COVID-19 Update for patients

On 28 July, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews announced that all non-urgent elective surgery across public and private hospitals in metropolitan Melbourne would be paused to create hospital space for patients with COVID-19. 
 
As of 28 July, this announcement does not affect people going through IVF treatment. The government's press release says: "IVF treatments such as egg retrievals will be able to continue given the time critical nature of these procedures and minimal impact on hospital capacity".
 
You can read the Victorian Government's press release here
 
If you are receiving fertility treatment in Victoria and you require surgery, such as an egg pick up procedure, there are some other important changes to be aware of.
 

From July 15 2020, Victorian health authorities recommend that if you live in, or work in a Stage 3 restriction zone or other known COVID-19 hotspot, you should get tested for COVID-19 before surgery. You will also be asked to self-isolate until you go to hospital for surgery. This is to keep you safe. 

Self-isolating means having no visitors at your home other than household members, until you go for your surgery or procedure. This will reduce your risk of getting COVID-19 after testing.  

If you develop any symptoms of COVID-19 after you have been tested and before your day of surgery, seek advice from your doctor or clinic and get tested. Symptoms to watch out for are: fever, chills or sweats, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, runny nose, loss of smell or taste. 

If you come into contact with a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19, call your doctor to discuss it. Do not go to the hospital or any other health service until you have phoned them first for advice. 

It’s important for your safety that the hospital knows whether you have become infected with COVID-19 before surgery even if at the time of surgery, you have no symptoms. 

For more information, speak to your treating doctor or clinic, or call the coronavirus hotline: 1800 675 398.  

You can read Victorian updates here

The Commonwealth Government’s advice about COVID-19 can be found here

If you want to stay up to date with what is known about COVID-19 and pregnancy and birth, you can follow the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists’ advice here.     

You can also find updates from the Fertility Society of Australia here. The FSA is the peak body representing scientists, doctors, researchers, nurses, consumers and counsellors in reproductive medicine in Australia and New Zealand.  

The International Federation of Fertility Societies has set up the IFFS COVID-19 Global Resource Center to provide global updates here. On July 13 2020, the IFFS, European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology and American Society for Reproductive Medicine released a joint statement about assisted reproduction and COVID-19 which can be read here.  

The World Health Organisation's advice regarding pregnancy, child birth and COVID-19 has resources in languages other than English here.