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Keep in touch with loved ones

Public hospitals in south western Sydney are asking patients to limit their visitors to help stop the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and instead use technology to keep in touch with their loved ones.

South Western Sydney Local Health District is asking patients and their families to limit their visitors to one per patient.

A District spokesperson said the new limit was necessary to reduce the transmission of COVID-19 and based on clinical advice from infectious disease experts.

“We appreciate this will be difficult for some of our patients and their families and we thank them for their understanding and support,’’ the spokesperson said.

“We are taking every precaution to protect the wellbeing and safety of our patients, staff and community.’’

The spokesperson said patients were being asked to nominate one person, such as their next of kin, to visit them during their hospital stay with other family members and friends encouraged to use technology to check in with their loved ones.

“Our hospitals have WiFi and this is a great way families can keep in touch without having to come into the ward,’’ the spokesperson said.

“Skype, Facetime and instant messaging are great ways to communicate using technology.’’

Patients who are critically ill or receiving palliative care and their families can contact their health professionals for further advice on hospital visiting.

Hospitals have also temporarily suspended the attendance of volunteers and consumer representatives on their sites.

“We have suspended our volunteer services for the time being in the best interests of their safety as well as the safety of our staff and patients,’’ the spokesperson said.

For more information and to keep up to date on the coronavirus visit www.health.nsw.gov.au.

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Page last updated: 27 March, 2020