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

Home and Community Support Workers continue to provide care during COVID-19 Alert Level 4

Monday 20 April 2020Health news2 minutes to read

Home and Community Support Worker Hiedi Richards. (NB: vests have ‘Health Worker’ on the back)

Home and Community Support Worker Hiedi Richards.

West Coast DHB’s Home and Community Support Services team has continued to provide support to clients across the Coast during COVID-19 alert level 4,” Home and Community Support Services Manager Steve Johnston says.

“Prior to lockdown, we contacted all our clients – around 630 people – to find out what their support needs were and to identify any areas where we could potentially cut down household management if we needed to. By doing this, we were able to identify clients who could manage by themselves or who had other supports available to them.

“There were a number of instances where a family/whānau member moved in with their loved one to take care of them. This level of support from the community meant that we were able to reprioritise our services to ensure everyone continued to get the assistance they need during this time.”

On average, our team of 85 Support Workers make around 2,000 home visits each week supporting people with a range of activities like medication management, showering, falls risk assessments, cleaning and meal preparation.

“Early into lockdown, members of the community expressed concerned to some of the team because they were moving about in the community and entering someone else’s bubble. To address this, our Support Workers are now wearing vests identifying who they are and signage has been added to the vehicles.”

“Our Support Workers provide a really valuable Coast-wide service to the community. I am really proud of the team’s resilience, professionalism and courage especially as their combined efforts have gone a long way to making sure our clients remain well supported and connected,” Mr Johnston says.




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Page last updated: 20 April 2020

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