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

Cantabrians asked to be patient while flu vaccine is distributed

Wednesday 1 April 2020Media release3 minutes to read

Flu Vaccination Campaign 2020

Cantabs are being urged to be patient while influenza vaccine supplies are replenished

Canterbury District Health Board is asking Cantabrians to be patient while the health system works to resolve delays with the distribution of the flu vaccine across the region.

Stock has been held up in the supply chain, affecting DHBs around the country. This means a significant number of General Practice teams and pharmacies do not have vaccine available at the moment to fulfil the demand from the community.

“It’s great that Cantabrians are keen to do the right thing and get their flu vaccine early this year. It is, however, unfortunate that we are unable to meet the demand at this time,” says Medical Officer of Health Dr Ramon Pink.

According to the Ministry of Health, more than 800,000 influenza vaccines have been distributed to vaccination providers across the country. Around 30,000 Cantabrians have received their flu shot since it was released in mid-March.

“General Practice teams, pharmacies and workplace vaccinators are all adapting the way they work under the current national alert level 4 for COVID-19. As vaccine supplies are replenished, they will continue to prioritise those who are most at-risk of developing a serious illness from influenza and COVID-19, before the vaccine is made available to the wider community,” says Dr Pink.

The following groups are eligible for a free flu vaccination:

  • people aged 65 years and over
  • pregnant women
  • anyone with certain chronic health conditions
  • children under four with a history of severe respiratory illness.

Frontline health workers are also encouraged to get their flu vaccine as soon as possible. The flu vaccine should be available for the wider public from Monday 13 April.

“We recommend Cantabrians wait until their General Practice team or pharmacist contacts them about their flu vaccination. For those planning to drop in to their local pharmacy, please call ahead before visiting in person,” says Dr Pink.

The national influenza immunisation programme normally starts in April, and the flu season normally starts in late May.

More stock of the flu vaccine is expected to be available over the next couple of weeks.

The flu vaccine does not protect against COVID-19, however, it can help prevent a serious illness from flu and help reduce demand on the health system.

General advice for staying well

Help keep yourself, your whānau and your community healthy by:

  • regularly washing your hands with soap and water
  • thoroughly drying your hands after washing them
  • sneezing and coughing into a tissue, clothing or your elbow
  • staying home if you feel unwell.

ENDS

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Page last updated: 1 April 2020

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