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 other 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 are able to 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, WhatApp 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 other than a parent or caregiver 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

Legionnaire’s Season

Tuesday 3 October 2017Media 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.

It's gardening season in the garden city – time to reach for the spade, the wheelbarrow, the gloves, the face mask and the handwash! 

Canterbury has the country's highest incidence rates of potentially-fatal Legionnaire's disease, while New Zealand has the highest reported incidence of the disease in the world.  

Contact with compost and potting mix is a main contributor – that's where the Legionella longbeachae bacteria can lurk, putting at risk gardeners who inhale the dust.

Even using unwashed hands to remove a mask can be enough to become infected.  

“It's a timely reminder to our community that hand washing immediately after gardening is very important in protecting against Legionnaire's disease,” says Canterbury Medical Officer of Health, Dr Ramon Pink.

“Reducing the risk of becoming infected is vital as more of us get out into our gardens with the longer days and warmer weather”.

A recent CDHB-funded study of the disease by University of Otago researchers found that gardeners washing their hands immediately after use protected against the disease, by minimising exposure of the bacteria to the face.

Legionnaire's causes a form of pneumonia, and the report also recommends long term smokers and those with cardiac or respiratory conditions take particular care of their hygiene during and after gardening.

In the last 12 months, 271 cases have been notified nationwide, 49 of those in Canterbury.

Of the patients that are hospitalised with the disease, 30% require intensive care unit admission. 

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

 So how can you minimise the risk?

 There are five simple steps for gardeners to follow when using compost or potting mix.

  • Open bag carefully – use scissors instead of ripping the bags.
  • Wear a disposable face mask and gloves, and open the bag away from your face.
  • Do your potting in a well-ventilated area outdoors.
  • To reduce dust dampen down the potting mix or compost with a sprinkle of water.
  • Wash hands thoroughly after handling potting mix or gardening.

ENDS

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Page last updated: 19 October 2022

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