Critically ill infants have been categorised under Tier 1 or Tier 2 close contacts with the hospital isolating the entire unit, also known as the Butterfly ward, on Tuesday.
It is believed two newborns are Tier 1 contacts after an unknowingly COVID-19 positive parent spent a number of hours with a child on Thursday and Friday night.
Around 50 patients and their parents will need to isolate for two weeks and close to 30 will need to quarantine at the hospital. No transmission has been reported at this stage.
A parent – who did not know they had the virus – visited the Royal Children’s Hospital neonatal intensive care unit. Picture: David Crosling
The Herald Sun has reported “a string of parents” tested positive after spending time across a number of hospital wards over the last 14 days. 
Those who have visited the unit are urged to get tested, isolate until a negative result is received and monitor for any symptoms.
The ward has since been deep cleaned.
But the hospital will still allow parents and carers to visit the sick babies due to the medical nature families are facing.
Royal Children’s Hospital Director of Neonatal Medicine Leah Hickey said special arrangements will be made.
“We will ensure your continued safe access to visit your child during this period and this can be discussed with your child’s treating team,” she said.
“Please be assured this isolation period will not compromise your child’s clinical care. We also hope you can find assurance that our staff take their responsibility for keeping patients safe very seriously.”
Currently 675 people in hospital with COVID-19 in Victoria
She understood it was a “distressing situation” for parents but the hospital will “do whatever we can do” to ensure they will be able to have safe contact with their child.
In addition to a COVID-19 rapid antigen test, parents and carers wanting to visit their baby will face additional health screening and entry questionnaires.
Victoria’s case numbers have risen sharply the last seven days with almost 2,000 infections recorded on Saturday.

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