National advice hotline 1800 020 080
0 active cases 56,651 tests conducted 34 people recovered
National advice hotline 1800 020 080 For information on coronavirus (COVID-19) call the hotline - open 24 hours, 7 days.

Territorians asked to evaluate hospital visits

01 April 2020

Northern Territory Health is asking Territorians to reassess whether or not they need to attend Northern Territory hospitals.

In line with the Australia-wide plan to minimise risk and protect the health of Territorians during the Covid-19 pandemic, it is requested Territorians attend hospital only if needed.

Department of Health Chief Executive Catherine Stoddart said it was vital the wellbeing of the health staff, as well as the community, was maintained.

“It’s important to remember if you do have an emergency, or need to access the hospital services, please do so,” she said.

“We are, however, asking those who have non-emergency health issues to see their GP as soon as they become sick to try to avoid becoming unwell. This helps our hospitals can care for those who most need a hospital bed during this time.

“If you have an appointment at the hospital and you do not need a carer, please come alone.”

Royal Darwin Hospital, Palmerston Regional Hospital, Katherine Hospital and Gove Hospital entrances will begin a screening process for everyone coming inside, including contractors, to ensure they are well. This will see verbal questionnaires on the purpose of their visit and routine screening queries. At Alice Springs Hospital security will monitor entry into the building.

Those entering the hospitals are asked to practice good social-distancing and handwashing as COVID-19 is most likely to spread from person-to-person.

“Please be mindful of using lifts at the hospital to avoid crowding. If in doubt, wait for the next lift to ensure more personal space or take the stairs,” Professor Stoddart said.

“I understand the distress patients may feel during this time, and I ensure we are working extremely hard to help Territorians.”

NT Health Hospitals have also restricted visiting hours to minimise the risk of transmission of COVID-19 to patients.

The following restrictions apply to Royal Darwin Hospital, Gove Hospital, Palmerston Hospital and Katherine Hospital:

·         Visiting hours are restricted to 10am –12pm and 5pm-7 pm each day

·         Only ONE visitor per patient per visiting session.

·         Exemptions to these visiting rules will apply in special circumstances, such as palliative care, maternity and paediatrics. Please contact the ward manager prior to your visit.

The following restrictions apply to Alice Springs Hospital and Tennant Creek Hospital:

·         Only ONE visitor per patient per visiting session.

·         Exemptions to these visiting rules will apply in special circumstances, such as palliative care, maternity and paediatrics. Please contact the ward manager prior to your visit.

If you are unwell with cold or flu type symptoms, we ask that you do not visit patients. If you suffer health problems or are elderly, please reconsider your need to visit.

Professor Stoddart thanks the public for their cooperation and said the measures had been put in place to protect patients, staff and the wider community in order to prevent the spread of this virus as much as possible.

If people do not follow these restricted visiting hours, please be aware these hours could be further restricted. This is for the health and wellbeing of our staff, patients and community.