COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

Information about changes at hospitals and health centres can be found at www.cdhb.health.nz/covid19

VISITORS TO HOSPITAL

Updated - effective from 14 May 2020 until further notice. Under COVID-19 Alert Level 2 visitor access to health facilities continues to be restricted.– details for all facilities...

Last updated:
29 April 2020

Please remember, limiting our interactions with others is our best defence against COVID-19. Please don’t visit the hospital if you don’t need to. The following level 2 visitor restrictions are in place for all Canterbury DHB health facilities:

  • Visitors will be screened and asked to provide contact details upon arrival
  • Visitors who are unwell or have suspicion of COVID-19 will not be able to enter
  • Aged residential care: no visitors, however, family visits for palliative care residents who do not have COVID-19 will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Specific and detailed visitor restrictions that apply to each hospital are available on our COVID-19 page.

Health Warning – Toxic Algal Bloom in Selwyn River – Glentunnel

Friday 27 December 2019Media release3 minutes to read

Health warning – toxic algal bloom in Selwyn River – Glentunnel

The Community and Public Health division of the Canterbury District Health Board has issued a health warning after potentially toxic blue-green algae (benthic cyanobacteria) were found in Selwyn River at Glentunnel.

People and animals, particularly dogs, should avoid the area of the Selwyn River at Glentunnel until the health warning has been lifted.

There are also other access points along the Selwyn River that may have cyanobacteria present and people are advised to check for the presence of cyanobacteria and avoid contact.

Dr Cheryl Brunton, Canterbury Medical Officer of Health, says the algae look like dark brown to black mats and can produce toxins harmful to people and animals.

“Exposure may cause skin rashes, nausea, stomach cramps, tingling and numbness around the mouth and fingertips,” Dr Brunton says.

“If you experience any of these symptoms, visit your doctor immediately, also let your doctor know if you’ve had contact with dark brown/black algal mats or water in this area.”

The Selwyn District Council as the drinking water supplier are following agreed procedures and monitoring their nearby drinking water intakes.

“No-one should drink the water from the river at any time, even after boiling the water from the river, it does not remove the toxin therefore should not be consumed,” Dr Brunton says.

Pets should be taken to a vet immediately if they are showing signs of illness after coming into contact with algal mats.

People and animals should remain out of the waterways until the warnings have been lifted.

Environment Canterbury is monitoring the sites and the public will be advised of any changes in water quality.

Facts about cyanobacteria:

  • Appears as dark brown/black mats attached to rocks along the riverbed
  • The algae occur naturally but can increase rapidly during warmer months
  • It often has a strong musty smell and algal toxin concentrations can vary over short periods with changing environmental conditions
  • Although high river levels will remove the algal bloom, detached mats can accumulate along the shore and increase the risk of exposure to toxins
  • If a health warning is in place avoid contact with the water
  • Although district or city councils may place warning signs, these may not be seen at the numerous river access points, hence the need for people/ dog-walkers to treat every low-flowing river cautiously. 

For further information visit:

Environment Canterbury – Swimming Water Quality

CDHB – Recreational Water

LAWA – Can I swim here?

For more information on Mahinga kai:

Mahinga Kai

ENDS

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Page last updated: 27 December 2019

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