COVID-19 restrictions for hospital visitors

Christchurch Hospital Emergency Department. Photo: Geoff Sloan
Christchurch Hospital Emergency Department. Photo: Geoff Sloan
All Canterbury and West Coast District Health Board facilities have adopted a no-visitors policy during the lockdown, meaning friends and family will not be able to visit, with only a few exceptions.
Canterbury and West Coast DHB chief executive David Meates announced significant changes to its visitor policy on Thursday, effective immediately.
People that the no- visitors policy does not apply to include A nominated person supporting a terminally ill patient through their end of life care, a parent or guardian who is supporting a child, and one support person of a woman who is giving birth.

The decision about whether exceptional circumstances apply outside of these exemptions is up to charge nurses, midwife managers, or another lead clinicians.
“It’s vital that we reduce the numbers of people coming into our facilities to reduce the opportunity for any infections to spread. I would like to thank people in advance for their cooperation and playing their part to keep our patients safe,” said Mr Meates.

In exceptions where a visitor is allowed to visit any DHB facility, screening will take place before they are allowed to enter the care environment to ensure they are well, have clean hands and are using appropriate personal protective equipment.

If you have outpatient appointments and you are unwell or have potentially been exposed to anyone with COVID-19 symptoms, the DHB says not to come in unless it is an emergency. A phone or video consultation may be able to be arranged as an alternative.

Only people with symptoms should call Healthline’s COVID-19 line on 0800 358 5453.
Said Mr Meates: “We are navigating our way through an extraordinary situation where we must examine our policies to enable us to care for those people who are in hospital in the best possible way.

“To this end, our new visitor policy is designed to protect those who are receiving care in our facilities."