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

Cantabs welcome fresh air at outdoor venues

Friday 2 June 2017Media release3 minutes to read

The results are in and they show Cantabrians are excited about smokefree venues. Even better, people are actively choosing to support venues that have smokefree outdoor dining areas.

These are part of the findings from the Fresh Air project, a collaboration between the Cancer Society and Canterbury District Health Board, who with the support of the Christchurch City Council, ran a summer trial to stub out smoking in the outdoor areas in a number of cafes and restaurants in the city.

During the six month project, 20 venues were invited to make their outdoor dining areas smokefree. Eighteen took up the challenge and became totally smokefree hospitality venues.

Former manager of the Ilex café in the Botanical Gardens, Liz Parlane says they had a really positive reaction to the project trial. “It gave us permission to say we're smokefree and reinforce that the whole park is a smokefree area.” Current manager Amy Stones says it was a useful way to raise awareness among tourists of the city's no smoking areas.

Tania Hughes owns Savoir in Merivale and says the transition to no smoking outdoors went really smoothly. “It's all been positive, and I've had really good feedback from my customers.”

Liz Chesterman, chief executive of the Cancer Society Canterbury and West Coast division says the Cancer Society was heartened by the positive response to the summer trial. “The results of this project show that New Zealand's goal of being smokefree by 2025 is achievable. We believe this is the beginning of a groundswell towards smokefree communities everywhere.”

Manager of the Communities team at Community and Public Health Kerry Marshall, praised the partnerships with the Cancer Society, Canterbury DHB, Community and Public Health, City Council and all the business owners that made the project work. She also congratulated the cafes on having the courage to try something different.

“These business owners have been willing to take part in something innovative. I commend them for being brave and stepping out of their comfort zone.”

In its response, Councillor Glenn Livingstone said on behalf of the Christchurch City Council that it was taking its mandate as a clean, green city seriously and literally.

“We hope more venues see this as a positive move. It's not only proved itself good for the community, but also good for business.”

Emily Box of the Cancer Society says half of the pilot venues reported they had customers visiting specifically because they had smokefree outdoor areas.

Other results showed that out of the 18 venues…

  • 4 reported an increase in customer numbers
  • 12 reported a decrease in the number of complaints about others smoking
  • 14 recorded more positive customer comments
  • 3 said more people were using the outdoor area.

With smoking still the leading cause of preventable death in New Zealand, Emily says the results show there is an appetite among Kiwis to embrace a smokefree environment. “The next step for the Fresh Air project is to share our results, and encourage more venues to join the Fresh Air movement, and help move New Zealand closer to its Smokefree 2025 goal.”

Find out more about The Fresh Air Project.

Tags

Back to Health News

Page last updated: 3 October 2018

Is this page useful?