The COVID-19 Surge Centre is a temporary facility located on Garran Oval. The Surge Centre is one part of the ACT’s COVID-19 Response Plan, helping to boost our capacity and enhance our ability to respond to the pandemic.
The facility will ensure our health system is well prepared and resourced should we see an increase of cases of COVID-19 in our community.
The COVID-19 Surge Centre will only become operational if the ACT sees a surge in COVID-19 infections. The facility may also be used for training or simulation exercises to ensure that staff are well-prepared in the event of a surge in infections.
The facility will be removed and the Garran Oval remediated once the public health emergency has passed.
- Why do we need this facility when case numbers are so low?
As part of our response to COVID-19, we have prepared for a surge in cases. The Centre will be used if there is an increase of cases in the ACT and additional capacity across the ACT hospital system is needed.
The Centre was completed in May 2020 and is on standby to be activated at any time should additional capacity be required. It will be activated in a staged approach, with capacity to flex up and down as demand requires.
The COVID-19 Surge Centre will only become operational if the ACT sees a surge in COVID-19 infections.
- Where exactly is the COVID-19 Surge Centre located?
The temporary COVID-19 Surge Centre is located on Garran Oval to facilitate connections with existing facilities at Canberra Hospital.
The facility will be removed, and Garran Oval remediated once the COVID-19 public health threat has passed.
- I live, work or have children attending a school near the facility. Are we safe?
The COVID-19 Surge Centre has been designed to the highest standards of infection safety for staff, patients and the community. We have partnered with Aspen Medical who are leaders in the provision of emergency response medical facilities and we have sought world leading advice from the World Health Organization (WHO) in the design of the facility.
To provide additional assurance we have appointed engineering consultants AECOM to independently review the design and engineering systems to provide us the assurance that the facility is best practice in health care and infection prevention and control.
The facility has a sophisticated heating and cooling system that filters the air before it leaves the building. A fence will remain around the facility to provide patient and staff privacy.
- How big is the facility? How many people does it accommodate?
The main facility is approximately 1700 square metres in size.
The 51 bed facility will be activated in a staged approach, with capacity to flex up and down as demand requires. At full capacity it will have six resuscitation bays, 32 acute non-admitted treatment bays, 12 short stay overnight beds and one palliative care bed.
- Will parking be available?
Separate areas will be provided for staff and visitor parking, with designated areas available for ambulance drop-off and freight deliveries.
While the facility is not in use, the car parking areas will be retained for its current staff and community use. If the facility is to become operational, the carparking surrounding the Garran Oval will be used for staff and provision of services to the Centre. If this happens, Canberra Health Services and National Capital Private Hospital workers, and the community will be advised ahead of time.
- How long will the COVID-19 Surge Centre remain on site?
The COVID-19 Surge Centre is a temporary facility. The facility will be removed, and Garran Oval remediated once the COVID-19 public health threat has passed.
- Will visitors be allowed to enter the facility to see inpatients?
No. As this is a COVID-19 treatment facility, there will be no visitors allowed, except under exceptional circumstances such as palliative care. Such visits would be carefully managed.
- Who will use the facility?
The facility is primarily for patients who are either confirmed or suspected of having COVID-19.
- How will this facility be staffed?
Aspen Medical has been contracted to provide the medical, nursing and clinical administration workforce for the COVID-19 Surge Centre
- How will you manage traffic and parking?
Should the facility become operational, we anticipate there may be increases to traffic around the hospital. This will be minimised through offering additional car parking spaces and strict traffic management protocols.