South West Healthcare has supported a cautious approach to masks in the latest lifting of COVID-19 restrictions by the state government.
From Saturday, masks will no longer be required in airports, but will still need to be worn in aged-care facilities and hospitals.
South West Healthcare has reported instances where visitors have breached this rule and taken masks off in patient's rooms.
In some of these cases, the visitor has not been aware they had COVID-19 and have spread the virus to the patient.
South West Healthcare chief executive officer Craig Fraser said visitors, as a rule, had been very understanding and compliant of the mask rules, but there had been some breaches.
"We understand that people are human, and most times they remove their mask without thinking - it's not about malice or being rebellious," Mr Fraser said.
"Often a family member will grab a coffee from the café and take it to visit a patient and then remove their mask to drink the coffee with them.
"Unfortunately with the current COVID climate we still can't allow that to happen, and there have been a handful of cases where transmission between the visitor and the patient has unfortunately occurred.
"These visitors obviously feel terrible.
"It also has an impact on our staff and the ward as we have to isolate that person and test everyone.
"It's not a situation we want others to face, and so it really is important to keep your mask on at all times and to help us spread the word about this amongst the community.
"We understand that some people may feel like we're being sticklers for the rules or that we are 'ticking a box' regarding masks, but the risk of transmission is still very real. Our staff are doing everything they can to keep people safe and it's hard for them to constantly have to remind others to help them with that."
The hospital café is operating but its seated area is still not in place, with customers having to take away their purchases.
South West Healthcare staff are finding common ways of COVID-19 transmission between patients and visitors includes removing masks so an elderly family member can hear them speak, removing their masks for photos with new babies and taking masks off in a private room with the door closed.
"We know that visits are incredibly important for our patients, for their recovery and their well-being, and we want people to remain connected to their families and the outside world during their hospital stay with us," Mr Fraser said. "But our primary job is to keep our patients safe and well, and so we please ask the community to help us keep the doors open, by keeping their masks on."
Proof of COVID-19 vaccination is required for visitors, with the unvaccinated required to wear a N95 mask and a face shield.
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