Important information about novel coronavirus (COVID-19)
We are closely monitoring, and proactively responding to the developments in Australia associated with coronavirus (COVID-19), in conjunction with both the Australian Government authorities and local public health units.
Information on this page
We understand the rapidly evolving and unprecedented and widespread effects of COVID-19 may result in high levels of concern, however we want to reassure you that we are well-prepared and well-resourced to manage the impacts.
We have strict infection control and prevention protocols in place to protect patients, health care workers and visitors to minimise the risk of any infection, including COVID-19.
The symptoms of COVID-19 are documented on the Australian Government’s Department of Health website. If you are unwell and require urgent medical attention you should contact your GP or call 000 for an ambulance (this will work even without phone credit).
Information for patients
If you have travelled overseas in the past 14 days, please contact the hospital or your doctor before your scheduled appointment or surgery. If you are unwell with any cold or flu like symptoms, and are scheduled for a procedure, please contact your doctor before attending the hospital.
Our Day Programs are implementing processes to meet of all NSW Health and Ramsay Health Guidelines regarding COVID-19 precautions, to help keep our Northside Group community healthy and safe.
Please contact the Northside Group Day Program Managers with any enquiries.
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Information for visitors
Due to the evolving COVID-19 situation and the requirement for greater restrictions around social distancing, there will be no visitors to Northside Group Clinics from 9am, 31 March 2020, until further notice.
Patients will be encouraged to connect with their loved ones via phone or other digital devices to keep in touch.
Thank you for your understanding and cooperation during this unprecedented time. The safety of our patients, visitors and workforce is our main priority.
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Special events (including Anzac Day services)
Keeping in mind the safety of our patients, visitors, and health care workers, based on advice from the Australian Government, we have taken the decision to postpone or cancel large events and gatherings of more than 20 people. This includes commemorations for Anzac Day. We instead encourage the community to watch the Australian War Memorial’s nationally televised Anzac Day commemorative service at 5.30am on 25 April 2020.
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What is this virus?
Coronaviruses can make humans and animals sick. Some coronaviruses can cause illness similar to the common cold and others can cause more serious diseases, including Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS). The virus first seen in Hubei Province, China is called ‘novel’ because it is new. COVID-19 has now been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) and there has been a significant increase in new cases across many countries in Europe and around the world. It is likely that the virus originally came from an animal, and there is evidence that it can spread from person-to-person.
What are the symptoms?
Symptoms include fever OR an acute respiratory infection and include (but are not limited to) cough, sore throat, fatigue and shortness of breath with or without a fever.
How is the coronavirus spread?
The coronavirus is most likely to spread from person-to-person by:
- Direct close contact with a person whilst they are infectious;
- Close contact with a person with a confirmed infection coughs or sneezes; or
- Touching objects or surfaces (such as doorknobs or tables or face masks) contaminated from a cough or sneeze from a person with a confirmed infection, and then touching your mouth or face.
Most infections are transmitted by people when they have symptoms. There is now some evidence that people could be contagious before showing symptoms.
How can I help prevent the spread of COVID-19?
Practising good hand and sneeze/cough hygiene is the best defence against most viruses. You should:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water before and after eating as well as after attending the toilet
- Avoid contact with others (including touching, kissing, hugging, and other intimate contact)
- cough and sneeze into your elbow
- If you are asked to wear a surgical face mask, after putting it on to cover your nose and mouth, do not touch the front of the mask and remove it using the ear loops or head straps.
- Dispose of the used mask into a waste bin and perform hand hygiene with soap and water or alcohol hand rub.
Where are the COVID-19 clinics and testing centres located?
COVID-19 clinics and assessment centres have been established at various sites across Australia. Please click on the relevant link below to view the services available in your state:
What does isolate in your home mean?
People who are recommended to be isolated should not attend public places, in particular work, school, childcare or university. Only people who usually live in the household should be in the home. Do not allow visitors into the home. There is no need to wear masks in the home. Where possible, get others such as friends or family, who are not required to be isolated to get food or other necessities for you. If you must leave the home, such as to seek medical care, wear a surgical mask if you have one.
How is the virus treated?
There is no specific treatment for coronaviruses. Antibiotics are not effective against viruses. Most of the symptoms can be treated with supportive medical care. Some people will require hospitalisation.
What are the restrictions on visitors at Ramsay hospitals and clinics?
Given the evolving situation, we are restricting visitors to Ramsay facilities. No more than two visitors will be permitted at any one time. Visitors to maternity units will be restricted to close family or carers only, and preapproved by the patient. Prior to your arrival, you should contact the hospital to confirm you can visit the patient. Additional restrictions may be implemented in high risk areas including Intensive Care Units, oncology units, dialysis units, and special care nurseries.
Should I wear a face mask?
A face mask will not protect you against becoming infected. While the use of face masks can help to prevent transmission of disease from infected patients to others, face masks are not currently recommended for use by healthy members of the public for the prevention of infections like novel coronavirus. If you are unwell with cold and flu-like symptoms, then a mask can be worn when you attend the hospital or GP office for assessment.
Where can I get more information?
Visit the Australian Government Department of Health homepage at www.health.gov.au.
Call the Public Health Information Line on 1800 004 599.
Discuss any questions you have with the Public Health Agency monitoring you.
Contact your state or territory public health agency:
- ACT call 02 5124 9213
- NSW call 1300 066 055
- NT call 08 8922 8044
- QLD call 13HEALTH (13 43 25 84)
- SA call 1300 232 272
- TAS call 1800 671 738
- VIC call 1300 651 160
- WA visit www.healthywa.wa.gov.au or call your local public health unit
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