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Sunshine Coast University Private Hospital Steps Up Safety Measures

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Sunshine Coast University Private Hospital has implemented strict new measures to further bolster its safety and infection control protocols - to continue protecting patients, health care workers and visitors during the COVID-19 situation.

Ramsay Health Care’s Northern Region Operations Executive, Sam Dodd, said it was business as usual for the hospital, which has not had any patients admitted with COVID-19.

"The situation is changing across Australia but we’re well-prepared to manage the impacts of COVID-19 and it’s now more important than ever that health care providers work together to navigate the community through this crisis."

As the number of confirmed cases in Australia continues to increase, Sunshine Coast University Private Hospital has taken precautions to limit the number of visitors entering the site.

A maximum of one visitor per patient per day will be allowed to help meet social distancing guidelines.

Anyone wishing to visit the hospital will need to be assessed against a set of criteria by staff before they are allowed to enter. They will only be able to visit if they are well, have not travelled overseas in the past two weeks, have not been identified as a close contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case, have not been in contact with a suspected case, and are aged 16 years or over (exceptional circumstances will be considered on a case-by-case basis).

Ms Dodd said reducing the number of people entering the facility better allowed for creating safe distances between people to minimise the COVID-19 infection risk.

"Social distancing is important because COVID-19 is most likely to spread from person-to-person through direct close contact with an infectious person, or through touching objects or surfaces such as door handles and tables and then touching your mouth or face," she said.

"We are asking everyone on site not to shake hands or share food, and to try to remain 1.5 metres apart - because the more space between you and others, the harder it is for the virus to spread."

Sunshine Coast University Private Hospital has also taken the step of limiting the number of volunteers, students and contractors and to postpone social events or gatherings of more than 20 people until further notice.

"Where possible, we are also conducting meetings of frontline and specialty staff via video and teleconferencing," she said.

SCUPH is also working to ensure ongoing supply levels of PPE by educating staff on how to wear and remove the equipment appropriately, particularly in operating theatres and critical care areas.

The hospital is liaising closely with Ramsay Health Care’s COVID-19 response team which continues to closely monitor and respond to updates from the Australian Department of Health and Public Health Units.