ORANGE

Hospital visiting guidelines updated 20 July 2022: Hospital visitors must wear a surgical/medical paper mask. Fabric face coverings are no longer acceptable. See our COVID-19 pages for detailed information about hospital visiting guidelines, COVID-19 tests and care in the community advice. See www.vaccinatecanterburywestcoast.nz for information about vaccinations.

We are at ORANGE according to the NZ COVID-19 Protection Framework

Last updated:
20 July 2022

Mask exemptions accepted for people seeking treatment
Any member of the public with a mask exemption is welcome in all our facilities when attending to receive health care and *treatment. Please show your mask exemption card and appointment letter to staff at the entrance.

*Treatment includes: coming into the Emergency Department, outpatient appointments,  surgery or a procedure.

For visitors to all facilities effective from Wednesday 20 July 2022

With the recent resurgence in cases in Canterbury, largely due to the Omicron BA.5 subvariant we are seeing an increase in demand right across the health system. Presentations to our Christchurch ED and Ashburton’s AAU are higher than ever and admission rates are high, which means we have a shortage of resourced beds.

Recently, we have seen too many unwell people coming to visit someone in hospital and too many that cannot or will not wear a medical mask. This increases the risk to vulnerable people in hospital. For these reasons we need to everything we can to minimise these risks.

We have therefore tightened visitor restrictions for all Te Whatu Ora Waitaha Canterbury hospitals and health facilities.

Kia whakahaumaru te whānau, me ngā iwi katoa – this is to keep everybody safe:

  • One visitor per patient in the hospital at any given time, except where stated otherwise in the ‘exceptions’ section below.
  • No visitors under 16 to any part of our facilities.
  • No visitors to COVID +ve patients other than in exceptional circumstances.
  • No eating or drinking at the bedside or anywhere other than cafes or areas designated for eating/drinking, as taking your mask off puts patients at risk.
  • Visitors or support people must not visit our facilities if they are unwell with cold or flu-like symptoms (even if they have tested negative) or have had a recent tummy bug.
  • Do not visit if you are COVID +ve or a household contact of someone who has tested positive
  • Surgical/medical masks must be worn at all times at all sites and will be provided if people don’t have them. Mask exemptions do not apply in our facilities – people who cannot tolerate a mask cannot visit at this time.
  • Hand sanitiser stations are visible and must be used.

By sticking to the rules above, you help keep our patients, staff, other visitors and yourself safe. We thank you in advance for your patience and understanding as our staff work hard to protect and care for some of the most vulnerable in our community.

Exceptions to the ‘one visitor’ policy

  • Exceptions can apply in some circumstances where trusted whānau members provide assistance, reassurance and other support for therapeutic care or on compassionate grounds – please talk to the ward’s Charge Nurse to discuss this before you come to hospital to visit. For whānau with an essential support role as a Partner in Care – again, please check with the ward’s Charge Nurse before you come to hospital to visit.
  • People attending Christchurch ED or Ashburton AAU can have one support person with them.
  • Women in labour and in the birthing suite can have two named support people + their community LMC/midwife if they have one – for the duration of the birth only. All other women on the Maternity Ward are allowed one support person for the duration of their stay in our facilities at Christchurch Women’s Hospital and other maternity units. Only one support person can be with each woman in the maternity ward, and one support person for maternity clinic appointments. No under 16s are allowed to visit or attend appointments.
  • Parents/caregivers can be with their baby in NICU.
  • Parents/caregivers are able to be with their child in hospital (Except Children’s Haematology and Oncology Day patients where only one parent or caregiver is permitted).
  • People requiring support when attending an appointment can have one support person. Please let the relevant service know if you need this so they are able to accommodate your request.

Visiting patients with COVID-19

  • To avoid them becoming infected with COVID-19 and passing it one, visitors to COVID-19 positive patients will not be allowed except in extenuating circumstances – by prior agreement with the Charge Nurse Manager only, and wearing an N95 mask.
  • Other methods of communication will be facilitated e.g. phone, facetime, zoom etc.

You must NOT visit the hospital if you

  • are a household contact of a COVID-19 positive case
  • are COVID-19 positive
  • Have a cold or flu/COVID-19-like symptoms (even if you are testing negative for COVID-19)

Exceptions for people with disabilities

An exception will be made for people with disabilities who are in hospital or have to attend an outpatient appointment – where they need a support person to access health services. For example, a sign language interpreter, support person for someone with a learning disability, or someone to assist with mobility. The support person is in addition to the one permitted visitor.

Everyone visiting our facilities must wear a mask, no exceptions

While we appreciate that some people have legitimate reasons for being exempt from wearing a mask and may even have an official card to confirm this, people who cannot or will not wear a mask cannot visit someone in hospital or attend hospital, other than to access healthcare treatment*. This is another measure to minimise the risk to vulnerable patients.

*healthcare treatment includes: Emergency Department care, outpatient appointments, surgery or a procedure. 

Patients and visitors should also read the additional more detailed visiting guidelines for each specific hospital.

More COVID-19 information

Health news

Read the latest Te Whatu Ora Waitaha Canterbury health news, media releases, and current health alerts for the Canterbury region. Our flagship news publications Waitaha Canterbury Pānui and WellNow Canterbury magazine are available to read online.​ The Te Whatu Ora Waitaha Canterbury Communications team are also available to assist with any enquiries from media.

923 news items.

Te Whatu Ora Waitaha Canterbury News

A visit to whānau in hospital people would be especially welcome during the nurses’ strike

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Contingency plans in place for NZNO strike at Canterbury & West Coast DHBs

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Adverse weather and flood-related public health advice from Canterbury DHB

Sunday 30 May 2021

As heavy rain continues to fall intermittently, with surface flooding and dangerously high rivers in multiple parts of... read more about Adverse weather and flood-related public health advice from Canterbury DHB»

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Melbourne travellers asked to get tested and self-isolate

Friday 28 May 2021Quick Read

Due to the community outbreak of COVID-19 in Victoria, anyone who has travelled to and spent time in the Greater... read more about Melbourne travellers asked to get tested and self-isolate»

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WellNow Canterbury Magazine

WellNow Canterbury – Spring 2020

Monday 16 November 2020Quick Read

WellNow Canterbury is our community health magazine that goes to every mailbox in Canterbury and the Chatham Islands... read more about WellNow Canterbury – Spring 2020»

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WellNow Canterbury – Spring 2019

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WellNow Canterbury is our community health magazine that goes to every mailbox in Canterbury and the Chatham Islands... read more about WellNow Canterbury – Spring 2019»

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CEO Update – Monday 12 August 2019

Monday 12 August 2019Quick Read

In this edition of the CEO Update… CEO David Meates outlines some of the many ways Mana Ake – Stronger for Tomorrow... read more about CEO Update – Monday 12 August 2019»

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CEO Update – Monday 5 August 2019

Monday 5 August 2019Quick Read

In this edition of the CEO Update… Chief Executive David Meates shares some of the ways Canterbury DHB is working to... read more about CEO Update – Monday 5 August 2019»

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CEO Update – Monday 29 July 2019

Monday 29 July 2019Quick Read

In this edition of the CEO Update… Chief Executive David Meates looks at how Canterbury's population has changed in... read more about CEO Update – Monday 29 July 2019»

Waitaha Canterbury Pānui

CEO Update – Monday 22 July 2019

Monday 22 July 2019Quick Read

In this edition of the CEO Update… Chief Executive David Meates takes a look at the pressure on the Canterbury... read more about CEO Update – Monday 22 July 2019»

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WellNow Canterbury – Winter 2019

Tuesday 4 June 2019Quick Read

WellNow Canterbury is our community health magazine which goes to every Canterbury mailbox twice a year. This edition... read more about WellNow Canterbury – Winter 2019»

Waitaha Canterbury Pānui

CEO Update – Monday 25 February 2019

Monday 25 February 2019Quick Read

In this week's CEO Update… Chief Executive David Meates provides some context to recent discussions about DHB... read more about CEO Update – Monday 25 February 2019»

Media release

Care around the clock to continue throughout junior doctors’ strike

Monday 25 February 2019Quick Read

To be attributed to: Michael Frampton, Chief People Officer, Canterbury DHB With the New Zealand Resident Doctors’... read more about Care around the clock to continue throughout junior doctors’ strike»

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Waitaha Canterbury Pānui

CEO Update – Monday 18 February 2019

Monday 18 February 2019Quick Read

In this week's CEO Update… Chief Executive David Meates reflects on last week’s Mihi for a new intake of nurses... read more about CEO Update – Monday 18 February 2019»

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Waitaha Canterbury Pānui

CEO Update – Monday 11 February 2019

Monday 11 February 2019Quick Read

In this week's CEO Update… Chief Executive David Meates talks about how Canterbury DHB is trialling voice-activated... read more about CEO Update – Monday 11 February 2019»

Media release

Care around the clock to continue throughout junior doctors’ and midwives strikes

Monday 11 February 2019Quick Read

Please attribute comments to Michael Frampton, Chief People Officer, Canterbury DHB With the New Zealand Resident... read more about Care around the clock to continue throughout junior doctors’ and midwives strikes»

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Media release

Voice-activated help for some Canterbury hospital patients

Tuesday 5 February 2019

From today some patients at Christchurch’s Burwood Hospital will be using smart speakers to assist with contacting a... read more about Voice-activated help for some Canterbury hospital patients»

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CEO Update – Monday 4 February 2019

Monday 4 February 2019Quick Read

In this week's CEO Update… Chief Executive David Meates celebrates the official opening of Christchurch Outpatients... read more about CEO Update – Monday 4 February 2019»

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Minister of Health Officially opens Christchurch Outpatients building

Thursday 31 January 2019Quick Read

The new Christchurch Outpatients facility at 2 Oxford Terrace was officially opened by the Minister of Health Hon Dr... read more about Minister of Health Officially opens Christchurch Outpatients building»

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Page last updated: 18 August 2022

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