Visitor restrictions tighten at LRH

Staff writers

Partners, parents, guardians or care and support people will be the only visitors allowed to see patients at Latrobe Regional Hospital after emergency powers under the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008 were enacted by the state government last Thursday.

LRH will also tighten restrictions on visiting hours from tomorrow.

Visiting hours will now be between 2pm-4pm.

Patients will still be allowed two visitors, but only one at a time within the new two-hour visiting period.

Visitors will be screened for illness and have their temperature checked on arrival and must adhere to strict hygiene practices.

Recently returned travellers, a person who has a confirmed case of coronavirus and a person who has been in contact such a person will be prohibited from visiting patients.

Visitor numbers have dropped significantly since the hospital went into a partial lockdown on March 26.

All entrances have been closed to the public except for the main entrance on Village Avenue and the Emergency Department entrance. The old main entrance is also open on weekdays, but closed at weekends.

LRH chief executive Peter Craighead said the tighter restrictions would further reduce foot traffic in the hospital and the potential for COVID-19 infection.

“I appreciate it is essential for some people to come to LRH – they may be having treatment or have an appointment or be supporting a family member or friend – all good reasons to be here,” Mr Craighead said.

“The new measures however, will ensure only the people who really need to be here come through our doors and for a short period of time to reduce any risk to patients and our staff.”

Children under the age of 16 are not allowed to visit patients while the hospital’s Macalister aged care unit is not accepting visitors.

People supporting palliative patients are exempt from the restrictions however must be in good health and undergo temperature checks and screening on arrival.