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

Get checked before you break out of your bubble and get jiggy (or do the jiggle wiggle)

Thursday 14 May 2020Media 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.

Cantabrians are being asked to get a sexual health check up before breaking out of their bubbles

Canterbury DHB’s sexual health team is urging anyone who’s bursting to break out of their bubble to connect with someone in a more intimate way, to get themselves checked out.

Clinical Director of Canterbury DHB’s sexual health service, Dr Ed Coughlan says the enforced period of lockdown has provided a unique situation where there have been limited opportunities for Sexually Transmitted Infections to spread.

“This is a unique opportunity for people to have their sexual health checked before they break out of their bubbles. To know you’re clear of infection is a great way to head into Alert Level 2,” he said.

Whatever your age you can have a sexual health check at Canterbury DHB’s Sexual Health Service. These check-ups are free for New Zealand citizens and residents and certain visa holders. If you want to check you meet the eligibility criteria you can call the Sexual Health Centre on 03 364 0485.

They even provide free condoms for safer sex. Details on how to make an appointment are available here.

Your General Practice Team or Family Planning Clinic are also good places to get checked.  It’s important to remember that not all infections are itchy, sore or have spots, and it’s not just young people who need to get checked.  Untreated Sexually Transmitted Infections can cause all sorts of problems for all sorts of people.

Whether you identify as a boomer, a millennial or Gen X, Y or Z, LGBTQI+, it makes no difference to us. What’s important is that you take your sexual health seriously, and care enough to make time for a check before you reignite your love life under Alert Level Two.

Medical Officer of Health Dr Ramon Pink says now is the perfect time for people to get a check-up and make sure they don’t start their own chain of ‘community transmission’ as people start to connect after a period of restraint in their own bubble.

“We want to save our contact tracing efforts for COVID-19,” says Dr Pink. “If hooking up with someone is on your mind, do the right thing and get yourself checked to avoid giving them more than you mean to,” Dr Pink said.

Further information about what’s involved in a sexual health check is available on healthinfo

ENDS

Further info:

Visits to Family Planning are free if you’ve under 22. All Family Planning clinics now offer do-it-yourself STI tests, so you may not need to see a nurse or doctor. This is for people who don't have any signs of an infection. You will take the test samples yourself in the clinic bathroom and give them to the receptionist. More info can be found here: https://www.familyplanning.org.nz/clinics/services/sti-testing-and-treatment

Phone your General Practice Team and ask for a sexual health check – in some practices this can be carried out by a nurse. If you’re under 18 sexual health consults will be free and low cost consults are available for adults with a Community Services Card in most practices – call your GP first to check.

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Page last updated: 5 August 2020

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