Mildura Base Hospital has placed a limit on visitor numbers to the hospital to protect patients and staff due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

MBH Chief Executive Officer Adam Stevenson said the measure was introduced as of 5pm, Tuesday, March 17.

“In consultation with the Department of Health and Human Services, we will be restricting visitor numbers to one nominated visitor per patient,” Mr Stevenson said.

“It’s in line with the Department’s recommendations on social distancing, and is aimed at restricting non-essential visits and reducing the general traffic in the hospital environment.

“This is a precaution that’s motivated by the fact that our hospital patients are already vulnerable, and we’re aiming first and foremost to protect our patients and the staff who are caring for them.

“We know this restriction will be challenging and we understand that every family’s situation is different. For exceptional circumstances, we would encourage families to speak to the patient’s nursing team for advice.”

Mr Stevenson said measures implemented by the hospital could be expected to increase as the pandemic evolves.

“Planning is well underway on our community-wide response in Mildura – this is a multi-agency, whole-of-community effort, and we are working closely with all of the health service providers and community agencies to ensure our response is the best that it can be,” he said.

“How our community responds is up to all of us, and we would simply ask, on that basis, for people to do their own little bit.

“So that might be simply making a phone call instead of visiting an aged care facility, or checking in regularly on the phone with elderly or vulnerable neighbours or relatives.”

Mr Stevenson urged the community to seek information and answers to questions on the DHHS website: www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/coronavirus.