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
Lockdown - extended precautions
Our facilities currently remain available to provide hospitalisation to those who require the services outside of COVID-related care. This is NOT a business-as-usual approach though and we will continuously review this position in conjunction with our doctors.
If surgery or a procedure has been planned, please discuss the surgery 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 dependant on the capacity of the hospital, changes in risk, and any relevant government regulations.
All in-hospital coffee shops closed
The lockdown impacts non-essential services and as a result, all in-hospital coffee and curio shops will be closed from midnight on Thursday, 26 March until further notice.
Visiting hours, and the number of visitors, have already been restricted to reduce the number of people accessing Life Healthcare facilities. The level of these restrictions will be further increased with effect from Friday, 27 March as follows:
All visiting hours for general wards, ICU and High Care units are suspended.
- Nursery & NICU: One parent at a time will be allowed to visit new-borns. The parent will be subject to strict screening criteria prior to hospital admission.
- Paediatric Wards: Only one parent at a time will be permitted to sleep-in with an admitted paediatric patient. The parent will be subject to strict screening criteria prior to hospital admission.
- Critically ill patients: We are liaising with the Department of Health for purposes of applying consistent practices across the entire hospital sector. Once those practices are agreed, we will be in a position to facilitate hospital visits accordingly to critically ill patients in high care and ICU.
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, staff, doctors, and visitors to our hospitals is reduced through general COVID-19 screening before entering our facilities. This includes hand sanitising, a brief verbal travel history and wellness/health check 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 very 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.
- Visiting restrictions.
- 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 screening staff to answer specific questions and practice hand sanitisation before entering the hospital.
- To make use of the hand rub / hand spray available at the hospital when entering and leaving the hospital.
- Reduced visiting hours and visitation restrictions. These may change at short notice – please make sure of the times 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.
- 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 and not spread 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.