Hospital visiting guidelines updated 16 September 2022: Hospital visitors must wear a surgical/medical paper mask. Fabric face coverings are not acceptable.  See our COVID-19 page for general COVID-19 advice, detailed hospital visiting guidelines and COVID-19 tests.

See for info on vaccinations.

Last updated:
16 September 2022

Fewer visitor restrictions now apply

For visitors to all facilities effective from 16 September 2022

Some visitor restrictions for all Te Whatu Ora Te Tai o Poutini West Coast 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 in single rooms may have more than one visitor while patients in multi-bed rooms can have one visitor only per patient to ensure there is no overcrowding.
  • People can have one or two support people to accompany them to outpatients appointments.
  • Women in labour in a birthing suite, in Te Nīkau Hospital’s Maternity Ward and in Buller’s Kawatiri Maternity Unit can have the usual support people, subject to space, for the duration of their stay in our facilities.
  • Eating or drinking at the bedside is at the discretion of the Clinical Nurse Manager. 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.

Mask wearing

  • Surgical/medical masks must be worn at all sites, except in counselling, mental health and addiction services where it’s on a case-by-case agreement with patients. Masks will be provided if you don’t have one. In higher-risk environments, people, including young children, may not be able to visit if they cannot wear a mask.
  • 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.

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, WhatsApp etc where visits aren’t possible.

You must NOT visit our facilities if you

  • are COVID-19 positive
  • are unwell. Please stay home if you have a tummy bug or cold or flu/COVID-19-like symptoms (even if you’ve tested negative for COVID-19).

Te Whatu Ora West Coast Aged Residential Care facilities

Visitors are welcome at our Aged Care Residential facilities, subject to the space available. All visitors must wear a surgical mask.

More COVID-19 information

CE Update – 30 June 2022

A word from Chief Executive Peter Bramley

In this last CE Update (as we know it) before the change to Health New Zealand, Peter reflects on West Coast DHB and shares the goals of the new health system. These include more equitable and accessible healthcare that is cohesive and responsive to people of all communities.

Also, in this edition, we get tips and reminders about how to protect ourselves from colds, flu and viruses and stay well this winter.

Our stories – Ā tātou kōrero

  • Kaiāwhina enjoys connecting with people
  • Eulogy for Gary Francis Coghlan – GM Māori
  • TNT (Te Nīkau Team) Acute Care simulations – explosive education for a dynamic department
  • Delivering rapid antigen tests to rural residents
  • New Buller Health facility update
  • Myth busting the flu
  • Long serving DHB employee Dorothy O’Connor retires after nearly 50 years
  • Be aware of burnout – learn how it develops and how to prevent it
  • MyIndici patient portal available online now
  • Free bowel screening now available nationwide
  • Study identifies exact amounts of extra vitamin C for optimal health

Regulars – Kōrero ai

  • One minute with…Carlene Packham, Outpatient Nurse Coordinator Hokitika Health Centre
  • Bouquets
  • Photo board

Notices – Pānui

  • Health Quality & Safety Commission E-digest Issue 7, June 2022
  • eCALD newsletter
  • Something For You
  • World Hand Hygiene Day 2022


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Page last updated: 30 June 2022

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