COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

Information about changes at Canterbury DHB hospitals and health centres can be found at www.cdhb.health.nz/covid19

VISITORS TO HOSPITAL

No visitors are allowed, except under exceptional circumstancesFurther details...

Last updated:
27 March 2020

  • No visitors are allowed, except under exceptional circumstances. The exceptions to the no visitor policy include:
    • A nominated person supporting a terminally ill patient through their end of life care
    • A parent/guardian who is supporting a child
    • The chosen support person of a woman who is giving birth. This does not apply to the woman’s postnatal stay however, and no visitors will be permitted during this stage of the woman’s care
  • The decision about whether exceptional circumstances apply outside of these exemptions is at the discretion of the Charge Nurse/Midwife Manager or another lead clinician.
  • Children under the age of 16 are not allowed to visit at any time.
  • All visitors will be assessed at the entry to ensure they meet the exception criteria and will be required to register their details.
  • Visitors who are unwell will not be allowed entry.

These restrictions apply to all wards and services at all times, including the Emergency Department and Intensive Care Unit.

COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

Level 4     New Zealand is currently at Alert Level 4 – Eliminate. More information on our alert level

Latest COVID-19 updates

More COVID-19 related health information can be found on the Ministry of Health website www.health.govt.nz/covid-19

For information about the national response to COVID-19, go to www.covid19.govt.nz

When should I seek medical advice?

If you are concerned about any COVID-19 symptoms you are experiencing, please contact Healthline (for free) on 0800 358 5453 or your doctor.

More information about accessing healthcare can be found on www.covid19.govt.nz

Changes at Canterbury DHB hospitals and health centres

We’ve activated the Canterbury DHB Emergency Coordination Centre, which is working with the Ministry of Health (National Health Coordination Centre), other DHBs, and our community partners to ensure a coordinated, timely and effective response.

We are working closely with all our health partners to ensure we are responding effectively as a system to provide appropriate and timely care to those who need it.

Visitor restrictions

Visitor restrictions are now in place for all Canterbury DHB health facilities.

  • No visitors are allowed, except under exceptional circumstances. The exceptions to the no visitor policy include:
    • A nominated person supporting a terminally ill patient through their end of life care
    • A parent/guardian who is supporting a child
    • The chosen support person of a woman who is giving birth. This does not apply to the woman’s postnatal stay however, and no visitors will be permitted during this stage of the woman’s care.
  • The decision about whether exceptional circumstances apply outside of these exemptions is at the discretion of the Charge Nurse/Midwife Manager or another lead clinician.
  • Children under the age of 16 are not allowed to visit at any time.
  • All visitors will be assessed at the entry to ensure they meet the exception criteria and will be required to register their details.
  • Visitors who are unwell will not be allowed entry.
  • These restrictions apply to all wards and services at all times, including the Emergency Department and Intensive Care Unit.

Non-urgent surgery and non-urgent outpatient appointments postponed

  • All non-urgent (elective) surgery and all non-urgent face-to-face outpatient appointments have been postponed until further notice. This includes all surgery at Christchurch Hospital, Burwood and all outplaced surgery at Southern Cross, St George’s, Christchurch Eye Surgery and Southern Endoscopy.
  • If you’re unsure about your situation, please call the number on your appointment letter.
  • Unplanned emergency and non-deferrable surgery such as cancer surgery will continue.
  • We will be making new appointments for those affected as soon as we are in a position to reinstate elective surgery and outpatient appointments.

Services suspended due to COVID-19

A number of services that support non-urgent care have been suspended while the country is in COVID-19 Alert Level 4, to help reduce the risk of COVID-19 spreading through minimising person-to-person contact:

SERVICE STATUS
Any non-urgent/unplanned drop-in services Suspended
All non-urgent surgery Postponed
All non-urgent outpatient appointments Postponed
Canterbury Health Laboratories, collection centres All closed
Community Dental All closed except for pre-arranged pain relief
Kennedy Detox (at Hillmorton Hospital) Closed from 30 March 2020
Elizabeth St Day Centre, Ashburton Suspended - Visiting specialist services including Dental
Kaikoura Community Dental Suspended
All cafes Closed to the public

Park and Ride

  • The Christchurch Hospital Park and Ride Shuttle from the Lichfield St parking building has ceased operating until further notice.
  • Christchurch City Council advises that time restrictions and fees for parking spaces around Christchurch Hospital will not be enforced during the Alert Level 4 period - from midnight Wednesday 25 March.

COVID-19 testing

Testing is only available for GP-referred patients (with COVID-19 symptoms) who will be assessed and tested away from general practices to avoid potentially exposing others to COVID-19.

  • Please follow the instructions on your referral letter for directions on how to get to the testing facility.

The following Community-based Assessment Centres (CBAC's) have been set-up throughout Canterbury, and are being used by people who have been referred by a doctor (GP):

  • Central Christchurch, and
    • Aranui
    • Halswell
    • Riccarton
  • Amberley
  • Ashburton
  • Kaikoura
  • Rangiora

Note: No on-demand (or drop-in) COVID-19 testing is being carried out at Christchurch Hospital.

Flu vaccinations

  • The flu vaccine is available now for people most at-risk of developing a serious illness from influenza. This is to help protect the more vulnerable members of our community, given the additional current health risks from COVID-19.
  • A free flu shot is available from your GP team if you have certain chronic conditions, or for your child aged 4 or under if they have a history of severe respiratory illness.
  • A free flu shot is available from many pharmacies or your GP team if you are over 65 or pregnant.
  • The flu vaccine does not protect you against COVID-19, however, is the best protection available to prevent serious illness from flu.
  • The flu vaccine will be available for the wider public from Monday 13 April.

Infection prevention and control

  • Our Infection Prevention and Control team continues to advise staff across the health system on ways to control the potential spread of infection, including enhanced cleaning protocols, isolation procedures and the correct use of personal protective equipment.

Staff working from home

  • Staff that can work at home without affecting the smooth running of our health system have been instructed to work from home, to reduce the risk of spread in the health environment.

What can you do?

Look after your wellbeing

  • If you or someone you know needs wellbeing support or advice, call or text 1737 to speak with a trained counsellor. This confidential service is free of charge and is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. There’s useful and practical information available for those at home in isolation on the government’s website COVID19.govt.nz

Be kind

  • Canterbury has been through a lot, and we will get through this too. We’re stronger together. Remember to check in on the elderly or vulnerable by phone or video call, and call for specialist help (health or welfare for example) if it is needed. Make a difference by dropping off supplies to those who are home sick and ‘virtually’ check in with whānau, friends and neighbours who are in isolation.

Stay home

  • You must stay home unless you work in an essential service. We all need to do everything in our power to break the chain of possible transmission of COVID-19 (and other viruses) in our communities. While in isolation at home you can still go out for a walk, but please keep at least two metres away from others.

Protect yourself and others

  • Wash your hands with soap and water often (for at least 20 seconds). Then dry.
  • Cough or sneeze into your elbow or by covering your mouth and nose with tissues.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects, such as doorknobs. Put used tissues in the bin or a bag immediately. Stay home if you feel unwell.
  • Don’t touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean.
  • Put used tissues in the bin or a bag immediately.
  • Stay home if you feel unwell.

COVID-19 related media releases

Wednesday 8 April 2020 – Important message from Canterbury GPs

Monday 6 April 2020 – Canterbury DHB moves to support Rosewood Rest Home Dementia facility

Saturday 4 April 2020 – Online form now available for expressions of interest to work in the health system

Friday 3 April 2020 – Parents and caregivers urged to watch out for choking hazards

Tuesday 31 March 2020 – 52 COVID-19 cases now confirmed in Canterbury

Friday 27 March 2020 – A further twelve COVID-19 cases confirmed in Canterbury

Thursday 26 March 2020 – A further ten COVID-19 cases and one probable confirmed in Canterbury over the past two days

Thursday 26 March 2020 – COVID-19 Alert Level Four – Updated hospital and clinic visitor policy

Wednesday 25 March 2020 – Christchurch Hospital Park and Ride Shuttle Service to be put on hold

Tuesday 24 March 2020 – Another two cases of COVID-19 recorded in Canterbury

Tuesday 24 March 2020 – Canterbury DHB postpones non-urgent surgeries and non-urgent outpatient appointments, to focus on the COVID-19 response

Tuesday 24 March 2020 – Two further cases of COVID-19 in Canterbury

Sunday 22 March 2020 – Third case of COVID-19 confirmed in Canterbury

Saturday 21 March 2020 – Contextual information regarding airport handout given to disembarking passengers early in the COVID-19 outbreak

Friday 20 March 2020 – Second case of COVID-19 confirmed in Canterbury

Friday 20 March 2020 – Temporary changes to limit visitor numbers at Canterbury DHB facilities

Sunday 15 March 2020 – Passenger aboard the Golden Princess cruise ship berthed at Akaroa today being tested for COVID-19

Thursday 12 March 2020 – If in doubt – don’t go out: Cantabrians urged to follow health advice when considering attending public events

Monday 27 January 2020 – Canterbury DHB’s public health team providing advice on novel coronavirus to passengers arriving from Mainland China at Christchurch International Airport

About COVID-19

COVID-19 (formerly known as novel coronavirus) is a respiratory illness that can be transmitted from person to person through droplets. It has spread to every continent except Antarctica and over 170 countries and territories have laboratory-confirmed cases.

It appears that most cases identified to date have mild to moderate illness. In severe cases, though, the virus can cause pneumonia and severe acute respiratory infection.

How to access Healthcare

  • If you need to see a Doctor or other medical professional you MUST phone first.
  • Most consultations will happen over the phone (or by videoconference) to stop any risk of the disease spreading by person to person contact.
  • If a face to face meeting is required, your doctor or other medical professional will organise this with you.
  • If you cannot get through and are severely unwell, for example having trouble breathing, don't hesitate to call emergency services (dial 111).

When should I seek medical advice?

If you are concerned about any COVID-19 symptoms you are experiencing, please contact Healthline (for free) on 0800 358 5453 or your doctor.

More information about accessing healthcare can be found on www.covid19.govt.nz

New Zealand citizens and residents returning home

Public health staff are working with border agencies to ensure New Zealand citizens and residents returning home are screened as they enter the country, and aware of the need to self-isolate and understand what that entails. Self-isolation means avoiding situations where you could infect other people. People who have to self-isolate are also asked to register with Healthline's COVID-19 advice line by phoning 0800 358 5453.

Staff at airports and ports have information on hand that advises people what to look out for and what to do if they get symptoms.

Page last updated: 8 April 2020

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