NEW visitor restrictions have come into force at all New England North West hospitals and multi-purpose centres in the wake of rising community transmission cases in NSW.
The measures were implemented on the weekend and come despite there being no new cases of COVID-19 across the New England.
Since Saturday, any patient at inpatient and community health facilities is allowed one visitor at a time.
After relaxing visitor restrictions to all Hunter New England Health (HNEH) facilities, a "difficult but necessary decision" was made to reintroduce a limit of one visitor at a time per patient.
A spokesperson for HNEH said the tightening of visitor rules was due to an increase in cases of community transmitted COVID-19 across the state in recent weeks.
"We know this may be challenging for our patients and their loved ones, however the safety of patients and staff is paramount and we are committed to taking the appropriate steps to protect them," the spokesperson confirmed.
Patients attending outpatient clinics can have one support person attend with them, only if required.
"Our aged care residents may also have one visitor, however, there are specific guidelines for these more vulnerable groups. All visitors to these facilities must also be vaccinated against influenza," the spokesperson confirmed.
Visitors will continue to undergo a screening process, including routine temperature checking.
"In line with this advice, all visitors to our hospitals and community health facilities must also wear a mask," the HNEH spokesperson said.
Those who are unwell with cold or flu-like symptoms, or who have been tested for COVID-19 and are awaiting results, should reschedule visits where possible, the health service said.
"We ask that all visitors continue to adhere to hand-hygiene and infection control instructions from our staff, and maintain social distancing rules within all of our health facilities," the spokesperson said.
All staff and visitors at NSW Health facilities are also required to wear face masks.
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