ORANGE

Hospital visitors don’t need a Vaccine Pass, but must wear a surgical/medical paper mask. Fabric face coverings are no longer acceptable. See our COVID-19 pages for visiting guidelines, COVID-19 tests current case numbers in regions of Canterbury and care in the community advice. See www.vaccinatecanterburywestcoast.nz for info about vaccinations.

We are at ORANGE according to the NZ COVID-19 Protection Framework

Last updated:
19 April 2022

For visitors to all facilities effective from Tuesday 19 April 2022

With the change to the ORANGE Traffic Light setting, Canterbury DHB is easing its visitor policy in recognition of the fact we have passed the peak of the current Omicron outbreak and case numbers are slowly reducing.

The following visitor restrictions are now in place for all Canterbury DHB hospitals and health facilities:

  • One adult visitor may be accompanied by no more than one child over the age of 12 per patient in the hospital at any given time, except where stated otherwise in the ‘exceptions’ section below.  No children under 12 and those 12 and over must be accompanied by an adult and wear a medical mask.
  • Visitors or support people should not visit our facilities if they are unwell.
  • Surgical/medical masks must be worn at all times at all Canterbury DHB sites and will be provided if people don’t have them.
  • Hand sanitiser stations are visible and must be used.

By adhering to these conditions, 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 (ie more than one visitor) where a trusted whānau member provides 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 – 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 support people, and women on the Maternity Ward are allowed one support person for the duration of their stay in our facilities at Christchurch Womens 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 children are allowed to visit.
  • 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, following a supervised negative RAT result)
  • Children who are inpatients, one other visitor (other than a parent or caregiver) is able to visit in consultation with the nurse in charge.
  • 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.

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.

Face covering exemption cards

The Exemptions Team at the Ministry of Health is now responsible for processing requests for Face Covering Communication Cards.

Updated information about mask wearing, and how to request an exemption card can now be found here. People unable to request an exemption card online can call 0800 28 29 26 and select option 2, or text 8988

Patients and visitors should also read the additional more detailed visiting guidelines for each specific hospital.

More COVID-19 information

Twenty-five measles cases now confirmed in Canterbury

Monday 11 March 2019Media release5 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 seventh case of measles has been confirmed in Canterbury

Twenty-five cases of measles have been confirmed in Canterbury

The number of confirmed cases of measles in Canterbury now stands at twenty-five and is likely to rise further over the coming days and weeks. It can now be assumed that measles is circulating widely in our community.

Under-immunised people who come within two metres of an infectious person, however briefly, have a 90% chance of contracting measles.

Measles is a serious, highly infectious, potentially life-threatening disease. Up to 30 percent will develop complications – usually children under five. Measles during pregnancy increases the risk of miscarriage, premature labour and low birth-weight in babies.

Under-immunised people exposed to measles first develop a respiratory type illness with dry cough or runny nose or conjunctivitis and a temperature over 38.5 C and a rash. People are considered infectious from 5 days before, until 5 days after, the rash first appears.

The best protection is for people born after 1969 is to have had two MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccinations.

Canterbury Medical Officer of Health, Dr Ramon Pink says measles is now in widespread circulation and people who aren’t fully immune could be exposed to the risk of infection anywhere in Canterbury.

“Immunisation is the only sure way to avoid getting measles. Only people who were born before 1969 or have had two MMR vaccinations are considered fully protected.  Those aged between 29 and 50 will only have had one measles vaccination and are not considered immune.”

General practice teams have been asked to prioritise the following groups for MMR immunisation, in this order:

  1. People who are not up-to-date according to the schedule for their age group
    • Children and young adults (age range 5 years to 28 years) who are either not immunised or who have only received one MMR dose to date.
    • Children 12 months to 5 years who have never received any doses of MMR.
  2. The four-year-old MMR can be brought forward to no sooner than four weeks after the previous MMR.
  3. Adults aged 29 to 50 (this group only received one dose of measles vaccine).

Extra supplies of the MMR vaccine in Canterbury are being delivered, with 18,000 doses expected to be available in practices from Wednesday.

“Given their higher risk, our focus over the short term is to provide MMR immunisations to those under 29 years who are not fully vaccinated. People between the ages of 29 and 50 can expect to get a measles vaccine from their general practice in a week or two,” says Dr Pink.

Babies whose mother is immune will have some protection if they are currently being breastfed. For children who are too young to have had both MMRs or who cannot be immunised for other reasons, the best way to protect them is to ensure everyone around them has been vaccinated – if you can’t get it, you can’t pass it on.

“If you think you may have been exposed to measles or have symptoms, please call your general practice first, 24/7. Calls made to general practices after hours will be answered by a nurse who will advise you what to do and where to go if you need to be seen.

“The MMR vaccine is very effective protection and we should see this as an opportunity for us all to make sure we are up to date with our vaccinations,” says Dr Pink.

More information about measles is available at https://www.health.govt.nz/your-health/conditions-and-treatments/diseases-and-illnesses/measles and http://www.immune.org.nz.

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 will answer the call and advise what to do and where to go if you need to be seen.

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: 
    • A respiratory type of illness with dry cough, runny nose, headache
    • Temperature over 38.5 C and feeling very unwell
    • 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 five days after the rash starts.
  • Infected persons 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 and is free to eligible persons.
  • People are considered immune if they have received two doses of MMR vaccine, have had a measles illness previously, or were born before 1969.
  • Anyone believing they have been exposed to measles or exhibiting 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.

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Page last updated: 30 July 2020

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