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

Protect yourself against Legionnaires’ disease this spring

Tuesday 27 September 2022Media release2 minutes to read

Spring is the perfect time to be out in the garden. It’s also unfortunately the time when gardeners are most at risk of catching Legionnaires’ disease from bags or bulk loads of potting mix and compost.

With 32 cases of the disease already confirmed in the region this year, gardeners are being urged to take care with potting mix and compost.

Dr Matt Reid, Te Whatu Ora National Public Health Service Waitaha Canterbury Medical Officer of Health, says Legionnaires’ disease is a form of pneumonia.

“It’s caused by the legionella bacteria that live in moist organic material and people can catch the disease by breathing in airborne droplets or particles containing the bacteria.

“Gardeners are at particularly high risk of catching Legionnaires' disease as the bacteria thrive in potting mix and compost,” says Dr Matt Reid.

In Canterbury there is typically a spike in cases in spring that can be attributed to increased gardening activity and good weather. Now is the time for people to make sure they are taking the necessary steps to avoid catching the disease.

Dr Matt Reid says there are some simple actions gardeners should take to avoid getting Legionnaires’ disease:

  1. Work with potting mix or compost in a well-ventilated outdoor area
  2. Wear a well-fitting face mask. An N95 or respirator is best
  3. Wear gloves when handling potting mix or compost
  4. Open potting mix or compost bags carefully using scissors and open them away from your face
  5. Reduce dust by dampening down the potting mix or compost before using it
  6. Wash your hands thoroughly after handling potting mix or compost and before touching your face or removing your mask.

“Legionnaires’ disease is a very serious illness and following these simple steps can be lifesaving,” says Dr Matt Reid.

The illness may be mild but can sometimes be fatal. It is more common in older people, particularly if they smoke, have poor immunity or a chronic illness. However, even healthy young people have died from Legionella pneumonia.

Symptoms can include dry coughing, high fever, chills, shortness of breath, muscle aches, headaches and diarrhoea. If you have these symptoms, you should contact your general practice team right away for advice and let them know you if have been handling potting mix or compost.

For more information on Legionnaires’ disease visit: https://www.healthinfo.org.nz/index.htm?Legionnaires-disease-legionellosis.htm        

ENDS

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Page last updated: 27 September 2022

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