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

Congratulations West Coast – 90% Fully Vaccinated!

Friday 28 January 2022Health news2 minutes to read

Today, the West Coast community has reached the milestone of having 90 percent of our eligible population fully vaccinated against COVID-19 says Philip Wheble, West Coast DHB’s Senior Responsible Officer for the COVID-19 response.

“To have 90 percent of our population fully vaccinated especially with Omicron now circulating in New Zealand is fantastic,” says Mr Wheble.

“Thank you to all West Coasters who’ve rolled up their sleeves and got vaccinated. I’m hopeful that because of our high vaccination rates, we won’t see many West Coasters falling seriously ill even if they catch COVID-19.

“Our vaccination teams have worked exceptionally hard over the past 10 months to reach this milestone. Thank you to our primary care partners including our Māori health provider Poutini Waiora, West Coast Primary Health Organisation, general practices and pharmacies, lead maternity carers and midwives, community leaders and community providers who have gone above and beyond to reach our communities, and to the West Coast businesses who continue to support the vaccination campaign.

“It has been no mean feat especially given the geographical spread of our Coast communities from Karamea to Haast.

“We are committed to continuing to encourage all eligible West Coasters to get vaccinated including our 5-11-year old tamariki. We have a range of vaccination clinic options available across the Coast with our mobile clinics and drive-through vaccination events seeing our vaccination teams visiting where people live and work,” says Mr Wheble.

You can find your nearest vaccination clinic here

“I’d also like to remind the community that now is a good time to ensure that you are prepared for what you need to do if you catch COVID-19.

“Readiness is about people and communities being prepared to support each other. It is things like deciding what whānau can do when someone tests positive, making lists of those who can help, working out how to get food and essential items, and what else you need when isolating,” says Mr Wheble.

You can use the simple COVID-19 Readiness Checklist to prepare for if you or someone in your household or extended whānau contracts COVID-19.

More information is also available on our dedicated COVID-19 Care in the Community page on our website.



Related topics

Back to Health News

Page last updated: 28 January 2022

Is this page useful?