In this section
The Royal Children’s Hospital (RCH) knows it’s important to keep everyone in our diverse community informed about COVID-19, so we’ve made key information, including our COVID-19 videos, written resources and visitor guidelines available in a number of community languages.
As part of the RCH's response to the COVID-19 pandemic, additional visitor restrictions have been put in place to ensure the continued safety of our patients, families and staff. These restrictions are in addition to those mandated by the Department of Health (DH) and take into account the specific care needs and vulnerabilities of our patients.
The safety and health of our patients, families, community and staff are our highest priority. Due to the recent lockdown, Metro Melbourne was moved to a COVID Active risk rating by the Victorian Government resulting in visitor restrictions being implemented at hospitals.
The RCH has updated its visitor restrictions following the announcement by the Victorian Government on 15 July regarding the lockdown.
Up to two care and support visits are allowed each day, for under two hours with no more than two visitors allowed at one time (two visitors may arrive to the hospital together).
There are some visitors who are exempt from the two-hour restriction. At any one time, no more than two visitors can be present with a patient. For example, if a parent or guardian of a child (exempted person) is already in the room, only one care and support visitor can be let in. This includes patients who are receiving palliative care.
All of these numbers are for guidance, in all circumstances if you have extenuating reasons for changes please speak to your treating team.
In order to maintain a COVID-safe environment and adhere to physical distancing requirements, visitors may be asked to leave a patient room or treatment area at the request of RCH staff. We will endeavour to minimise any disruptions as best we can.
These principles are in line with DH recommendations, allow us to remain safe at work and also ensure we can deliver the best care possible for our patients. This advice is subject to change at short notice if this situation changes.
Directions under the Public Health Act prohibit anyone entering any hospital in Victoria if you:
Only in exceptional circumstances can a hospital allow a person to visit a hospital if they are a known contact of a confirmed case of coronavirus (COVID-19), or a returned overseas traveller in mandatory quarantine, or have been diagnosed with coronavirus (COVID-19). Exceptions can only be authorised by senior hospital staff and, in some instances, must also be approved by the Chief Health Officer / Deputy Chief Health Officer due to the risks involved. Strict conditions may apply to these visits. Please discuss this with hospital staff.
Visitors to any hospital across Victoria must wear a fitted face mask that covers the mouth and nose.
Travelling to and from your child’s appointment via public transport may be a source of anxiety for you and your family.
It’s important to remember using public transport is safe and there are measures in place to protect the health of the community including wearing masks and practising good hand hygiene.
Public Transport Victoria is also disinfecting and sanitising all services, stops and stations on its network every day. It’s staff are doing more cleaning, more often.
For further information about how you can help reduce the spread of COVID-19 and stay safe on public transport please visit the
Public Transport Victoria website.
All parents or guardians attending the RCH will be asked to confirm their name, contact number, purpose of their visit, and which area of the hospital they are attending. They will also need to answer a series of health questions and have their temperature taken. Parents or guardians who are staying overnight in an inpatient room will be required to have this undertaken every day by attending the screening point on Main Street. A dated sticker or coloured RCH wristband will be provided at the screening point and must be visible at all times, if it is not visible you may be asked to show your sticker or wristband or leave the site.
All approved visitors must wear an RCH-provided mask at all times while onsite, except when in an inpatient room. You will be required to swap your own face mask with an RCH-provided surgical mask once you pass screening.
The removal of masks in patient rooms does not apply when you are in a shared or double room, or in a room on our Rosella or Butterfly wards. We always endeavour to provide single rooms for our patients and families, however there are some occasions when due to clinical requirements or operational demand, double rooms may need to be used.
This requirement has been introduced as an additional measure to help keep our patients, families and staff safe. Visitors will not be able to attend the hospital if they do not wear a mask.
Face masks will be provided at our visitor assessment checkpoints, after visitors have passed their screening questions and temperature check.
Visitors must dispose of their mask at home, or in one of the waste bins located in the hospital.
Regular restrictions for overnight and with visiting times still apply (please discuss with the clinical department).
Visitor restrictions will be monitored at the entry to the hospital (Main Street Reception) and at entrances to clinical areas and may change at any time depending on the situation on the ward at the time. Security and other RCH staff will monitor visitor access throughout other areas of the hospital. We would ask that where possible in order to protect your child that you refrain from taking them to areas outside of the screening footprint to minimise their risk of contact with individuals who may not have been screened; this includes your own additional visitors.
We know these restrictions may be challenging and we understand each family’s situation is different. We encourage you to speak to your child’s treating team and/or nurse in-charge if you have any concerns. The teams cannot change the restrictions but can help direct you to senior advisors.
While you are at the RCH, we remind you to please follow our strict infection control procedures:
We thank you for your cooperation and support as we all work together to protect our patients and staff throughout this pandemic.
To keep up-to-date with the right information about COVID-19, we encourage the community to regularly visit the Victorian DH website
Anyone with symptoms of COVID-19 should be tested.
RCH Respiratory Infection Clinic is open daily from 8:30am-4:30pm (including Public Holidays) and is accessible via the Emergency Department only. Last entry for testing at this site will be 15 minutes before closing time. The clinic may be subject to earlier closing times due to high testing demand.
our child will be tested for COVID-19 if they meet the Department of Health and Human Services criteria for testing.
To find your nearest testing location and for more information about getting tested for COVID-19, please
visit the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services website.
All visitors will be screened prior to entry at the RCH. Visitors will be asked a series of health questions, and receive a temperature check.
Parents or guardians can enter through the Yellow Lifts or main entrance doors on Flemington Road to access the visitor assessment checkpoint.
To help keep our patients and staff safe, and ultimately help reduce the spread of COVID-19 through social distancing, the RCH is currently limiting the number of people visiting the hospital each day.
This includes providing the opportunity for patients and families to access Specialist Clinic appointments from their own home through
telehealth, or video call. Telehealth is an important way we are providing continuity of care for our patients while significantly reducing the number of people attending the hospital each day.
RCH clinicians are actively reviewing their upcoming clinic lists and assessing if their patients need to be seen face-to-face, or if they are suitable for a telehealth appointment or phone review.
The Specialist Clinics team will contact patients and families before their next appointment to advise if it is being moved to telehealth or phone review.
Telehealth is a way for families to access their appointments without having to attend the RCH in person. Similar to videoconferencing, patients are able to interact with their healthcare provider in the safety of their homes, just by using their laptop, smartphone or tablet device.
You will need:
Once you are ready to start your telehealth video call, follow these steps:
There is also a Test Video Call button on the
RCH Telehealth website so families can check that their equipment is working.
For help accessing telehealth, please contact:
Phone: 9345 4645
Monday to Friday (business hours)
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses which may cause illness in animals or humans. COVID-19 is a new virus that can cause an infection in people, including a severe respiratory illness. The most recently discovered coronavirus causes coronavirus disease COVID-19.
COVID-19 spreads through close contact with an infected person; mostly face-to-face or within a household. It cannot jump across a room or be carried for long distances in the air.
Many people who contract COVID-19 will suffer only mild symptoms. However early indications are that the elderly and people with pre-existing medical conditions are more at risk of experiencing severe symptoms.
The most common coronavirus symptoms reported include:
If you’re concerned your child might be experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, please visit
https://www.health.gov.au/ or call the dedicated hotline on 1800 675 398 for advice.
Children experiencing respiratory symptoms can visit their family doctor, or consider visiting their closest hospital Emergency Department for emergency care. If you require advice after hours, you can also contact the after hours GP helpline on 1800 022 222 or dial 000 in an emergency.
Anyone with symptoms of COVID-19 should be tested. A list of testing locations is available on the Victorian
Department of Health and Human Services website. Please visit this website to find your nearest testing location and for more information including opening hours.
The RCH Respiratory Infection Clinic is open daily from 8.30am to 4.15pm. To access COVID-19 testing, please enter the hospital carpark via entry 4 and follow the signage to lower ground carpark.
Your child will only be tested for COVID-19 if they meet the Department of Health and Human Services criteria for testing.
To keep up-to-date with the right information about COVID-19, we encourage the community to regularly visit the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services
If you need an interpreter, please call TIS National on 131 450.
Yes, there are a range of translated fact sheets available for people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds available on the
Victorian Department of Health website.
North Western Melbourne Primary Health Network has also recently uploaded videos about COVID-19 vaccines in languages other than English.
If your child is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and you’re planning to visit us for testing, please be aware there may be a wait time. Please be patient and respectful of our staff. They are working very hard to ensure every child is seen and tested as soon as possible.
Are you worried a COVID-19 test may be painful or stressful for your child? Seventy-four per cent of Australian parents hold this concern.
Watch our video below with Dr Laila Ibrahim to hear what we found and also tips to keeping children calm during a test.
View more information about the poll
Is your child wondering why everyone is wearing a mask?
We know that explaining the importance of masks to your child may be challenging, so we sat down with Jazz and Nurse Kareena to talk through it.
Having a COVID-19 swab test can be a bit scary for children and you might be wondering how to explain it to them.
Isla visited our Respiratory Infection Clinic last week for a COVID-19 test after she was showing symptoms which meet the criteria for testing.
The grade two student took us with her while she had her swab and told us what it felt like from a child’s perspective.
Thankfully for Isla, her test came back negative.
For more information about COVID-19 please visit:
While we are all encouraged to stay at home throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s important that families still continue to access health care, when it is needed.
Parents and families should feel safe and comfortable accessing care at their local health provider, and should never delay visiting these services in times of concern.
Watch our video above to hear Dr Sarah McNab talk about the signs and symptoms to look for in your child, and when to visit your GP or nearby Emergency Department.
To check the status of the RCH Emergency Department, please visit our ED tracker here:
Watch this video to be taken through how to best prepare for your Telehealth appointment with this quick step guide.
There is a lot of information around at the moment about COVID-19 and you might be feeling overwhelmed and unsure about what you should do. One of the best things we can all do every day to stop the spread of viruses like COVID-19 is practice excellent hand hygiene, and cough and sneeze etiquette. Watch our video with RCH Infectious Diseases Physician Dr Andrew Daley for some more tips for keeping well.
Talking to your child about COVID-19 can be challenging, and we know some parents might be unsure about how to answer their questions.
Dr Margie is back to provide you with some tools on how to have the conversation and how you can support your child through this pandemic.
For more information please see:
To keep up-to-date with the right information on COVID-19 please visit
https://www.health.gov.au/ and if you are worried your child may have COVID-19 please call the hotline on 1800 675 398.
Are you unsure about how to explain COVID-19 to our child or answer questions about why they can't see their friends or grandparents?
Jazz from RCH TV gave Dr Mike Starr, a paediatrician at the RCH, a call to find out some answers to questions your children might have.
Have you seen people in hospital and paramedics wearing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)? It can look strange! Jazz tracks down Nurse Kareena to learn why it's important.