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

Canterbury reaches 90 percent fully vaccinated milestone

Friday 3 December 2021Media release3 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.

Canterbury has today hit the 90 percent fully vaccinated milestone!

Today the Canterbury community has reached the milestone of having 90 percent of our eligible population fully vaccinated against COVID-19 says Dr Helen Skinner, Canterbury’s Senior Responsible Officer for the COVID-19 response.

“To see 90 percent of our population fully vaccinated as we head into summer and the Christmas break is just amazing,” says Dr Skinner.

“Thank you to all Cantabrians who’ve rolled up their sleeves and got vaccinated. I’m hopeful that we won’t see many Cantabrians falling seriously ill even if they catch COVID-19 due to our high vaccination rates.

“Our vaccination teams have worked incredibly hard to reach this milestone. We thank our primary care partners including general practices and pharmacies, Māori and Pasifika health organisations, lead maternity carers and midwives, community leaders and community providers who have gone above and beyond to reach our communities, and Canterbury businesses who continue to support the vaccination campaign.

“We are still working hard to kōrero on vaccination with our Māori community and to reassure pregnant people that getting their vaccinations is safe.

“We are committed to continuing to encourage all eligible Cantabrians to get vaccinated, and to encourage people who are already protected to reach out to those who still may feel hesitant.”

Our drop-in clinics provide safe, welcoming spaces for anyone to come along, have a chat, and have all their COVID-19 vaccination questions answered. Our mobile clinics and community pop-up events see our vaccination teams visiting where people live and work. 

You can find your nearest vaccination clinic here https://vaccinatecanterburywestcoast.nz/.

It’s also worth noting the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine is now available for those aged 18 and older who cannot receive the Pfizer vaccine, and for people who would like a different option and bookings can be made using Book My Vaccine or by calling 0800 282 926.

“I’d also like to remind the community that now is a good time to start preparing for what you need to do if you do catch COVID-19.

“Readiness is about people and communities being prepared to support each other. It is things like deciding what whānau can do when someone tests positive, making lists of those who can help, figuring out how to get food and essential items, and what else you might need when isolating,” says Dr Skinner.

People are able to use the simple COVID-19 Readiness Checklist to prepare for if they or someone in their household or community contracts COVID-19.

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Page last updated: 18 January 2022

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