COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

Information about changes at West Coast DHB Grey Base Hospital and health centres can be found on our dedicated COVID-19 Information page

COVID-19 Alert Level Four – Updated hospital and clinic visitor policy

Friday 27 March 2020Health news3 minutes to read

Hospital visitors - Media Release Image


Canterbury and West Coast DHBs Chief Executive David Meates has today announced further significant changes to the DHB’s visitor policy in response to COVID-19 (coronavirus).

“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. It is a policy with tiaki (protect), manaaki (care and support) and aroha (love) at its core.

“Now is the time for our Canterbury and West Coast communities to step up and help us protect and care for all those in our care during these challenging times by following this updated visitor policy, says David.

The following changes apply with immediate effect and until further notice

In line with the Government’s directive that we are to escalate to COVID-19 alert level 4 protocol, all Canterbury and West Coast DHB facilities have adopted a no-visitors policy, with only a few notable exceptions.

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.

In all exceptions where a visitor is allowed to access any DHB facility, appropriate 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 (PPE).

“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,” David says.

For people with outpatient appointments, if you are unwell or have potentially been exposed to anyone with COVID-19 symptoms, please do not come in unless it’s an emergency. Call the phone the number on your appointment letter. They may be able to arrange a phone or video consultation as an alternative to a face to face appointment.

Only people with symptoms should call Healthline’s COVID-19 line on 0800 358 5453.


For further information, contact:


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Page last updated: 16 July 2020

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