COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Information
COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Factsheet for Patients and Visitors
What is Coronavirus/COVID-19?
This new coronavirus, known as COVID-19, causes illness of varying severity spanning common cold symptoms through to more serious respiratory illness.
Some people may barely notice they are sick at all while some may become very ill, very quickly. At present, those in Queensland who are confirmed cases of COVID-19 are being treated in hospital, which may be as ‘virtual patients’, or as more ‘traditional’ admissions to our hospitals.
Self-quarantine and self-isolation requirements are in place for some overseas and interstate travellers or those who may have been in close contact with a confirmed case, usually for a period of 14 days.
How is this Coronavirus spread?
The coronavirus is most likely to spread from person-to-person through:
- direct close contact with a person while they are infectious
- close contact with a person with a confirmed infection who coughs or sneezes, or
- touching objects or surfaces (such as door handles or tables) contaminated from a cough or sneeze from a person with a confirmed infection, and then touching your mouth or face.
Most infections are only transmitted by people when they have symptoms. These can include fever, a cough, sore throat, tiredness and shortness of breath.
What should I do if I suspect I have COVID-19?
Those who suspect they might have COVID-19 should present to a Fever Clinic for testing. Symptoms include:
- a fever or history of fever (e.g. night sweats, chills)
- acute respiratory infection (e.g. cough, shortness of breath, sore throat)
- or more rarely: fatigue, loss of smell, loss of taste, runny nose, muscle pain, joint pain, diarrhoea, nausea/vomiting and loss of appetite.
You should wear a mask or ask for one on arrival.
Who is at risk of COVID-19?
Everyone should take steps to keep themselves and others safe, to prevent the spread of COVID-19. However, those most at risk of serious infection include:
- people with compromised immune systems (e.g. cancer)
- elderly people
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
- people with diagnosed chronic medical conditions
- people in group residential settings
- people in detention facilities.
Am I safe attending Metro North facilities?
Metro North Hospital and Health Service is well-prepared to handle COVID-19 across our facilities. Patient and visitor safety is paramount.
You do not need to wear a face mask during your time at Metro North, as masks are not recommended for healthy members of the public.
Anyone being treated for COVID-19 within a healthcare facility will be in a designated area, with rigorous safety protocols observed.
Can I still visit Metro North facilities to see a loved one?
To help reduce the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus) we are taking extra precautions when it comes to visits. To help keep our patients healthy and safe, up to two visitors can see a patient in hospital but only:
- One visit per day, per patient
- Up to two hours
- No more than two people per visit.
It’s important you don’t visit a hospital if you:
- Have been asked to self-quarantine due to travel overseas, being in a COVID-19 hotspot or close contact with a person who has novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in the previous 14 days
- Are unwell, particularly with a fever, cough, sore throat and shortness of breath; or
- Are under the age of 16, unless visiting to provide a patient with end-of-life support
Up to two people can stay with a patient at all times if they are:
- Carers for children under the age of 18
- Carers for a patient with a disability
- Partner and/or support person/s when the patient is admitted for care related to the pregnancy
- Support person for emergency department or outpatient care appointments.
Please note that more than two visitors are allowed to provide end-of-life support to a patient, without being restricted to the two-hour limit. There may be changes to visitation hours, so please call ahead to find out before you visit.
We encourage virtual visits for our patients. Virtual visits are a great way to stay connected to your loved ones and support them during their stay in our facilities The information on our virtual visits page will help get you set up to make virtual visits.
You can find more information about this on the relevant facility visitor information page:
- Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital
- The Prince Charles Hospital
- Redcliffe Hospital
- Caboolture Hospital
- Kilcoy Hospital
Should I reschedule my outpatient appointment?
You do not need to reschedule your outpatient appointment or elective surgery unless you have been contacted to do so.
Contact will be made directly with anyone who may need to move an appointment or to amend your appointment to a ‘virtual appointment’.
Where should I go for more information?
The Queensland Health website remains a central source of information for all members of the public. Information is continually updated on the QLD Health Coronavirus site.
The Federal Government website also contains helpful information for a range of groups on their Department of Health COVID-19 resources site.
Metro North Hospital and Health Service
Level 14, Block 7
Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital
HERSTON QLD 4029
Phone: (07) 3646 8111