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

Gear Up Against Legionella

Gear up against legionella

Cases of Legionnaires’ disease typically increase during the months of September, October and November during gardening season. Te Mana Ora – The Public Health Unit is urging everyone to ‘gear up’ to protect themselves against legionella bacteria that causes Legionnaires’ disease.

Legionella bacteria live mainly in water, soil and potting mix, and hot water cylinders.

If you are handling garden soil, compost or potting mixes, you need to be aware of the possible risk of getting Legionnaires’.

Public health advice is to gear up to avoid getting the disease. We are encouraging everyone to share the message, so we can prevent our whānau, family and friends from getting Legionnaires’ disease.

Gear up when handling compost, potting mix, and soil.

  1. Mask up and wear gloves
    Use well-fitting disposable face mask and wear gloves when handling compost and potting mix.
  1. Cut (don’t rip)
    Open bags of compost or potting mix carefully and away from your face using scissors.
  1. Work outside
    Work with compost or potting mix in a well-ventilated outdoor area.
  1. Compost dry? Damp it down
    Dampen down compost or potting mix to reduce dust.
  1. Soap it up
    Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water after the work is done. 

​Download our campaign poster

Gear Up Against Legionella A4 Poster (PDF, 140KB)

Gear up against legionella

Share this on social media

Gear Up Against Legionella Facebook Tile (JPG, 700KB)

Gear up against legionella

​FAQs

What are the symptoms to look out for?

The symptoms can appear ‘flu-like’ from a mild infection known as Pontiac fever to a serious form of pneumonia called Legionnaires’ disease.

Mild infection (Pontiac fever)

Pontiac fever is a mild infection that has symptoms similar to the flu, such as muscle aches and fever. You don't get pneumonia. Symptoms begin between a few hours to 3 days after being exposed to the Legionella bacteria. 

Serious infection (Legionnaires’ disease)

Legionnaires’ disease is a type of severe pneumonia (lung infection) that is caused by the Legionella bacteria. It can cause serious illness and can be fatal. The signs and symptoms of Legionnaires’ disease are similar to that of a lung infection (pneumonia). It can also sometimes cause infection outside your lungs. 

The early signs may include muscle aches, cough, tiredness, headache and loss of appetite.

This is followed by fever and chills.

Sometimes nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea (runny poos) may occur and you may become confused.

Symptoms usually begin 2–10 days after being exposed to the bacteria. It can take longer, so watch for symptoms for about 2 weeks after exposure.

You are likely to get quite sick and need hospital treatment.

What should I do if I think I have Legionnaires’?

If you have signs of Legionnaire’s disease, see your doctor immediately. Your doctor may arrange for you to have a blood test, sputum test, urine test or a chest x-ray. Chest x-rays will show whether you have pneumonia. The other tests will help to confirm whether it is due to the Legionella bacteria.

How is Legionnaires’ treated?

People with mild infection (Pontiac fever) don't usually need treatment and recover within 2–5 days. 

People with Legionnaires’ disease require treatment with antibiotics. It is important to be diagnosed and treated quickly. Early treatment can stop the disease from becoming severe. Because this can cause serious illness, go back to your doctor or to hospital if your symptoms are getting worse.

Because there are many different strains of Legionella bacteria, having had legionellosis does not protect you from infection and you can develop legionellosis again if exposed to the bacteria. 

Because it is not spread from person to person, you can return to work whenever you feel well enough. There is no risk of infecting other people.  

How can I minimise the risk of getting Legionnaires’?

Gear up when handling compost, potting mix, and soil.

  1. Mask up and wear gloves

Use well-fitting disposable face mask and wear gloves when handling compost and potting mix.

  1. Cut (don’t rip)

Open bags of compost or potting mix carefully and away from your face using scissors.

  1. Work outside

Work with compost or potting mix in a well-ventilated outdoor area.

  1. Compost dry? Damp it down

Dampen down compost or potting mix to reduce dust.

  1. Soap it up

Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water after the work is done. 

Page last updated: 13 September 2021

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