This illustration, created at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reveals ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses. Note the spikes that adorn the outer surface of the virus, which impart the look of a corona surrounding the
15 July 2020
News Category: 
Notifications for patients

Melbourne Health has extensive processes in place to safely assess and manage any patients with viral infections, including the novel coronavirus, COVID-19.

As the situation around COVID-19 is rapidly changing, this article will be regularly updated to ensure our community is receiving the most up-to-date advice.

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Hospital information:

Frequently asked questions:

Hospital information

Screening clinics

The Royal Melbourne Hospital has screening clinics set up specifically to test for COVID-19 at the following locations:

LocationLabOpening hours

Parkville

Royal Melbourne Hospital, City Campus
300 Grattan Street, Parkville

Located between the entrances to the hospital and Emergency Department

RMH

Everyday

9am - 5.30pm

Map

Fawkner

Merri Health
CB Smith Reserve
79 Jukes Road, Fawkner

ACL

Everyday

10am - 4pm

Map

Results

Turn around times for test results have increased due to the high number of tests being performed. If your test is negative, you will receive an SMS text message. If your result is positive, you will receive a telephone call.

If your test was processed by ACL and you have not received your results after 5 days, please call 1300 134 111.

Who will be screened?

We will only test people who have one or more of these symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Chills or sweats
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Shortness of breath
  • Runny nose
  • Loss of sense of smell

In certain circumstances headache, muscle soreness, stuffy nose, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea may also be considered.

If you are still unsure of whether to get tested, please use the Department of Health and Human Services' Online Assessment Tool.

Note: Healthcare workers and emergency workers remain a high priority for testing.

All patients will be monitored in hospital if clinical deterioration occurs while at the Screening Clinic.

Visitors

From Tuesday 14 July, visitors will not be permitted at all Royal Melbourne Hospital sites except if required as an essential caregiver.

Exceptions are in place for special circumstances and visitors of palliative care patients.

These changes are in response to the reintroduction of stage 3 restrictions and are important to maintain the health and safety of our employees, patients and consumers.

Where possible phone calls and video chat are encouraged between patients and consumers and visitors.

Requirement for carers in all areas

  • Do not attend if you are unwell
  • You will be screened for signs of COVID-19 when entering Royal Melbourne Hospital sites
  • All essential carers will be required to wear surgical masks, which will be provided upon entering
  • Maintain 1.5m distance from patients, employees and others
  • Appropriate Personal Protective Equipment must be worn as directed by the nursing team

Emergency Department

  • No visitors allowed - exceptions are in place for special circumstances
  • You will be screened for signs of COVID-19 when entering the emergency department
  • All visitors will be required to wear surgical masks, which will be provided upon entering
  • Maintain 1.5m distance from patients, employees and others
  • Appropriate Personal Protective Equipment must be worn as directed by nursing team

Intensive Care Unit

  • No visitors will be permitted unless by prior arrangement
  • Where possible phone and video chat encouraged
  • Next of kin will be kept informed of their loved one's condition

Residential Aged Care

  • No visitors unless by appointment with the Nurse Unit Manager
  • Carers by appointment only
  • Carers must have had an up-to-date flu vaccination and sign a declaration to this effect

Palliative care

  • Two visitors in a 24-hour period. No time restrictions for visits.
  • If under 16, only the children and grandchildren of the patient are allowed and must be under the direct supervision of an adult at all times.

Mental Health (including residential, aged and community)

  • Carers by appointment only and restricted to nominated carers

COVID-19 and coming to hospital: what to expect

Are you coming to hospital for elective surgery? You may notice things are a little bit different around the City Campus. Watch this short video with anaesthetists Jai and Kate who explain some of the extra precautions we've put in place during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Changes to outpatient appointments

As part of our response to COVID-19 we have made some changes to our outpatient appointments. We are reducing the number of face-to-face consultations and replacing them with video or telephone call. If your appointment changes, you will be contacted via text message with further instructions. Thank you for your understanding.

The Royal Melbourne Hospital Emergency Appeal

The Royal Melbourne Hospital Foundation is raising urgent funds to help our doctors and nurses who are at the frontline of the fight against COVID-19. Our ICU is pandemic ready, but we have never faced a challenge on this scale before. You can help us by donating on our GiveEasy page.

Fake email circulating

We are aware of a message circulating across email and social media containing incorrect information.

This is not from the Royal Melbourne Hospital or the Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital and the details are untrue.

Please make sure you only share from legitimate sources, such as the Royal Melbourne Hospital's website and Facebook page, the Australian Government Department of Health and the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services.

Frequently asked questions

COVID-19 video series

We have produced a series of videos on COVID-19, which contains frequently asked questions and information for people living with comorbidities such as diabetes, asthma, lung disease, mental health conditions and more. There are also videos made for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. You can view the entire COVID-19 playlist on YouTube.

I think I have coronavirus, should I come to the hospital?

You should only come to the hospital if you meet the criteria above.

If you are still unsure of whether you should get tested for COVID-19, please contact the Department of Health and Human Services hotline on 1800 675 398. Please keep Triple Zero (000) for emergencies only.

What is coronavirus?

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that cause illness in animals or humans. These coronaviruses include the common cold and more severe diseases like the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV).

COVID-19 is a new form of coronavirus, which causes respiratory symptoms, similar to the flu.

Most people who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 have only experienced a mild illness and recovered, however the illness can be more severe for others, including vulnerable populations such as the elderly.

The risk of contracting COVID-19 can be reduced through proper hand hygiene, respiratory etiquette and social distancing.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

Those with symptoms of COVID-19 are most likely to have a fever (above 37.5 degrees Celsius) and may have respiratory symptoms like a sore throat, cough or shortness of breath. Of those who are admitted to hospital, some do develop serious illness.

How does COVID-19 spread?

Health authorities around the world are working hard to figure out how the COVID-19 virus spreads. It is suspected that spread is most likely to occur when people cough or sneeze and respiratory droplets are produced or it can be transmitted by contact with contaminated surfaces.

How do I reduce my risk of contracting COVID-19?

Hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette are two terms that you may have heard of when you have heard about how to reduce your risk of COVID-19. This refers to washing your hands properly and often, and using proper sneezing and coughing practices (covering your nose and mouth with a tissue or coughing or sneezing into your upper sleeve and elbow).

Here are someways you can reduce your risk of getting COVID-19:

  • Wash hands frequently with soap and water, or alcohol based hand rub
  • Avoid touching your nose, eyes and mouth
  • Avoid being around other people who you know are unwell
  • Practice and encourage others to practice respiratory etiquette; that is,cover your mouth and nose with your elbow while coughing or sneezing, or use a tissue and dispose of it, and wash your hands after
  • Try to stay 1.5 metres apart from other people when you are sharing the same confined space
  • Avoid attending public gatherings or crowded places

Watch our video with RMH ICU Clinical Nurse Manager Dan on how you can protect yourself and others from the novel coronavirus:

I want to visit my friend or relative at the Royal Melbourne Hospital or Melbourne Health-related sites and they do not have COVID-19. Can I visit?

Visitors will not be permitted at all Royal Melbourne Hospital sites except if required as an essential caregiver.

Exceptions are in place for special circumstances and visitors of palliative care patients.

These changes are in response to the reintroduction of stage 3 restrictions and are important to maintain the health and safety of our employees, patients and consumers.

Where possible phone calls and video chat are encouraged between patients and consumers and visitors.

I have been told to self-isolate for 14 days. Should I attend the hospital?

No, you should not attend the hospital.

You can read more about COVID-19 isolation on the Australian Government Department of Health website.

A close contact of mine is self-isolating. Should I be tested for COVID-19? Do I have to self-isolate?

If anyone, including RMH staff members, has been in contact with someone who is in self-isolation (eg household member) due to overseas travel or being a contact of a known COVID-19 case and the household member has not been diagnosed with COVID-19, the person is not required to remain off work or to be tested.

If this contact develops COVID-19 , then the person in contact with the diagnosed is required to self-isolate for 14 days. The person does not require testing unless they become symptomatic (see Screening Clinic criteria above). Anyone who is required to self-isolate because of close contact with a COVID19 case will be informed by the Department of Health and Human Services that they are a contact. Otherwise, self-isolation is only required for people who have returned from anywhere overseas since 16th March or from high risk countries (China, South Korea, Italy or Iran) in the past 14 days.