Mater COVID-19 update

Mater has precautions in place to keep our women, newborns and staff safe as coronavirus (COVID-19) evolves.

Last updated: Monday 11 January 2021 at 5.35 pm.
 

Mater's COVID-19 Testing Clinic

The testing clinic at 600 Stanley Street, South Brisbane is now open for community testing from 8 am through to 4 pm each day, with the exception of weekends and public holidays. On these days, any patients presenting for a test may find another option through their nearest clinic via the Queensland Health website.

For more information on testing please see our Patients, families and general community updates page, or view the full list of your nearest COVID-19 testing clinics here.
 

Changes to visitor restrictions (8 January 2021)

To help mitigate the risks of spreading COVID-19 across the Great Brisbane region, Queensland’s Chief Health Officer has advised that visitors will not be allowed in aged care, hospitals, disability accommodation and prisons/youth detention centres as of 6 pm this evening the 8th of January 2021.

In line with this guidance, visitors (including children) are no longer permitted across Mater’s South-East Queensland hospitals, with the exception of:

  • One visitor or support person permitted for patients under the aged of 18.
  • One visitor or support person permitted for patients with a disability.
  • One visitor or support person permitted for patients at end-of-life or in palliative care.
  • Two visitors or support persons permitted for patients in labour/birth suites.

These restrictions are in place for the following hospitals: Mater Hospital Brisbane, Mater Private Hospital Brisbane, Mater Children’s Private Brisbane, Mater Mothers’ Hospital, Mater Mothers’ Private Brisbane, Mater Private Hospital Springfield, Mater Private Hospital Redland and Mater Mothers’ Private Redland.

Please visit the individual facility pages for information on all other Mater hospitals across Queensland.
 

Visitor entry to the Neonatal Critical Care Unit

For families with babies in our Neonatal Critical Care Unit, visitors will be restricted to the baby's two (2) parents only. Children are not permitted to visit the Neonatal Critical Care Unit during this time.
 

Mask wearing at Mater (11 January 2021)

Queensland Health has announced the reintroduction of mask wearing at South-East Queensland hospitals to help keep our most vulnerable safe against the spread of COVID-19.

In line with this advice, Mater will implement the wearing of surgical masks for all healthcare workers, visitors and patients in our SEQ hospitals effective immediately.

Surgical masks will be made available to all patients and visitors on entry to the hospitals and our Mater staff are able to assist with safely putting on masks and any concerns you may have.

The following recommendations are to be followed when wearing a surgical mask: 

  • Masks should be changed when they become damaged, soiled or wet. 
  • Masks should never be reapplied after they have been removed.
  • Masks should not be left dangling around the neck. 
  • Avoid touching/adjusting the front of the mask while wearing it. 
  • Hand hygiene should be performed upon touching or discarding a used mask.
  • Masks need to be removed for eating and drinking and this is permitted, necessary and safe. It is important to limit the duration that the mask is removed to help minimise any potential risk of exposure.

Mater COVID-19 update
 

Frequently asked questions:

Can I call Mater Mothers' Pregnancy Assessment Centre?

If you live in South East Queensland and are experiencing early pregnancy bleeding or pain, or urgent pregnancy related issues please present to our Pregnancy Assessment Centre at Mater's South Brisbane campus 24 hours a day 7 days a week, or call 13HEALTH, your obstetrician or your GP for advice.

If you live in Central or North Queensland and are experiencing early pregnancy bleeding or pain, or urgent pregnancy related issues please present to your nearest emergency department, or call your obstetrician for advice.

Will Mater go into lock down? If so where will I have my baby?

Mater Mothers' Hospitals provide an essential service and will remain open for business as usual. We have added precautions in all of our hospitals across the state to keep our women, newborns and staff safe as coronavirus (COVID-19) evolves. 

Will I have to share a room?

Mater Mothers' Hospitals have single rooms for private patients, and shared rooms for public patients. Should a single room be required for COVID-19  specific safety precautions, our staff will advise you.

What happens if a family member shows symptoms, is sick or in isolation? Can they still be my birth partner/visit?

If a family member shows symptoms or is unwell, they will not be allowed to visit you in hospital or be your birth partner during labour.

If I have symptoms will my booked procedure go ahead?

Depending on the severity of your symptoms you will be assessed by the medical team and a plan of care made from there.

Can I discharge home early?

Yes, if you and your baby are well and your healthcare team are happy for discharge. 

If you are an eligible Mater Mothers’ Private Brisbane patient, you may also consider one of our Caring Continues options.

Will I still get a home visit from the midwife?

Mater understands that being home with a new baby can be overwhelming at the best of times. Therefore every effort will be made to ensure you receive a home visit from a midwife. If you are in isolation, this may be a telehealth visit instead.

Are there still classes available?

Yes, our Parent Education classes are being facilitated by experienced Mater Mothers’ midwives. Find out more about our classes, and book today

Is my baby safe? Are the staff clear and healthy? Are they looking after more women than me?

Mater Mothers' Hospitals have every precaution in place to ensure preparedness. Our maternity hospitals across the state remain fully functional, with services operating as per normal. All Mater Mothers’ staff are trained professionals and work together to help protect and keep safe our patients, staff and visitors.

What can I do to protect my baby?

Follow any advice that comes from Queensland Health and particularly follow Social Distancing and hand hygiene guidelines.

What happens if I go into labour during my self-isolation period?

Your maternity team know how to ensure you and your baby receive safe, quality care, respecting your birth plan as closely as possible.

  • You are advised to attend hospital via private transport where possible, or call 13HEALTH for advice as appropriate.
  • When you arrive at Mater we will undertake a health screen. If you have suspected or confirmed COVID-19, you will be provided with a surgical face mask, that needs to stay on until advised otherwise.
  • COVID-19  testing will be arranged.

Will I be able to stay with my baby/provide skin-to-skin if I have suspected or confirmed COVID-19?

Each case will be reviewed with your medical team to plan your care.

A discussion about the risks and benefits should take place between you and your family and the doctors caring for your baby to individualise your care.

This guidance may change as knowledge evolves.

I’m stressed having trouble breastfeeding—where can I go for support?

Mater Mothers’ Parenting Support Centre offers early parenting support and guidance for Mater mums up to six months after the birth of your baby. Support can be provided to help address issues including:

  • breastfeeding and feeding
  • sleep and settling
  • emotional wellbeing
  • infant interactions
  • adjusting to your new role as a parent/caregiver.

We’re also offering breastfeeding support with our experienced Lactation Consultants via telehealth, Monday to Friday. Please call our team friendly team to find out more on 07 3163 2229.

What is NCCU doing to protect babies from getting COVID-19?

Any Mater staff member with any illness must stay at home and not come into work—this is particularly important in NCCU as any infection can be dangerous for our seriously ill and premature babies.

Infection control and hygiene practices are taken very seriously at Mater Mothers' Hospitals and particularly in NCCU. 

Would it be safer to just stop visiting my baby in NCCU altogether?

If you practice the measures above you are safe to visit your baby.  It is important for you and your baby to have time together and you baby needs to experience your touch, smell and/or voice. It is beneficial to both the mother's and baby's health to have skin-to-skin time.

I'm a publicly-funded patient, will I continue to have my pregnancy check-ups at the hospital?

Where possible, women who have low risk pregnancies will have either GP Shared Care or midwifery care at Mater Mother's Hospital in South Brisbane. Either way you will receive your regular checks by telehealth where a midwife or GP will contact you and ask you to take your blood pressure on a machine that you have sourced yourself (if possible).  If this is not possible, Mater has a limited supply of blood pressure machines for loan. The GP or midwife will talk to you about your baby’s growth and movements and make an assessment of your pregnancy progress.

There will be one visit to Mater at 34-37 weeks gestation, where you will be able to have an ultrasound scan to check that your baby is growing well. You will also be able to see a midwife at this time for a blood pressure check and general assessment.

Please be assured, if your pregnancy has been identified as high risk, you will still be seen face-to-face at Mater Mothers.

Will Mater Mothers' Hospitals move to having no support person in hospital?

We understand this can be an uncertain and worrying time to be pregnant and bringing a baby into the world. Mater is doing everything we can to keep you, your baby and our staff safe. We recommend speaking with your obstetrician or midwife to help answer any questions you may have.

Should I consider changing to a home birth?

As COVID-19 continues to evolve we are committed to providing compassionate care within the current guidelines. We have taken appropriate measures to ensure the safety of our mothers, babies, staff and the community. In line with Queensland Health recommendations, all women who are booked to give birth at Mater Mothers' Hospitals should continue to do so.

If you have any questions, please speak with your obstetrician or midwife. 

As a publicly-funded patient, would I potentially be sharing a birth suite/room with a COVID-19 infected patient?

All women giving birth at Mater Mothers' Hospitals are cared for in a single birth suite room.  As a publicly-funded patient you may be admitted to a shared inpatient room following the birth of your baby. However, COVID-19 positive mothers will be isolated in a single room in a separate ward dedicated to caring for women with COVID-19.

Are water births still available?

Yes, waterbirths are still available at Mater Mothers' Hospitals in South East Queensland for women who are well. If you are COVID-19 positive, based on expert advice, the option of water birth is not available.  

Is a patient coming to Mater Mothers' Hospitals at risk of contracting COVID-19? Do you have masks to protect patients?

It is safe to attend Queensland hospitals whether it’s through emergency or for an appointment. 

South-East Queensland hospitals

From 8 January 2021, Queensland Health has announced the reintroduction of mask wearing at South-East Queensland hospitals to help keep our most vulnerable safe against the spread of COVID-19.

In line with this advice, Mater will implement the wearing of surgical masks for all healthcare workers, visitors and patients in our SEQ hospitals effective immediately.

Surgical masks will be made available to all patients and visitors on entry to the hospitals and our Mater staff are able to assist with safely putting on masks and any concerns you may have.

Central and North Queensland hospitals

From 25 September 2020, in line with updated guidelines from Queensland Health, surgical face masks will no longer be required to be worn by all patients, visitors and staff whilst within any of our hospital facilities, effective immediately. Please be advised that should you wish to wear a mask whilst within our hospitals, they will be provided with one upon entry.

With these eased safety restrictions, it is important that all visitors practice thorough hand hygiene, maintain social distancing where possible and continue our general clinical safety practises to keep everyone safe.

Can I come to Pregnancy Assessment Centre if I am unwell or should I attend an Emergency Department? Even postnatally?

If you are unwell with symptoms of COVID-19 and have no complications of pregnancy, you should attend your nearest Emergency Department or your GP for screening.

However, if you live in South East Queensland and are having pregnancy symptoms/complications, please present to our Pregnancy Assessment Centre at Mater's South Brisbane campus 24 hours a day 7 days a week, or call 13HEALTH, your obstetrician or your GP for advice. Please inform staff immediately on arrival.

My support person is awaiting results from a COVID-19 test. Can they still come?

To keep our mums, babies and staff safe, we do screen all support persons at reception. If your support person is still awaiting the results of their COVID-19 test, they will not be allowed to enter the hospital and should remain at home until the results of their tests are known.

 

I would like to know more about COVID-19

Stay informed and read the latest announcements about COVID-19 from Queeensland Health, including up-to-date health advice.

Thank you for your patience and understanding during this time.

If your health deteriorates or you have any further questions regarding your condition, please contact your midwife or obstetrician.

 

When will I need to wear a mask?

South-East Queensland hospitals

From 8 January 2021, Queensland Health has announced the reintroduction of mask wearing at South-East Queensland hospitals to help keep our most vulnerable safe against the spread of COVID-19.

In line with this advice, Mater will implement the wearing of surgical masks for all healthcare workers, visitors and patients in our SEQ hospitals effective immediately.

Surgical masks will be made available to all patients and visitors on entry to the hospitals and our Mater staff are able to assist with safely putting on masks and any concerns you may have.

Central and North Queensland hospitals

From 25 September 2020, in line with updated guidelines from Queensland Health, surgical face masks will no longer be required to be worn by all patients, visitors and staff whilst within any of our hospital facilities, effective immediately. Please be advised that should you wish to wear a mask whilst within our hospitals, they will be provided with one upon entry.

With these eased safety restrictions, it is important that all visitors practice thorough hand hygiene, maintain social distancing where possible and continue our general clinical safety practises to keep everyone safe.

 

More information

Mater continues to work as part of the broader health network in support of Public Health efforts to test, contain and manage COVID-19. For the latest information on protecting your family please read Mater's COVID-19 updates here.

As is usual practice, if you feel unwell, please avoid visiting family or friends in hospital and seek medical attention for any symptoms.

Anyone with concerns, please call 13 HEALTH or find up-to-date information on the Queensland Health website.

If you live in South East Queensland and are experiencing early pregnancy bleeding or pain, or urgent pregnancy related issues, please present to the Pregnancy Assessment Centre at Mater's South Brisbane campus 24 hours a day 7 days a week or call 13HEALTH. 

Looking for translated information about COVID-19? You can visit Health Translations, supported by the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services. They offer a range of patient information in multiple languages. 

 

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For urgent assessment at any stage of your pregnancy, please present to your nearest emergency centre or Mater Mothers’ 24/7 Pregnancy Assessment Centre in South Brisbane.

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