we might ask for a few more details.

To further assist us to ensure your safety, we may also ask questions to establish if you are pregnant, immunosuppressed or over a certain age.

This is our current advice and any updates will be shared.

If you must take public transport, taxis or Ubers to attend the hospital, please take the necessary precautions by wearing a mask.


Where to get tested?

In the event of screening identifying a risk of COVID-19 and testing is required, Melbourne Pathology sites can provide testing for Epworth patients. All patients must present with a pathology referral from their doctor for COVID-19 testing and must book an appointment:

 Melbourne Pathology locations

 Opening hours

 Bentleigh
 159 Jasper Rd, Bentleigh

 To book, call 03 9287 7700 and select option 4 or email [email protected] 

 Monday - Friday
 8.30am - 4.30pm

 Ferntree Gully
 28 Station St, Ferntree Gully

 To book, call 03 9287 7700 and select option 4 or email [email protected]

 Monday - Friday
 8.30am - 4.30pm 

 Frankston
 28 Cranbourne Rd, Frankston

 To book, call 03 9287 7700 and select option 4 or email [email protected] 

 Monday - Friday
 8.30am - 4.30pm

 North Melbourne
 70 Alfred St, North Melbourne

 To book, call 03 9287 7700 and select option 4 or email [email protected]

 Monday - Friday
 8.30am - 4.30pm

For patients living in a nursing home and unable to access a testing clinic, please contact Melbourne Pathology to request testing in the nursing home. Call 03 9287 7700 and select option 4, or email [email protected].

Where a patient has obtained a test outside these sites, documentation of the test results will need to be sighted by the treating health team.


Emergency departments – open as usual

If you require medical treatment, it is important to seek appropriate care, especially in an emergency. Epworth emergency departments at Epworth Richmond and Epworth Geelong are here for you seven days a week.

If experiencing a medical emergency, please call 000.


If you are concerned you have COVID-19

If you have mild symptoms, call your GP or the National Coronavirus Helpline on 1800 020 080.

You may wish to attend our emergency departments at Epworth Geelong and Epworth Richmond if:

    1. You are experiencing symptoms: fever, cough, sore throat, breathing difficulties or wheezing, headache or any other signs or symptoms of respiratory infection AND
    2. You have travelled overseas in the past two weeks OR
    3. You have been in contact with someone who has confirmed COVID-19

Please note: COVID-19 testing will be conducted in accordance with Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) guidelines.

Low risk patients and those with mild-medium symptoms may be sent home with instructions, without testing. You may be asked to self-isolate and provided with information and advice to help manage your symptoms.