VISITING HOSPITAL

Hospital visitors must wear a medical paper face mask. Fabric face coverings are not acceptable. Expand this message for more detailed information about hospital visiting guidelines.

Last updated:
16 September 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 Friday 16 September 2022

Some visitor restrictions for all Te Whatu Ora Waitaha Canterbury hospitals and health facilities remain in place, but we have relaxed others.

There is still a heightened risk to vulnerable people in hospital and so people must continue to wear a mask when visiting any of our facilities and follow other advice designed to keep patients, staff and  visitors safe.

Kia whakahaumaru te whānau, me ngā iwi katoa – this is to keep everybody safe:

  • Visitors or support people must not visit our facilities if they are unwell. Do not visit if you have recently tested positive for COVID-19 and haven’t completed your isolation period.
  • Patients may have more than one visitor, except in some situations such as multi-bed rooms where it can cause overcrowding.
  • Surgical/medical masks must be worn at all sites. Masks will be provided if you don’t have one.
  • For Specialist Mental Health Services everyone is strongly encouraged to wear a surgical mask in all inpatient areas and areas where consumers are receiving care (i.e. community appointments, home-visits, transporting people). Discretion may be applied in cases where masks impair your ability to communicate effectively.
  • Visitors must not eat or drink in multibed rooms because of the increased risk when multiple people remove their mask in the same space.
  • Hand sanitiser is available and must be used.

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.

Visiting patients with COVID-19

  • People can visit patients who have COVID-19 but they must wear an N95 mask – this will be provided if you don’t have one.
  • Other methods of communication will be facilitated e.g. phone, Facetime, Zoom, WhatsApp etc where visits aren’t possible.

All of our Hospitals

Visiting hours for our hospitals have returned to pre COVID-19 hours with the exception of Christchurch Women’s Hospital.

All visitors must wear a medical mask.

Parents/caregivers are able to be with their child in hospital and visitors are now allowed, except for the Children’s Haematology and Oncology Day stay where just one parent/caregiver is able to attend their appointment with their child. Exceptions by special arrangement only.

Patients and visitors should also read the additional more detailed visiting guidelines for each specific hospital.

More COVID-19 information

Legionnaires’ season arrives

Wednesday 30 September 2015Media release2 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.

The start of October is the beginning of Canterbury's legionnaires' season.

In October every year the number of people with Legionnaires' disease begins to climb. Numbers peak in November and December, remain relatively high through January and February, and then taper off in March.

Dr Ramon Pink, Canterbury medical officer of health, says the seasonal surge is mostly linked to gardeners catching Legionnaires' disease from potting mix or compost.

“After a long winter it's great getting back into the garden and enjoying the warmer weather and longer days, but please make sure you avoid inhaling the dust from potting mix or compost as this can be dangerous,” Dr Pink says.

“It's important to follow the five simple steps when handing potting mix or compost to help reduce the risk of developing Legionnaires' disease.”

The five simple steps are:
1. Open potting mix bags carefully using scissors, rather than ripping them.

2. Wear a disposable face mask and gloves and open the bag away from your face.

3. Do your potting in a well-ventilated area outside.

4. Dampen down the potting mix or compost with a sprinkle of water to stop the bacteria from becoming airborne.

5. Wash your hands thoroughly after handling potting mix and doing any gardening.

Dr Pink says legionella longbeachae, the type of Legionnaires' disease associated with potting mix, can be very serious, and even fatal.

“Of the 41 people been diagnosed with legionella longbeachae in Canterbury since September 2013, 35 have been hospitalised.”​

Anyone can catch Legionnaires' but people over 50 years of age, those with a long-term illness, particularly lung disease, people with low immunity, and smokers are most vulnerable.

Symptoms of the disease may include dry coughing, high fever, chills, diarrhoea, shortness of breath, chest pains, headaches, excessive sweating, nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain.

Anyone who gets these symptoms should see their general practice team immediately, and let them know they have been handling potting mix or compost recently.

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Page last updated: 19 October 2022

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