• Patrick McBride

West Coast DHB COVID Visitor Changes

Following New Zealand (apart from the greater Auckland region) moving to COVID-19 Alert Level 2, West Coast DHB has made changes to its visitor restrictions.

The key changes are the number of visitors permitted at the DHB facilities and visitors being asked to check in with staff at the entrance before entering or scan in using the COVID-19 Tracer App.

For all inpatient ward areas at Te Nikau Hospital & Health Centre, there is now one visitor at a time but we are allowing more than one person to visit a patient each day during visiting hours. Each visitor can only visit once per day for a maximum of 15 minutes.

No visitors are allowed in to any of the Aged Residential Care facilities across the Coast, however visitors can visit our inpatient ward where our most vulnerable patients are or where patients are in isolation but this is confined to one visitor per patient per day. Exceptions may be made on compassionate grounds on a case-by-case basis for end of life care of patients who are not COVID-19 positive.

"At Alert Level 2 the risk of COVID-19 being present in the community is higher. We are therefore asking all patients and visitors to wear their own masks if they have them when visiting our facilities," the DHB said.

Information on masks including how to wear them effectively is available on the Ministry of Health website.

"From today, we will be recording the details of every visitor upon arrival. If you have the COVID-19 Contact Tracer App installed on your phone or device, please scan the QR code each time you enter one of our facilities. This helps make contact tracing easier," they added.

If you have COVID-19 symptoms (any acute respiratory infection with at least one of the following symptoms: new or worsening cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, stuffy or runny nose, lost sense of smell – with or without a fever) you should contact your General Practice team or call Healthline on 0800 358 5453. Most GP teams are offering testing if you have these symptoms.

If you are unwell and need to see a doctor you should call your usual GP team for advice 24/7. For general health information visit healthinfo.org.nz.