New restrictions for visitors to Western Care Lodge have been introduced due to the re-opening of NSW increasing the coronavirus risk to immune compromised guests.
Cancer Care Western NSW chairman John Carpenter said to protect the guests, visitors are discouraged and must be double vaccinated, and guests are urged to limit time spent in the community, including if they go home on weekends.
"Most of our guests are immune compromised because they've been ill because they've got cancer and they're ill because they are receiving cancer treatment," he said.
"That makes their immune system susceptible to COVID, [so] we've been very careful since February last year to introduce measures to protect our guests.
"With the advent of the Delta variant that's become more urgent and we have introduced restrictions for double vaccinated people, they are the only people who can come into the lodge."
However, he said they cannot insist on that for patients.
"They may have medical reasons why they are not double vaccinated and secondly for those that aren't, by denying them accommodation it may mean they cannot take their treatment," he said.
"Now of course because the lockdowns have come off the risk to all of us is much greater.
"In fact the risk to our guests now is more than it was during lockdown and probably more than it was in February last year so we have to be very vigilant."
Mr Carpenter said there was a program in place at the lodge for the past two months during the lockdown but that had to be revised in the past week.
"Now with lockdowns removed we are not being as protected from community infection as we were a week ago so in fact we've had to revise that yet again," he said.
"We try to encourage our guests to stay here for the whole period of their treatment so as to avoid exposure to the community but again that's their personal decision.
"We've been very lucky, we haven't had a single dose of COVID through the lodge."
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