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

Next steps for measles vaccine campaign

Friday 29 March 2019Media release3 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.

A Canterbury midwife receives her MMR vaccine while holding her own beautiful baby

To help contain Canterbury’s measles outbreak a wider group of people are now eligible to receive a second MMR vaccination. 
 
The number of measles cases in Canterbury has risen to 37, with a further nine cases under investigation. 
 
Medical officer of health Dr Ramon Pink says primary care have done a great job providing the MMR vaccine to those in the initial priority group – people aged 12 months to 28 years who have never been vaccinated. 
 
“The most effective way to stop the spread of measles in our community is to vaccinate those who have never received an MMR vaccine,” says Dr Pink. 
 
“There’s been a concerted effort over the last month to increase uptake amongst this group, and we’re now widening the net so we can create greater immunity in our community.” 
 
As well continuing to provide the vaccine to those aged 12 months to 28 years old who have never been vaccinated, we’re extending the availability of a second dose of MMR vaccine to: 

  • all those aged 12 months – 28 years 
  • caregivers of infants aged up to 12 months 
  • those between 29 and 50 who work with children 

Dr Pink says extending the second dose to these groups recognises the importance of stopping the transmission of measles amongst young people. 
 
“Twenty-five of our 37 cases have occurred in people aged 28 and younger. This group is particularly susceptible to measles, and are the primary spreaders of the disease.”   
Dr Pink says if you are in one of these groups and not sure if you are fully vaccinated, and your vaccination records are not easily available, GP teams are able to provide you with an additional MMR vaccine. 
 
Many people already have good protection against the measles, says Dr Pink. 
 
Those who have had two MMR vaccinations (typically given at 15 months and 4 years) are considered immune from measles. People born before 1969 will have been exposed to the measles virus and will have acquired immunity. 
 
People born between 1969 and 1990 are considered to have a good level of protection. This group were offered one measles vaccine and evidence suggests that one dose of MMR protects 95% of people from developing measles. 
 
Canterbury health authorities are in regular contact with Pharmac and the Ministry of Health around supply of the MMR vaccine. 
 
“During March thirty-one thousand vaccines have been distributed to general practices. 

“Our vaccination campaign over the next four weeks aims to target those still at risk of being infected by measles, or having serious complications from it. We believe we have enough stock of the MMR vaccine to support our campaign.” 
 
Dr Pink says 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 follow the instructions to be put through to a nurse who will answer the call and advise what to do and where to go if you need to be seen.”

ENDS

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Page last updated: 17 February 2022

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