All hospital visitors are recommended to wear a medical face mask. Expand this message for information about visiting hospital.

Last updated:
13 March 2023

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 we recommend all people wear a mask when visiting any of our facilities and follow other advice designed to keep patients, staff and  visitors safe.

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 are recommended to 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 face 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 face 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 are recommended to wear a medical face 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

Look out for symptoms of meningococcal disease

Wednesday 23 November 2016Media 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.

General Practice teams are being reminded to be on the lookout for symptoms of meningococcal disease, following three young Canterbury children being diagnosed.

The three cases are aged 13 months and two are aged four years old. All developed meningococcal disease in the past fortnight but have all since been discharged from hospital.

Dr Ramon Pink, Canterbury Medical Officer of Health, says meningococcal disease can develop rapidly.

“It's really important to recognise the signs and symptoms as early as possible because, if left too late, the disease can cause death or permanent disability, such as deafness,” Dr Pink says.

“It can affect anyone – but it's more common in children under the age of five, teenagers, and young adults. Students in their first year of tertiary education living in student accommodation may also be at higher risk.”

Dr Pink says it can be treated with antibiotics, but early treatment is very important.

“If you notice any of the symptoms of meningococcal disease or have any other concerns phone your General Practice team, even if you have already been seen by a health professional.

“Remember you can call your usual General Practice number 24/7 for care around the clock. After hours your call will be answered by a nurse who can advise you on what to do and where to go if you need to be seen.

“You're better to be safe than sorry. Make sure you seek medical advice early.”

Meningococcal disease is caused by the bacterium Neisseria meningitidis.

“Meningococcal bacteria are difficult to catch as they don't live for very long outside the body. They pass from one person to another through secretions from the nose or throat, during close or prolonged contact such as kissing or from sharing food, drinks and utensils.”

Symptoms of meningococcal disease include:
​​Rapid onset of symptoms​​
Fever, usually > 38°C
Nausea, vomiting
Headache, sensitive to light
Neck pain or stiffness
​​​​muscle or leg pain
Confusion or reduced level of consciousness
Cold hands and feet
Abnormal skin tone such as pale or blotchy
A rash​​
In infants, additional symptoms and signs can include:​
Poor feeding or not waking for feeds
Irritability or a high pitched cry
Bulging fontanelle (soft spots on a baby's skull), neck retraction with back arching
Fever with cool extremities (hands and feet)
Find more information about meningococcal disease on the healthinfo Canterbury website ​


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Page last updated: 19 October 2022

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