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 other 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 are able to 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, WhatApp 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 other than a parent or caregiver 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

Avoiding a Legionnaires’ Spring Spike

Thursday 4 October 2018Public Health Alert3 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.

Avoiding a Legionnaires’ Spring Spike

Canterbury’s gardeners are being urged to take care with potting mix and compost to avoid repeating the spike in Legionnaires’ cases that occurred in spring 2017.

Canterbury Medical Officer of Health Dr Alistair Humphrey says 24 Cantabrians were diagnosed with Legionnaires’ last November, the highest monthly number ever recorded.

He is warning gardeners to take care with bagged potting mix and compost to avoid the life-threatening disease.

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

With an incubation period of up to two weeks, it’s possible that up to fifteen cases may have occurred during Labour weekend last year, Canterbury’s traditional start to the gardening season.

Dr Humphrey says there are five simple actions gardeners should do to avoid getting legionnaires’:

  1. Open potting mix or compost carefully – use scissors instead of ripping the bag.
  2. Wear a well-fitting disposable face mask and gloves, and remember not to touch your mask when gardening.
  3. Reduce dust by dampening down potting mix or compost with a sprinkle of water.
  4. Work with potting mix or compost in a well-ventilated outdoor area.
  5. Thoroughly wash your hands after handling potting mix or compost.

“Legionnaires’ is a very serious illness and these simple actions can be lifesaving.”

Last year 62 Cantabrians were hospitalised with Legionnaires’. Thirteen of these patients spent extended periods of time in ICU, including one patient who was in ICU for 42 days.

With the average cost of treating someone with an infectious disease in ICU estimated at close to $5,000 per day, Dr Humphrey says Legionnaires’ is costing our health system hundreds of thousands of dollars.

“The number of cases last spring was around three times more than average. We don’t know why the bacteria was particularly virulent then, but one theory is that the warmer than usual spring led to potting mix and compost heating up in the bag more than usual, creating a perfectly warm and moist environment for the bacteria to thrive.”

“With NIWA predicting another warm spring and summer, it’s extremely important to take care when using bagged potting mix and compost.”

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. Symptoms include dry coughing, high fever, chills, diarrhoea, shortness of breath, chest pains, headaches, excessive sweating, nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain.

Anyone who gets these symptoms should see their general practice team right away and let them know if you have been handling potting mix or compost.

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

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Page last updated: 17 February 2022

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