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

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

Sunday 30 May 2021Media release4 minutes to read

THIS IS AN ARCHIVED PAGE. The advice and information contained in this page may not be current and it should only be used for historical reference purposes.
Adverse weather and flood-related public health advice from Canterbury DHB

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

As heavy rain continues to fall intermittently, with surface flooding and dangerously high rivers in multiple parts of Canterbury. According to the NZ MetService, slips and floodwaters are likely to continue to disrupt travel over the next 48 hours, making some roads impassable. King tides are expected over the next few days which may exacerbate surface flooding issues in coastal areas.

Information on the most affected areas and other excellent and frequently-updated information can be found on CCC’s Newsline -flooding affecting parts of Christchurch and Banks Peninsula.

Emergency services, hospital/health centres and appointments

  • If you require emergency care, do as you normally would – the 111 service and ambulances are operating as normal, subject to changing road conditions. Emergency Department at Christchurch Hospital, ambulances and Urgent Care Clinics (24hr SurgeryMoorhouse Medical Centre and Riccarton Clinic ) are all open. Our rural hospitals are open for visiting and maternity services are operating as usual.
  • If you have an appointment either today or tomorrow (or while the weather disruption lasts), please assume it will go ahead unless you are contacted individually to say otherwise. If you cannot make your appointment, please let us know as soon as you can by calling the number on your appointment letter.

Contaminated flood waters

  • Avoid contact with flood waters if you can and assume they will be contaminated by sewage.
    There is also a danger of injury from floating objects and hazards hidden below the surface. If there are power outages in your area, be wary of power lines that might be down and be even more hazardous in wet conditions.
  • If you do come into contact with flood waters, change out of any wet clothes and shoes and put them aside to be washed later. Wash skin that has come into contact with flood waters, and wash your hands as soon as you reasonably can – or use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser.

Further advice on managing safely and cleaning up after flooding can be found here

Drinking water

  • At the moment, public water supplies are safe except the Methven and Mt Somers water supplies, which have precautionary boil water notices in place.  District councils will advise consumers if any other supplies need boil water notices as the result of this extreme weather event.
  • A boil water notice means you need to boil or treat all water from taps/tankers before drinking, brushing teeth or using in food preparation – bringing water to a rolling boil is sufficient to kill bugs.
  • If you cannot boil water, treat it by adding 1 teaspoon of household bleach per 10 litres of water and leave for 30 minutes.
  • If you don’t have mains water (water that comes from a spring, river, roof or well) and you think it has been affected by surface run-off, don’t use it for drinking purposes. If it appears clear but you are still unsure, it can be made safe by boiling or adding bleach as above.
    Water tanks that were filled before the heavy rain and have not pumped new water from a ground water supply (spring, stream/river or well) since, can be used as normal.
    If in any doubt about your water supply, boil or treat it before consuming.

Food

  • If you lose power at any stage, avoid opening your fridge and freezers unnecessarily. If frozen food has been defrosted but has been kept chilled, it should be used as soon as possible – as if it had been bought fresh.
  • Do not refreeze high risk items such as meat, fish and poultry. If you think these high risk items may have been at room temperature for two or more hours, do not eat them – if in doubt, throw it out.

General health and wellbeing

  • Continue to check on neighbours and vulnerable people near where you live as long as the disruption caused by the weather lasts.
    Check they have supplies, including their medications, and share with them the advice on water and food safety
  • If you need to see a GP and have trouble getting there, phone them for advice. Even if they are closed, your call will be put through to a nurse who can advise you on what to do. 
    In an emergency, always ring 111.
  • If you require essential prescription medications and your supply is running low, call your normal GP number for advice.

Stay ready and informed

Tags

Related topics

Back to Health News

Page last updated: 17 February 2022

Is this page useful?