Coronavirus: Our protective measures

Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) and COVID-19

Measures to protect our patients and staff

Ensuring the highest possible level of safety for our patients and staff is a prime concern in our hospital. For this reason the following safety measures are still in place as a precaution:

Pregnancy and childbirth

The obstetrics department at Goldenes Kreuz is fully operational despite COVID-19, i.e. natural deliveries and Cesarean sections continue to take place every day.

Pregnant women coming to the hospital for prenatal care or childbirth must all pass through a checkpoint before admission, and will be screened for possible symptoms of COVID-19 (sudden onset of any of the following: coughing, fever, shortness of breath, without a plausible explanation). If you notice any such symptoms yourself, please contact us before you come to the hospital.

If it is too late for the woman to be transferred (e.g. heavy vaginal bleeding in the 36th week of week of pregnancy or later, or regular contractions close to the delivery date, with birth imminent) then admission and childbirth will proceed under strict compliance with all the relevant established safety measures. In particular, a swab will be taken immediately for rapid SARS-CoV-2 testing. (Results should be available within a few hours.) In such cases, a pediatrician will always be in attendance for the birth, and will discuss with the mother what happens next.

Checkpoints

Entrance to the hospital is only possible via designated checkpoints, without exception. Hand sanitization is required and will be supervised by trained members of staff. Anyone wishing to enter the hospital, and who is not excluded from doing so by our access restrictions, will be assessed using a screening questionnaire.

Face masks are mandatory

Both patients and visitors must bring their own FFP2 mask without exhalation valve to cover their mouth and nose and wear it in all areas of the hospital.

Coronavirus testing before inpatient stays

Patients who are scheduled for an inpatient stay in the hospital will be contacted in advance by phone, as a PCR test (using a nasal/throat swab) will be required before you come into the hospital. If the test is negative, you can be admitted as planned for your inpatient stay. If the test is positive, i.e. there is evidence of the virus, we will contact you to discuss what should happen next.

Fathers who wish to be present for a spontaneous delivery or a planned delivery (Cesarean section) and leave the hospital afterwards must not take a test. Thereafter they are considered as visitors.

Fathers who wish to be present for a delivery and want to check-in with their partner (Superior room) must provide evidence of a negative test, vaccination, or recent recovery from the virus (under the “3-G rule”). (Entrance to the newborn ward is only possible with a negative PCR test, valid for a maximum of 72 hours.) But if they leave the hospital premises, they will then be subject to the standard regulations for all visitors.

Info sheet “What to do after your PCR test” (PDF)

Current visitor regulations

  • Adult patients are allowed 1 visitor per day for a maximum of 1 hour.
  • Children and young people are allowed 2 visitors per day for a maximum of 1 hour.
  • Women who are about to give birth may be accompanied by 1 person (maximum) for delivery.
    After the birth the father or other accompanying adult may remain in the hospital, provided that he/she can show evidence of a negative test, vaccination, or recent recovery from the virus (under the “3-G rule”). (Entrance to the newborn ward is only possible with a negative PCR test, valid for a maximum of 72 hours.) If he/she leaves the hospital premises, the standard visitor regulations then apply:
    If the father or companion does not stay in the hospital, the new mother and the newborn are allowed 1 visitor per day for a maximum of 1 hour.
    TIP for postnatal mothers
  • Patients in a critical condition may be visited by close relatives, by arrangement with the hospital (Tel.: +43 1 40 111-0).

Visiting is permitted only in a private room or the designated visitor areas.

Visitors are required

Please note: We offer antigen rapid tests and PCR tests as a private service for people WITHOUT symptoms. A swab test is possible Monday through Friday from 7:30 to 9:00 a.m. and from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Please call +43 1 40 111-9547 to make an appointment.

Inpatients’ companions

For

  • children and young people under the age of 18,
  • vulnerable patients, and
  • women who are about to give birth,

a patient’s companion may be admitted to the hospital together with the patient.

Patients’ companions must provide evidence of a negative test, vaccination, or recent recovery from the virus (under the “3-G rule”) before they can be admitted.

Please note: Entrance to the newborn ward is only possible with a negative PCR test, valid for a maximum of 72 hours.

Outpatients’ companions

We kindly ask you to come alone to your outpatient appointment.

If you are a companion of a child/young person or a vulnerable adult, you are required

The “3-G rule”: evidence of a negative test, vaccination, or recent recovery from the virus

According to the regulations issued by the Federal Minister of Health the following forms of evidence of minimal epidemiological risk are equally valid, although the period of validity differs.

  • Test result (“getestet”)
    • Negative result from a self-administered antigen test, which has been recorded in an official data processing system, using a sample taken within the previous 24 hours
    • Negative result from an antigen test carried out by an approved provider (e.g. testing center, laboratory, pharmacy), using a sample taken within the previous 48 hours
    • Negative result from a PCR test carried out by an approved provider (e.g. testing center, laboratory, pharmacy), using a sample taken within the previous 72 hours
  • Vaccination (“geimpft”)
    Acceptable proof of vaccination is either the yellow “Impfpass” (vaccination certificate), a vaccine passport or a printout of the details from an e-certificate of vaccination.
    • After a first-dose vaccination: from the 22nd day after vaccination until 3 months after vaccination
    • After a second-dose vaccination: until 9 months after the first-dose vaccination
    • Johnson & Johnson (single-shot) vaccine: from the 22nd day after vaccination until 9 months after vaccination
    • Vaccination after confirmed infection: until 9 months after vaccination
  • Recovery (“genesen”)
    • Medical certification of a past infection with SARS-CoV-2, which was confirmed by a PCR test: until 6 months after infection
    • Certification under the Austrian Epidemic Act (Epidemiegesetz) or a quarantine notification (Absonderungsbescheid) issued to an individual who has had a confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection: until 6 months after infection
    • Evidence of neutralizing antibodies: not more than 3 months old

TIP: For further information see the webpages of the Austrian Federal Ministry of Social Affairs, Health, Care and Consumer Protection.

Staff checks

In accordance with the regulations issued by the Federal Minister of Health, our staff are subject to regular coronavirus testing if they have not been vaccinated or recently recovered from infection with the virus. Employees are also obliged to inform their supervisors immediately if anyone amongst their personal contacts is suspected to be ill, is quarantined or unwell, so that the hospital can take the appropriate measures.

Telemedicine and webinars

Information evenings and presentations on childbirth as well as prenatal courses and rehabilitation exercise classes will be held as webinars (in German). Some services are suspended until further notice.

Information in the hospital and online

Information is provided in the hospital, on our website and via Facebook about the key protective measures and rules for conduct.

What to do if a coronavirus infection is suspected

  • If you have symptoms like fever, cough, a sore throat or shortness of breath

AND if, in the 14 days before these symptoms appeared,

  • you were in close contact with someone who has (or is likely to have) coronavirus
    OR
    you have visited a risk area,

please do NOT go to a hospital or doctor’s office; stay at home.
Call the health advice hotline 1450 to discuss what to do next.

Hotlines and links

1450 – Health advice hotline (only for symptoms such as fever, coughing, sore throat, shortness of breath)

0800 555 621 – Coronavirus Infoline provided by AGES (the Austrian Agency for Health and Food Safety) – for any general questions on coronavirus

Federal Ministry of Health: Coronavirus (German)
   Downloads in English

AGES: Coronavirus

Robert Koch Institute (RKI): Frequently asked questions about the coronavirus
   Information in English

ORF.at: Infopoint Coronavirus
   Information in English

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