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

RAT test collection sites open across Coast

Friday 4 March 2022Health news2 minutes to read

Please attribute to Philip Wheble, EOC Incident Controller, West Coast DHB.

Now we are in phase three of the Omicron response, rapid antigen testing (RAT) has become the primary form of testing. You only need to get tested if you have symptoms, you are a household contact, a critical worker, or you have been directed to by a health official. Close contacts should only get tested if they develop symptoms. We are asking people to help us make the best use of our resources and not to turn up for a COVID-19 test unless they meet the criteria.

Demand for testing has started to increase in recent days as the number of community cases has risen. 

“We know some people are anxious about getting hold of a RAT test.  Please be as patient as you can when phoning or talking to our health system staff.  We’re working hard to help meet the increase in public demand for testing, and increasing the number of community collection sites across the Coast.”

RAT collection is currently available at these sites today.

Weekend RAT collection sites:

(Historical info that was shown in this space has now been removed, as this is no longer current, and it could confuse health consumers should they find this page now.  Please use the links on this page to find up-to-date information.)

Vaccinations are still available on the West Coast and health officials urge people to get vaccinated, particularly the five to 11-year-olds.  Please visit this HealthPoint site for times/days and locations.  Bookings are encouraged.



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Page last updated: 4 July 2022

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