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

Care around the clock available to Cantabrians wherever they go this summer

Tuesday 21 December 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.

care around the clock

Care around the clock available to Cantabrians wherever they go this summer

This summer, wherever your holidays take you around Aotearoa New Zealand, remember that you can still get free health advice whenever you need it.

If your Christmas goes from off the chart to falling apart, you can call your own general practice team 24/7 for care around the clock.

Before you head off on holiday be sure to load your general practice’s number into your mobile phone, because when the doors are closed and the lights are out, a team of staff are ready to take your call – any time of day or night, including public holidays. 

Emergency Departments (ED) at hospitals throughout New Zealand often run at capacity over the festive season. Making your regular general practice team your first port of call, wherever you are, will help keep EDs free for those who need emergency care.

If you are heading away, make sure you pack enough of your regular medications for the duration of your holiday. If you’re going to need a repeat prescription while away, get it sorted before you leave town.

Make sure you are aware of the risk that the spread of COVID-19 might affect your holiday plans and be prepared should this happen. Health guidance for the summer can be found here and maintaining good hygiene practices, such as those listed below, is key.  And remember to mask up and scan in everywhere you go.

  • Wash and dry your hands with soap and water or using hand sanitiser.
  • Remember to cough or sneeze into your elbow.
  • Clean ‘high touch’ surfaces and objects regularly.
  • Wear a mask or face covering and try and keep one with you at all times.
  • Maintain social distancing when out and about, especially in crowded places
  • Stay home if you’re sick.

If you’re fully vaccinated, you can still get COVID-19, but you’re likely to only have mild to moderate symptoms and will likely need to self-isolate and recover at home. Know where to find up to date information on opening hours for Covid-19 testing centres if you need to be tested. Our resources about caring for COVID-19 positive people in the community will help you make a plan for what to do if you test positive, including if you are on holiday. If you are isolating at home or away, you will have a dedicated contact person check up on you and make sure that you and your whānau are safe.

In a life-threatening emergency call 111. 

If you’re feeling anxious or just need someone to talk to you can call or text 1737 any time and you can speak to (or text) a trained counsellor free of charge.

For everything else, whether you’re holidaying in Wanaka or Whangamata, make your general practice team your first call. They can tell you what to do and where to go if you need to be seen urgently.

If you aren’t already enrolled with a general practice team use our handy general practice finder map.

Information for visitors to Christchurch

Visitors to Christchurch who need to see a doctor can visit one of the urgent care practices:

  • 24 Hour Surgery – 401 Madras Street open every day, 24/7. Ph 03 365 7777
  • Moorhouse Medical – 3 Pilgrim Place. Open 8am – 8pm, 7 days a week. Ph 03 365 7900
  • Riccarton Clinic – 4 Yaldhurst Road. Open 8am – 8pm, 7 days a week. Ph 03 343 3661.

Learn more about what an Urgent Care clinic can do by checking out this video.

Trusted health advice

You can also visit our HealthInfo website or your community pharmacy for health advice.

HealthInfo is a health information website that has information specific to Canterbury. It is written and approved by local doctors, practice nurses, hospital clinicians, and other healthcare professionals and features a mix of health information, fact sheets on different topics and descriptions of local health services.

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Page last updated: 16 June 2022

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