Bendigo Hospital will only allow essential visitors to enter from tomorrow.
Bendigo Health chief executive Peter Faulkner said the visiting restrictions will put the hospital in line with the health services' residential aged care facilities.
"We understand that this won't be a popular decision, but it is an essential decision to make," Mr Faulkner said.
"We are in unprecedented times and as a consequence, we need to take these unprecedented actions."
Visitors will be permitted to hospital wards at the discretion of the nurse unit manager of each unit or ward and restricted to immediate family and one person at a time.
"Visitors will be short for periods and we will enforce the appropriate social distancing and infection control requirements," Mr Faulkner said.
Bendigo Health has yet to return a positive coronavirus test result through its screening clinic, despite a Girton Grammar senior school parent testing positive to coronavirus, as per a school newsletter on Sunday evening.
"The virus is in our community, we have no doubt about that," Mr Faulkner said.
"We just haven't detected it through our clinic."
"At the hospital, there are no positive cases, but that doesn't mean there won't be."
Bendigo Health chairman Bob Cameron said the decision to restrict visitors was hard, but made with the best interests of the community in mind.
"We have to recognise that we have to do what we can to protect people as best as possible," Mr Cameron said.
"We know a lot of people are afraid at the moment, but we want to stress the importance of good social distancing."
Further restrictions are expected to be invoked at Bendigo Health in the coming days, which include ceasing some non-urgent clinical activities.
"We will be progressively reducing and ceasing low priority outpatients, low priority surgery and low priority group activities," Mr Faulkner said.
To lift the spirits of inpatients, Mr Faulkner said technology will be used to connect them to their nearest and dearest.
"One of the things we have done in our residential care services and we will do in the hospital is deploy a number of tablet devices so people can communicate with family," Mr Faulkner said.
Anyone who is unsure whether or not they are permitted to visit the hospital should call 5454 6000.
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