HOW TO CHECK IF YOU NEED TESTING FOR COVID-19
Download the Life Healthcare symptom checker app. The app is a great way to understand COVID-19 infection risk factors and if you may require testing.
In this app you will be able to:
- Maintain a user profile tracking your COVID-19 risk factors and how your risk may change over time.
- Check your loved ones’ symptoms.
- Get information to guide you on what to do based on your symptom checker risk profile.
- Find support and self-care resources when you need them.
Download the app (best viewed on mobile device or Chrome from a desktop):
- If you are an android user – click here to download the app.
- If you are an iOS user – click here for instructions on how to download the app.
Testing decision tree:
You can also click here to follow a decision tree on whether you should be tested.
WHAT LIFE HEALTHCARE HAS PUT IN PLACE
Learn more about our key safety measures:
Precautions in current alert level, your peace of mind. Put your health first.
Our facilities remain available to provide hospitalisation to those who require the services outside of COVID-related care. We continuously review this position in conjunction with our doctor COVID committees and hospital managers.
Patients are advised to put their health first. If admission is needed, please discuss this and its associated risks with your doctor, before your admission date, especially in the current context of the COVID-19 pandemic. Please make an informed admission decision in consultation with your doctor and make sure that you fully appreciate your particular medical condition and COVID-19 infection risks notwithstanding the precautions which your admitting hospital has implemented. The hospital may provide further direction dependent on the capacity of the hospital, changes in risk, and any relevant government regulations.
Until further notice: Pre-admission testing
- Pre-admission testing reverts to RT-PCR within 72 hours prior to admission
- Regardless of vaccination status of patient
- Antigen testing only in emergency unit situations and only from accredited pathology laboratories
VISITING HOURS ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE:
This is at the discretion of each hospital, dependant on the local COVID-19 situation and advice from hospital management and doctor COVID committees. Visitors are advised to contact the hospital or unit to determine the visitation permitted for the specific hospital.
Regrettably, visitation in areas in which confirmed, or suspected, COVID-19 patients are being cared for remains suspended. For critically ill patients in these areas limited visitation with special permission of Hospital Management may be allowed, and in consultation with the treating doctor. Special measures will be required in such situations to protect the health of the visiting family members and hospital employees. Our nurses are sensitive to the strain on family members in such situations and will do their best to accommodate both the needs and the safety of family members. Our nurses will continue to keep family members updated on the condition of the patient and, wherever possible, will facilitate communication with patients through electronic means such as video calls.
NON COVID-19 AREAS
The general criteria for visiting are:
- General wards: One visitor per day for a maximum of 30 minutes.
- Paediatric Wards/ICU: One parent will be permitted to sleep in with an admitted paediatric patient. The other parent will be permitted to visit for 30 minutes per day.
- Nursery and Neonatal ICU: Parents may visit together once a day. The duration of the visit will be at the discretion of the Unit Manager.
- Adult ICUs: One visitor per day for a maximum of 30 minutes.
- Critically ill patients: Family visitation may be allowed subject to special arrangements with the Hospital Manager.
- Confinement – partner support in theatre/labour ward: Click here for more information. Also please liaise with your doctor/the hospital you have booked at for the birth of your baby.
- Life Rehabilitation and Life Mental Health units: Visits under supervision as determined by the Hospital Manager.
At Life Healthcare, the well-being of our patients, staff, doctors, and visitors is of paramount importance. The following measures are in place to make sure that we can provide the necessary support to our communities during this time:
- We have a multi-disciplinary COVID-19 task team in place with representatives from clinical as well as support services tasked with managing our comprehensive measures. It deals with potential and positive cases within our hospitals and supports our employees and communities with the necessary educational information.
- We continue to work closely with the National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD) and have put in place a number of measures to support our current infection prevention and risk protocols for suspected and positive COVID-19 cases.
- All hospital employees, including emergency units, have been briefed and trained according to the NICD and World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines and are prepared to manage suspected and positive cases of the virus.
- As a responsible corporate citizen, we ensure that the risk of infection of all patients, employees, doctors, and visitors to our hospitals is reduced through general COVID-19 screening before entering our facilities. This includes hand sanitising, a wellness/health check and universal masking as a first line of defense.
- We continue to ensure that the communities in which we operate receive the highest standards of quality care and will attempt, under ongoing abnormal and challenging times, to ensure that medical and hospital services continue to be available for those who need them.
- We have also engaged with the Department of Health to offer our support and assistance as we remain committed to working closely with Government to ensure that our country is able to provide the appropriate care for all South Africans at this time, especially those who may be infected with the COVID-19 virus and who require urgent and effective care.
- Practical measures implemented include:
- Setting up screening stations.
- Reducing the number of entrances to minimise general foot traffic within our facilities.
- Review of visitation.
- Screening of all persons arriving at our hospitals including employees and our supporting healthcare professionals – not just visitors.
- Providing educational material to drive correct, credible information into our communities.
We ask that our communities please adhere to the following:
- Follow the necessary requested steps when coming to the hospital if you suspect you might be infected by, or have come in to contact with someone who has tested positive for, COVID-19.
- Requests by our screening teams to answer specific questions and practice hand hygiene before entering the hospital.
- Universal masking.
- To make use of the hand rub / hand spray available at the hospital when entering and leaving the hospital.
- Visitation restrictions. These may change at short notice – please make sure of details before visiting the hospital.
- Do not visit a patient if you are feeling unwell.
- Do not take children to the hospital with you – unless you need to take them for medical treatment.
- Persons over the age of 60 or who are immune compromised (immune system’s inability to fight infections) should avoid visiting patients in the hospital.
- Comply with any other protective measures (such as protective clothing) as may be required in a particular unit and requested by the unit employees.
- Respect other visitors, patients, doctors and employees by observing appropriate social distancing.
- Not visit other areas of the hospital but leave immediately after the visit. (Visitation in the coffee shop is allowed subject to the appropriate restrictions).
- Make sure that they only visit between 10h00 and 19h00; and in accordance with the particular hospital circumstances and guidelines.
- Be patient and take cognisance of these measures as:
- it is our shared challenge as South Africans to do what we can to curb the spread of the virus.
- The measures we have implemented are in line with directives from the World Health Organization and the National Institute for Communicable Diseases and our Government. They have been implemented for the safety of our communities, employees and supporting healthcare practitioners.
- Only share information from credible sources to avoid the spread of fake news or information.
The information is shared on condition that readers will make their own determination, including seeking advice from a healthcare professional. E&OE. Life Healthcare Group Ltd does not accept any responsibility for any loss or damage suffered by the reader as a result of the information provided.