Northern Sydney Local Health District is asking patients and their families to limit visitors to one per patient in response to COVID-19.

The requirement has been introduced in the interests of safety and wellbeing of patients, their families and staff.

Northern Sydney Local Health District Chief Executive Deb Willcox said she hoped the community would understand and assist with the measures in an effort to reduce the possibility of transmission of COVID-19.

"We know how important visitors are for the wellbeing of our patients, however, to ensure the safety of our patients and staff, we need to limit the number of visitors coming to our hospitals and services," she said.

"We understand this will be difficult for some families and patients, but this decision is based on clinical advice from our infectious disease experts to reduce the possible spread of the virus."

Each patient will need to nominate one person, such as their next of kin, who will be able to visit them during their stay, with other family and friends encouraged to use technology to check in with their loved ones.

"Facetime, Skype, instant messaging – all of these are great ways to keep in touch with your loved one while they are in hospital," Ms Willcox said.

"Our hospitals have WiFi available and we encourage people to take advantage of this to keep in touch without physically coming to the ward."

There will be exceptions for patients with children, children who are patients or those who are very unwell and receiving palliative care.

Northern Sydney Local Health District has also temporarily suspended the attendance of volunteers and consumer representatives on its sites.

"It's unfortunate as our volunteers work incredibly hard and enjoy their role, but in the interests of their safety and the safety of our patients and community, we have suspended volunteer services for the time being," Ms Willcox said.

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