Why we need visitor restrictions

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COVID is very present in our community and in our hospitals right across the state – including at the Women’s.

While vaccination is very effective at reducing the risk of serious illness and hospitalisation, a fully vaccinated person can still catch COVID and unknowingly spread it to another person. This may include people who cannot be vaccinated, young children and babies who are not vaccinated and people who have a serious illness or weak immune system. In these situations, the consequences of contracting the virus can be devastating.

At the Women’s, our patients include COVID positive pregnant women, unvaccinated babies, unvaccinated people and very unwell people.

This is why we are continuing to restrict hospital visitors.

As a busy public hospital, we need to limit the number of people in our building, regardless of their vaccination status. This helps us to maintain physical distancing and density limits, and protect our patients and staff.

Just one visitor or companion for each of our patients, means over 4,000 people, in addition to our patients and staff, are in our Parkville site each week. This puts an additional burden on our hospital as we work hard to ensure our extensive health and safety protocols are in place.

We understand that everyone needs someone to support them during challenging and difficult times. And we know coming to hospital can be scary and confronting for many people. This is why we choose to allow one support person per patient in some circumstances.

We understand our visitor restrictions are disappointing for many people – particularly as life begins to return to normal in the community. But the reality is, Victorian health services are operating under COVID Peak status and we are in a three-way battle caring for COVID positive patients, caring for and protecting patients without COVID, and ensuring our health system can continue to provide excellent care.

After an exhausting 18 months fighting this virus on the frontlines, we ask for your patience.

Like you, we look forward to the day when we can get back to normal and we can relax some of our visitor restrictions and welcome all families, visitors and supporters.

Until then, thank you for your kindness, understanding and support.

The Women’s team

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