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

Reporting your rapid antigen test result essential to getting the support you need

Tuesday 9 August 2022Health news4 minutes to read

With COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses continuing to circulate within the community, we’re reminding West Coast residents of the importance of registering rapid antigen test (RAT) results so that they can be connected to the support they need while isolating.

Te Whatu Ora West Coast’s Senior Responsible Officer for the COVID-19 response Philip Wheble says that for people who test positive in particular, registering a RAT result is the best way to ensure they can access the support they need during their isolation period.

“We know that there are people across the Coast who aren’t registering their results which means that access to any supports is limited. Registering your RAT results ensures that not only do we have a much better understanding of the case numbers across our region which helps us determine the best use of resources, it also means that if your condition worsens you will have access to the supports you need.

“When you register a positive result, the Ministry of Health will send you a text message from 2328 confirming your positive test result. The text will provide information about self-isolation and support options.

“If you are older or have other health problems you may be contacted by your general practice team or by the West Coast COVID Care in the Community team to check whether you need extra health monitoring or support. Registering your result is incredibly important to ensure you are well supported while isolating,” says Mr Wheble.

“If your symptoms are worsening and you need medical care, please call your normal healthcare provider. If you need urgent medical help or cannot breathe properly, call 111 immediately. Tell them you have COVID-19 when you ring.”

Information and resources to help with managing COVID-19 illness and isolating at home can be found on our website COVID-19 care in the community

Remember, you can continue to help support our health system by following the usual public health measures. This means stay home if you’re unwell, get tested if you’re symptomatic, wash and dry your hands, cover coughs and sneezes, wear a mask in crowded or poorly ventilated indoor public settings, and get vaccinated. This includes getting your booster, which remains one of the best defences against COVID-19 – as well as getting a second booster if you’re eligible.

How to report a RAT result

You should report the results of your rapid antigen test (RAT) if you test positive or negative. You can do this online through My Covid Record. Log in to the site, click ‘Report a test result', and follow the steps.

If you are having trouble using My Covid Record, you can report the results of your RAT over the phone by calling 0800 222 478 and choose option 3.

If you get a positive rapid antigen test (RAT) result:

  • this does not need to be confirmed with a PCR test unless advised otherwise
  • you do not need another test before you end your isolation period

You can also report a RAT result for someone else through your own My Covid Record account. To make a report on behalf of someone else you will need their NHI number, full name and date of birth.

If the person you're reporting for doesn't have an NHI number call 0800 222 478 and press 3.

RAT testing instructions in Te Reo Māori can be found here: and in other languages here

Detailed information on how to report your RAT results is available on the Unite against COVID-19 website – How to report your RAT results | Unite against COVID-19 (

Need to top up your RAT supply?

RATs are available across the Coast. There are no criteria. You don’t need to be unwell or have symptoms. Anyone who needs RATs can collect a free pack for you and your whānau from a RAT collection site.

RAT collection site details are available online at: COVID-19 Testing • West Coast • Healthpoint

Before going to a collection site, please place an order online here: OR free call 0800 222 478 between 8am – 8pm (7 days).

Free face masks are also available from RAT collections sites (subject to availability).



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Page last updated: 9 August 2022

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