HOSPITAL visiting hours are back on at the Ballarat Base Hospital and Queen Elizabeth Centre with a slight relaxing of rules set to give families some peace of mind.
From Wednesday (September 30), patients will be permitted one visit per day of one visitor for a maximum of two hours.
In accordance with directive from the Department of Health and Human Services, everyone on Ballarat Health Services sites are required to wear a mask, maintain a 1.5m physical distance, and be screened on entry.
Masks will be provided at entrances for those who do not bring their own.
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All visitors will need to register their details at the time of entry.
Ballarat Health Services will next week launch a visitor registration tool so that those planning to visit can register their details in advance, to save time on entry.
All visits must occur within the ward's permitted visiting hours but there is no change to visitor restrictions for maternity, special care nursery or pediatrics at this time.
Visitors from the metropolitan Melbourne area (Step 2) will not be permitted unless their visit is pre-approved on compassionate grounds.
Ballarat Health Services chief executive officer Dale Fraser said ensuring all residents and patients receive the best and safest care in the most appropriate setting remains the priority.
"We know that visitors can have a really positive impact on our patients, residents and clients, however we need to ensure that we're doing our best to protect them from the risk of COVID-19 in the first instance," Mr Fraser said.
"We thank all patients, clients, residents and their families for their patience during this time, and we look forward to welcoming visitors back to Ballarat Health Services in a COVID-safe way.
Last week families of Ballarat aged care residents were contacted directly with updates to their visitor restrictions. Anyone with questions regarding visitor restrictions should contact the facility directly.
"It remains extremely important that anyone with even the mildest of symptoms be tested for COVID-19, and stay home until they can be tested, and until they receive their results," Mr Fraser said.
Appointments can be made at UFS Lucas clinic on 03 4311 1571 or the Ballarat Community Health clinic on 1800 054 172. Anyone showing symptoms must self-isolate until they receive their test results, and until their symptoms resolve.
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