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Mater COVID-19 update

What is coronavirus?

Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that include the common cold along with more severe diseases such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a new virus and was identified as the cause of a disease outbreak in China, that has now extended into a number of countries around the world. For more information  on COVID-19 you can access this patient flyer

Symptoms:

COVID-19 is a respiratory illness and if you’re sick your symptoms might include:

  • fever
  • a cough
  • sore throat
  • fatigue
  • shortness of breath.
     

When should I see a doctor?

Contact your doctor right away if you have symptoms of COVID-19 and have travelled overseas in the last 14 days or been in contact with someone who has COVID-19.

Before your appointment, please call head and tell the staff what your symptoms are and your travel history or that you may have been in contact with a potential case.

How can I protect myself and my family?

To protect yourself and others from infection it's important to practice good hand hygiene and always;

  • Clean your hands with soap and water or alcohol-based hand rubs.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or flexed elbow when coughing and sneezing.
  • Avoid contact with anyone who is unwell—try to stay 1.5m away from anyone coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid touching your face, nose and mouth.
  • Practice social distancing and avoid shaking hands, hugging and kissing.
  • Stay home if you are unwell.

Information for visitors

To ensure the safety and wellbeing of our staff, patients and the community all Mater hospitals have placed restrictions on visitors to minimise the exposure risk to COVID-19.

Patients may each have a maximum of one visitor or support person at a time.

We are also implementing the following restrictions:

  • Hospitals will be restricting children under the age of 16 years from visiting
  • If you are unwell or have flu like symptoms which include a fever or a cough you may not visit.
  • If you have been asked to isolate or self-quarantine as a result of COVID-19 you may not visit.
  • We recommend that elderly people and people with compromised immune systems or chronic medical conditions avoid visiting family and friends in hospital.

If you enter the hospital, you must practise the following precautions:

  • Wash your hands with soap and water or alcohol-based hand rubs as you enter the hospital.
  • Avoid contact with others including hugging, kissing, touching and shaking hands.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or flexed elbow when coughing and sneezing. If you use a tissue, dispose of it immediately.
  • Practise social distancing by remaining 1.5 metres apart at all times and do not share food with the patient.

We apologise for any inconvenience caused, this decision has been made to keep our patients safe while we continue to provide care at our hospitals.

Pimlico Campus Entrances

In an effort to improve our ability to manage the flow of visitors, the Pimlico Campus, Park Street entrance will close, effective immediately. This will not impact the ability to exit through the doors, in the event of an emergency. Signage will be placed on the doors with directions for visitors to the main entrance. Our Lothair entrance will become staff only access, we will be asking all visitors to enter via the main entrance.

Heart Rock Cafe 

As an increased measure to limit the risk of COVID-19 transmission, the Heart Rock Café at our Pimlico Campus is now closed to the general public until further notice.

Thank you for your understanding as we continue to prioritise everyone’s safety during this time.

27 March 2020

Information for visitors

To ensure the safety and wellbeing of our staff, patients and the community all Mater hospitals have placed restrictions on visitors to minimise the exposure risk to COVID-19.

Patients may each have a maximum of one visitor or support person.

We are also implementing the following restrictions:

  • Hospitals will be restricting children under the age of 16 years from visiting
  • If you are unwell or have flu like symptoms which include a fever or a cough you may not visit.
  • If you have been asked to isolate or self-quarantine as a result of COVID-19 you may not visit.
  • We recommend that elderly people and people with compromised immune systems or chronic medical conditions avoid visiting family and friends in hospital.

If you enter the hospital, you must practise the following precautions:

  • Wash your hands with soap and water or alcohol-based hand rubs as you enter the hospital.
  • Avoid contact with others including hugging, kissing, touching and shaking hands.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or flexed elbow when coughing and sneezing. If you use a tissue, dispose of it immediately.
  • Practise social distancing by remaining 1.5 metres apart at all times and do not share food with the patient.

We apologise for any inconvenience caused, this decision has been made to keep our patients safe while we continue to provide care at our hospitals.

23 March 2020

General update

The Australian government announced that all non-essential gatherings are suspended for an initial four weeks to reduce the spread of COVID-19 to enable social distancing. This means the following facilities are restricted from opening from midday today;

  • Pubs and registered and licensed clubs, hotels (excluding accommodation)
  • Gyms and indoor sporting venues
  • Cinemas, entertainment venues, casinos and night clubs.
  • Restaurants and cafes will be restricted to take away only or home delivery
  • Religious gatherings (in enclosed spaces and other than for very small groups and where the 1 person per 4 square metre rule applies)

Essential gatherings (healthcare settings, pharmacies, food shopping and schools) can continue but must follow the strict guidelines and restrict the number of people present to 500 for outdoor and 100 for indoor gatherings and apply the social distancing requirements.

Mater update

Mater is working alongside other hospitals in Queensland to provide a coordinated response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

We have been modelling various options for managing public hospital activity in Mater Hospital Brisbane while ensuring the safety of our patients and staff as the pandemic situation continues to evolve.

In line with recent Queensland Health advice, and consistent with appropriate pandemic management, Mater has made the difficult decision to postpone non-urgent activity in Mater Hospital Brisbane from Thursday, 26 March 2020.

All patients that are affected by this change, will be contacted to discuss their situation and to ensure they are monitored for their safety.

Mater Hospital Brisbane will continue to see urgent cases as planned and will also continue to manage emergency presentations through the Emergency Department.

We believe that this commitment to preparedness is a necessary step in ensuring Mater is ready for the emerging risk posed by COVID-19 in the community.

Food and drink retailers at Mater

As a result of the restrictions outlined above, from today retailers at Mater are open for take-away options only. Opening hours remain unchanged.

18 March 2020

As of 18 March 2020, the Australian Government has advised:

  • all Australians, regardless of destination, age or health, are not to travel overseas at this time. 
  • Anyone arriving in Australia from overseas, including Australians citizens and permanent residents, will be required to self-isolate for 14 days from the date of arrival. 
  • All non-essential indoor gatherings of greater than 100 people (including staff) will no longer be permitted from today.  This does not apply to public transportation facilities, medical and healthcare facilities, pharmacies, supermarkets, shopping centres, office buildings, factories.
  • Outdoor events of fewer than 500 people can proceed.
  • All Australians should only consider travelling when it is essential.  If unwell, people must stay at home, unless seeking medical care.

Mater is continuing to work as part of the broader health network and meets daily with the State Health Emergency Co-ordination Centre and Mater’s Code Brown meetings to determine our response.

Visiting hours

To ensure the safety of patients, staff and the community, all Mater hospitals will apply the following restrictions for visitors for the immediate short term;

  • Maternity services will permit only partners in general maternity wards
  • Mater Renal Unit will permit only one visitor to remain inside the waiting area. 
  • General wards will permit only immediate family and only during visiting hours.

In addition to these measures, Mater staff will intervene where they feel that visitor numbers or access is increasing risk to patients and/or staff. As always, Mater staff will aim to be sensitive to cultural and emotional needs during this time, but must prioritise safety.

We ask that the community is mindful of the changes outlined above in the context of patient and staff safety. Mater will aim to resume normal visiting arrangements as soon as possible.

Social distancing

Social distancing refers to a collection of actions and behaviours which reduce the risk of infection. Please follow this link to the Australian Government website for more specific information about social distancing and adopt the following basic principles;

  • Wash your hands
  • Limit social contact
  • Stay at home if you are sick

For further information the Queensland Health website.

 

16 March, 9.42 am

As of 16 March, the Australian Government has advised:

  • All travellers arriving in Australia from overseas to self-quarantine for 14 days.
  • Non-essential events of more than 500 people should be cancelled.  It is not currently known how long this advice will be in place.
  • All Queenslanders are being asked to practice social distancing and not to shake hands, hug or kiss to minimise the risk of transmitting infection.

To prevent the spread of flu and other illnesses please adhere to the following measures:

  • clean your hands regularly with soap and water or alcohol-based hand rubs
  • cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or bent elbow when coughing or sneezing
  • avoid touching your face, nose and mouth.
  • practice social distancing and avoid shaking hands, hugging or kissing
  • avoid contact with anyone who is unwell—try to stay 1.5m away from anyone coughing or sneezing.
  • stay home if you are unwell

12 March, 4.23 pm

Mater continues to work as part of the broader health network in support of Public Health efforts to test, contain and manage COVID-19. 

As of 12 March 2020 new or changed advice includes:

  • The World Health Organisation (WHO) has now declared the coronavirus a pandemic.
  • Italy has been added to the list of countries for self-quarantine. If you have been in, or transited through, mainland China, Iran, South Korea or Italy you need to self-quarantine for 14 days. Further information is available on the Queensland Health website.
  • If you are returning from Italy you should not attend your regular work for 14 days from the date you departed.

Read more about self-quarantine and what happens at the end of quarantine.

If you are experiencing symptoms and have travelled overseas in the last 14 days or have been in close contact with a person who has tested positive for COVID-19, please seek medical attention and get tested. 

Please note that a close contact is defined as greater than 15 minutes face-to-face contact in any setting with a confirmed case in the period extending from 24 hours before onset of symptoms in the confirmed case, or sharing of a closed space with a confirmed case for a prolonged period (e.g. more than two hours) in the period extending from 24 hours before onset of symptoms in the confirmed case. 

We do ask, if you have any flu-like symptoms which include a fever or cough, please avoid visiting family or friends in hospital.

Anyone with concerns please call 13 HEALTH or find up-to-date reliable information on the Queensland Health website at www.health.qld.gov.au/coronavirus and a Mater patient flyer  is also available.
 

Important information for Mater’s specialists and GP partners:

Clinical resources for clinicians

Latest Mater updates

The current advice from the Queensland Government in relation to the COVID-19 testing is for people to be tested for COVID-19 if they are symptomatic and:

  • they have returned from overseas, or a member of their household has returned from overseas, within the previous 14 days; or
  • they have had close contact with a positive COVID-19 case.

 

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