The Victorian lockdown has been extended until 11.59pm on Thursday 10 June to prevent further spread of coronavirus in the community.
Restrictions have been brought in across Victoria. For hospitals, this means most patients cannot have visitors. Limiting the number of people in our hospitals is one way we can help keep our patients and staff safe.
We hope to be able to return to normal visiting as soon as possible. For now, we ask that you observe the following restrictions.
Visiting restrictions remain in place at Mercy Health hospitals and health services. Our restrictions are based on Victorian Government coronavirus regulations. We have also considered the physical spaces on site, because we need to make sure people can stay 1.5 metres apart in clinical areas. This is an important factor in preventing the spread of coronavirus.
|Area||Who can visit|
|Maternity Services||Birthing Suites: one partner or support person can be present at any time.
Postnatal areas: one partner or support person may visit for two hours between 4–8pm.
|Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), Special Care Nursery (SCN)||Parents are welcome at any time. Because of space restrictions, only one parent can attend the bedside at any one time.|
|Paediatric Ward||Parents can visit.|
|All other inpatients||Visitors are not permitted at this time.
Visiting exceptions for palliative care and end-of-life patients can be discussed with the ward manager.
|All outpatients||Visitors are not permitted at this time.
Visiting exceptions for palliative care and end-of-life patients can be discussed with the ward manager.
|Intensive Care Unit (ICU)/ High Dependency Unit (HDU)||Visitors by arrangement only.|
|Emergency Department||Visitors are not permitted at this time.
Parents of a patient under 18 years old can attend with their child.
|Coronavirus wards||People with suspected or confirmed coronavirus cannot have visitors.|
There may be exceptions for people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.
Mercy Mental Health
|Clare Moore Building
|Intensive Care Area: Visitors only permitted with prior approval of the Nurse Unit Manager.
Recovery Care Area: Visitors only permitted with prior approval of the Nurse Unit Manager.
|Ursula Frayne Centre||Visitors only permitted with prior approval of the Nurse Unit Manager.|
|Mother Baby Unit
|One nominated visitor a day for up to four hours.|
|Community Care Unit
|No visitors permitted at this time.|
|Prevention and Recovery Care (PARC)||No visitors permitted at this time.|
Children are only allowed to visit with prior approval.
When you arrive
Coronavirus is still present in the community. That means we need to be careful about everyone entering our hospital.
If you need to come to hospital and you have confirmed or suspected coronavirus, or you are in quarantine, you must call us before you come to hospital.
Patients who present to hospital and have symptoms, or patients who have been to a listed exposure site, may be tested for coronavirus. If you are coming to hospital for elective surgery and you feel unwell, you must contact the hospital before you arrive.
Everyone entering our hospital must undergo screening. The screening process helps us minimise the risk of coronavirus.
When you arrive, you will come to a screening desk where you will be required to answer a series of questions. The questions include whether you have been to a coronavirus case location.
The screening process is done on your personal phone via QR code. There are posters on site that explain how to complete this process. There are also staff available in case you need help.
Once you have completed the questions on your phone, you will get a new QR code on your phone. Please take this to the screening desk where you will have your temperature checked.
If you need help or a translator, please speak to staff at the screening desk.
Everyone visiting Mercy Health hospitals and health services must wear a mask. This includes inpatients while you are moving about the hospital.
Mercy Health will provide disposable masks at screening points. Remember, wearing a mask does not mean you are protected. The most effective way to protect yourself and others from coronavirus is to maintain good hygiene and physical distancing.
During your stay
If you have coronavirus or you are awaiting a coronavirus test, you will need to remain in your room.
Other patients and their visitors must remain in the patient’s room and avoid common areas if possible.
Preventing the spread of infection
- wash your hands with soap and water or use alcohol-based hand rub every time you enter or leave the building or a room
- wear a mask at all times
- aim to stay in your or your loved one’s room and avoid common areas if possible
- keep a physical distance of at least 1.5 metres from others.
Interpreters are still available to patients who need them. Interpreting may take place over the phone, video or face-to-face. If you need an interpreter, please tell your doctor, nurse or midwife.
Learn more about your right to receive appropriate communication about your healthcare in a way you understand. If you have any difficulties speaking or understanding English, you have a range of support options depending on your needs.
Free WiFi and staying connected with loved ones
There may be restrictions on who can visit while you are in hospital. We encourage patients to stay in touch with family and friends via phone or video calls. With restricted visiting, this is a good way to keep in touch with people who are important to you. Mercy Health provides free WiFi at all of our hospitals and health services. We encourage patients to bring their personal device to hospital to maintain contact with loved ones.
Involving family in your care and treatment
It is important to us that you understand your health and treatment options. Some patients may want to have a family member present when discussing their care plan with their treating team. The coronavirus pandemic means that your family may not always be able to be physically in the room with you, because of visitor restrictions or safety limits on the number of people who can be in the patient’s room.
Mercy Health has introduced telehealth for patients attending appointments in our Outpatient Clinics, so that patients can invite family to be involved in their care. Family should join the telehealth appointment from home. Only the patient will be allowed into the clinic at this time.
Inpatients can also have family involved in their care and treatment via video calls. Please speak to your treating team if you wish to arrange a video call.
If you have any questions or concerns during your stay, please speak to your treating team.
Our coronavirus response
Mercy Health is committed to keeping our patients, visitors and staff safe from coronavirus. Our staff have undertaken additional training in infection control and prevention. Staff are screened before each shift and are not permitted to come to work if they are unwell. We have also increased cleaning at our hospitals and sites.
Mercy Health has processes in place to respond if a coronavirus case is identified among our patients or staff. We also have the ability to safely care for people who have confirmed or suspected coronavirus. Here are some of the ways we are responding to coronavirus.
Do you have coronavirus?
If you have confirmed coronavirus, please call ahead and let your treating team know.
If you suspect you have coronavirus, you may need to get tested. For information about symptoms, when and where to get tested, see the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) website (opens in new window) There is a helpful self-assessment tool on the site.
If you are still not sure whether you should get tested, please contact:
Department of Health and Human Services coronavirus hotline
1800 675 398
New South Wales
Australian Department of Health coronavirus Health Information Line
1800 020 080
Please keep Triple Zero (000) for emergencies only.
Mercy Health has dedicated wards for patients with confirmed or suspected coronavirus. These wards are in a different part of the hospital to patients who do not have the virus. This helps prevent the spread of coronavirus to patients or staff who do not have the virus.
Caring for patients with coronavirus or suspected coronavirus
If you have coronavirus or suspected coronavirus, you will be placed in an area that is equipped to look after your medical needs. This will differ depending on the severity of your case. Some people with coronavirus might be able to return home if it is clinically safe to do so. Others may remain in hospital.
If you have coronavirus and you are being cared for in hospital, the staff caring for you will be wearing full personal protective equipment (PPE). This includes gowns, gloves, a mask and eye protection. Staff change their PPE every time they enter or leave a patient’s room. This helps prevent the spread of infection.
Patients with coronavirus or suspected coronavirus cannot have visitors. We encourage you to use your phone or personal device to stay connected to family and friends while you are in hospital. Mercy Health offers free WiFi in our hospitals and health services. You can also choose to have family involved in your consultations via phone or video call.
For information about coronavirus, including symptoms, risks, travel and prevention advice, visit the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) coronavirus website(opens in new window)
Consistent and reliable information is important in an emergency. Wherever possible, Mercy Health will refer to the relevant government authority instead of repeating the information on this page.
Information for specific patients
Being aware of your baby’s movements during pregnancy is one of the simplest things you can do to help keep your baby safe and healthy. Regular and healthy movements are a good sign of wellbeing. If you are concerned about your baby’s movements please contact us.
Mercy Health has made some necessary changes to services in response to the current outbreak of coronavirus. These changes enable us to continue caring for women and babies, while reducing the risk of coronavirus in our hospitals.
- Clinic appointments:
- Some appointments are now held via telehealth. If you have been identified as a suitable candidate for a phone appointment, you will be contacted directly. We will provide further details by phone or by mail prior to your appointment. Please notify us if your contact details change.
- For some pregnancy appointments, you will still be required to attend the hospital. We will let you know which appointments you are required to attend throughout your pregnancy.
- If you are worried or have concerns about your pregnancy or your baby’s movements, please speak to your doctor or midwife or contact:
Mercy Hospital Emergency Department on 8458 4000 or
Werribee Mercy Hospital Maternity Assessment Unit on 8754 3398
- Childbirth education and hospital tours:
- Mercy Health has canceled face-to-face childbirth education and hospital tours until further notice.
- We recommend the Raising Children website as an alternative online education resource for parents.
- For further information, please speak to your doctor or midwife at your appointment.
For more information about coronavirus and pregnancy, please see the resources listed at the bottom of this page.
Emergency Department patients
All patients presenting to the Emergency Department will be screened on arrival. This involves taking your temperature and asking you some questions so we can assess whether you might be sick with or at risk of developing coronavirus. You will only be tested for coronavirus if you meet the criteria for testing. You will be given more information about this when you arrive.
Please refer to the section on ‘visitor restrictions’ for information about visiting our Emergency Department. Please note that support persons may not be able to wait in the Emergency Department waiting area due to space restrictions.
Please do not come to the Emergency Department if you do not need to. If you have questions or concerns about coronavirus, please refer to the government coronavirus hotlines and resources listed at the bottom of this page.
Information for parents with sick children
The Werribee Mercy Hospital emergency and paediatric departments continue to provide emergency and inpatient care for all children aged 0-18 with medical problems during the coronavirus pandemic.
If your child is unwell and you are concerned, do not to delay seeking medical advice. We do not want children to become very unwell at home due to fear of exposure to coronavirus.
In an emergency, call Triple Zero (000) or visit your nearest Emergency Department.
Mercy Hospital for Women access
Mercy Hospital for Women is working closely with Austin Health next door to make sure that we are protecting the health and safety of everyone who visits our shared building.
• there are two public lifts available from the carpark, both of which will stop at level 1 for screening
• one public lift is available from Level 1 to Level 6.
All visitors and clinic patients must complete an online screening check. Please follow the instructions on how to use the QR code or report to the screening desk for assistance. You will be required to have your temperature checked on arrival to Level 1 as part of our screening process.
The Mercy Hospital for Women Emergency Department (ED) entrance is closed.
- If you are in labour or in an emergency, you can park in one of two designated five-minute parking spots at the Mercy Hospital for Women main entrance. This is the podium entrance, accessible via Studley Road.
- Other patients can access the ED via the Mercy Hospital for Women carpark. Take the lift to Level 1.
- There will be two public lifts from the carpark, both of which will stop at level 1 for screening.
- One public lift will be available from Level 1 to Level 6.
- There are a limited number of 30-minute parking spaces on the podium for outpatient pick-up and drop-off, however patients are encouraged to use the carpark where possible.
Please call ahead in an emergency: 8458 4000.
Help prevent the spread of infection
Everyone can help prevent the spread of infection by practicing good hand hygiene and maintaining a physical distance from other people.
Simple steps for everyone to follow:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Use a tissue and cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze, or cough into your elbow or upper arm. Dispose of tissues in the bin.
- Try not to touch your eyes, nose or mouth.
- Stay at home if you feel unwell.
- Continue healthy habits (drink water, eat plenty of fruit and vegetables and get enough sleep).
- Get a flu shot once these are available.
- Avoid close contact with people outside your immediate family or household members (such as touching or shaking hands).
Last reviewed February 13, 2020.