Hospital FAQs

Last Updated: 02 Jun 2020 10:10am

Why can’t I visit a person in hospital who has COVID-19?

COVID-19 spreads very easily. We are doing everything we can to protect you and the people around you.

You can stay in contact by phoning or using social media or video chat.

Why isn’t everyone with COVID-19 admitted to hospital?

Many people who get COVID-19 have relatively mild symptoms, like a bad cold.

Most people recover fully at home without needing to go to hospital.

Some people get very sick. For example, they might get pneumonia and have difficulty breathing.

These people need hospital care. Some people need help with breathing in intensive care.

Why are staff wearing masks but not patients?

There are three reasons healthcare workers may wear a facemask at work to protect against COVID-19:

  1. At work, including when caring for patients, it is often not possible for healthcare workers to keep 1.5 metres away from other people. Healthcare workers must wear appropriate personal protective equipment (including facemasks) to protect themselves and others and slow the spread of disease.
  2. Healthcare workers must wear facemasks if they might have been exposed to the virus that causes COVID-19 (for example, through travel) but have been exempted from quarantine because of the essential nature of their work. This might be because of where they work (eg in remote locations) or the specialist nature of their work.

In general (outside health facilities) facemasks are most effective when worn by people who are sick, not people who are well.

For people who are well, it’s important to keep at least 1.5 metres (two large steps) away from other people. Keeping apart from other people makes it unnecessary to wear mask.

If a patient is in a hospital ward where someone has COVID-19, are they at risk?

The number one priority for staff at our hospitals is the health and safety of themselves and patients.

Hospital patients who are suspected of having or known to have COVID-19, are kept separated from other patients and strict infection control precautions are taken.

The risk of infection to other patients should be no higher than it would be in the community.

Why is mum required to wear a mask and be in a single room at this hospital, when she didn’t in the other hospital?

Every hospital in Tasmania uses the same infection prevention and control precautions.

A change in the precautions taken is mostly likely due to a change in condition of the patient or some other change in the level of risk at the hospital facility.