Visitation rules at multipurpose health services will soon be given tighter restrictions as the Murrumbidgee Local Health District continues to stave the spread of COVID-19.
Beginning Wednesday, visits will be restricted to all aged care residents in all MLHD facilities.
"In the interests of the safety of our patients, residents and staff we have made the necessary decision to restrict visitor access to our health care facilities for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic," said Jill Ludford, MLHD chief executive.
In place of face-to-face contact hours, the staff at the facilities will trial over-the-phone and internet connected ways of allowing families to visit their loved ones.
"We are finding ways to keep families and carers connected with residents through phone, post, email, FaceTime, WhatsApp or Skype," said Ms Ludford.
Residents of the palliative care units may be given permission to host "one consistent visitor for short periods per day", Ms Ludford said.
But the permission will be dependent on the facility manager's discretion, and the visitors' appropriate screening.
Similarly, visitation rules will be tightened for patients in all base hospitals across the district. Acute care patients may only be allowed to host visitors for up to 60 minutes, during specific times of the day, and will be limited to one visitor per patient.
Special consideration will be made for children, maternity patients and critically ill patients.
Visitors must be over 16 years and will also need to complete a COVID-19 Visitor Assessment form.
"We ask for our communities understanding and cooperation during this time," Ms Ludford said.