Visitor restrictions imposed at health sites

A microscopic image of the coronavirus.

Tate Papworth

New rules for visitors have been implemented at all Western Health sites, amid escalating cases of COVID-19.

Under strict new rules, no visitors under the age of 16 are permitted at the organisation’s sites, which include Sunshine and Footscray hospitals.

Western Health says exemptions are in place for people under 16 if they are the parents of hospitalised children.

All visitors will have their temperatures checked upon entry.

Visiting hours have also been slashed and will be from 4-8pm, except for maternity and paediatric patients.

But there will be a limit of one visitor per patient in all areas.

Exemptions to the visiting rules will apply in special circumstances, such as palliative care.

Western Health last week released a statement promising frequent communication.

“With a pandemic now declared by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in relation to the novel coronavirus, we want our communities to know that Western Health has been planning for many weeks for this possibility,” the statement read.

“Our response is now moving to the next stage and measures are being put in place in line with the rapidly changing nature of this situation.

“There will need to be difficult decisions made as we go but we ask for your understanding, knowing that these will be made in the best interests of all.”