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

Measles case confirmed

Tuesday 7 January 2020Media release4 minutes to read

A new case of measles has been confirmed

Canterbury DHB is alerting the general public that they may have been exposed to measles.

A person has been confirmed as having measles and was infectious while travelling across multiple locations in the South and North Islands between Saturday 28 December 2019 and Monday 6 January 2020.

Canterbury DHB’s Community and Public Health team has been working to identify all close contacts of this person, determining their immunisation status and offering advice regarding what further action they should take.

Anyone who was in the following locations at the times listed should be aware that they may have been exposed and at risk of developing measles, unless they are sure they’ve had two MMR vaccinations or are over 50 years of age. If they are not in either of those two groups, they should isolate themselves at home until the dates listed (inclusive):

  • 28 December 2019 – Interislander Ferry Wellington to Picton, 8.45am – 12pm remain isolated until 11 January 2020
  • 30 December 2019 – 03 January 2020 – Whare Flat Folk Music Festival (near Dunedin)remain isolated until 17 January 2020
  • 30-31 December 2019 – ED at Dunedin Hospital between 8.30pm – 1am remain isolated until 13 January 2020
  • 6 January 2020 – Interislander Ferry Picton to Wellington, 2.30–5.45pm remain isolated until 20 January 2020

Dr Alistair Humphrey, Canterbury Medical Officer of Health, says immunisation is the best protection against measles. This is especially important for children who haven’t yet had their MMR vaccinations scheduled at 15 months and 4 years. These children are currently top priority for vaccination.

“If you are unwell and think it might be measles, stay at home and telephone your General Practice team any time of day or night. Please don’t visit your GP team, other health provider or a hospital in person as this will spread the illness. If it’s an emergency call 111,” says Dr Humphrey. People are considered immune if they have received two doses of MMR vaccine, have already had measles previously, or were born before 1969 – people born before this time will have been exposed to measles and most will therefore have had it.

Dr Humphrey advises that “people are infectious from five days before the onset of the rash until four days after the rash appears, so it is possible to transmit the infection before you feel unwell. People who have been exposed and who are not immune should remain isolated from 7 days after their first exposure to 14 days after their last exposure.”

“This means staying home from school or work and having no contact with unimmunised people. If you are not sure whether you are immune telephone your General Practice team – they can advise you,” says Dr Humphrey.

Anyone with measles symptoms or who believes they may have been exposed, can contact their usual general practice 24/7 for additional advice. If people call their GP Team after hours, they can be put through to a nurse who can provide free health advice and advise what to do and where to go if you need to be seen urgently.

More information about the current measles outbreak is available at https://www.health.govt.nz/your-health/conditions-and-treatments/diseases-and-illnesses/measles/2019-measles-outbreak-information.

ENDS

Measles Fact Sheet
• Measles is a highly infectious viral illness spread by contact with respiratory secretions through coughing and sneezing.
• Symptoms of measles include:
o A respiratory type of illness with dry cough, runny nose, headache.
o Temperature over 38.5 C and feeling very unwell.
o A red blotchy rash starts on day 4-5 of the illness usually on the face and moves to the chest and arms.
• People are infectious from five days before the onset of the rash to four days after the rash starts.
• Infected people should stay in isolation – staying home from school or work – during this time.
• The best protection from measles is to have two MMR vaccinations. MMR is available from your general practice team and is free for eligible people.
• Children and people who have never been immunised are the priorities for the vaccine.
• People are considered immune if they have received two doses of MMR vaccine, have already the measles or were born before 1969.
• Anyone believing they have been exposed to measles or has symptoms, should not go to the ED or after-hours clinic or general practitioner. Instead call your GP any time, 24/7 for free health advice.

Tags

Related topics

Back to Health News

Page last updated: 8 January 2020

Is this page useful?