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

Te Whatu Ora Te Tai o Poutini West Coast’s COVID-19 vaccination programme winds down with primary care continuing to lead on vaccinations

Wednesday 2 November 2022Health news3 minutes to read

This week marks a milestone for Te Whatu Ora Te Tai o Poutini West Coast’s COVID-19 response as the COVID-19 vaccination programme winds down with primary care continuing to lead on vaccinations.

“From this week onwards, our COVAX team will no longer be vaccinating from Greymouth’s COVID-19 vaccination clinic located on the Te Nīkau Hospital campus as the demand for vaccines has significantly reduced, says West Coast COVID-19 Vaccination Programme Clinical Lead Sophie Carey.

“Over the past few months, we have been working closely with our health system partners to transition the COVID-19 vaccination programme to general practices and pharmacies across the Coast. This process has also included looking at how best to provide vaccinations to our rural communities.

“While we will no longer be running mobile clinics in rural communities like Karamea and South Westland, residents of these communities can now access COVID-19 vaccinations through either the Karamea Health Centre or from the South Westland Area Practice in Franz Josef,” says Ms Carey.

“The roll-out of the programme across the Coast has been a mammoth task especially when considering the geographical spread of our communities from Karamea to Haast. Our vaccination teams have worked incredibly hard to reach these communities through mobile clinics, drive-through vaccination events and at our static clinics in Westport, Greymouth and Hokitika.

“A big thanks to all our staff and 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 supported the vaccination campaign.

“I also want to acknowledge our West Coast residents who rolled up their sleeves to get vaccinated. Thank you for doing your bit to protect yourself, your whānau and your wider community,” says Ms Carey.

COVID-19 vaccinations are available at GP practices and pharmacies across the West Coast. Please check or phone 0800 28 29 26 (8am – 8pm, 7 days a week), to find out where to access and how to book COVID-19 vaccinations in your area. Otherwise, please get in contact with your general practice directly.

Remember, if you have had a COVID-19 infection, you need to wait three months once your symptoms have cleared, before you can have another COVID-19 vaccination. If you did not have any symptoms, you need to wait three months from the date of your positive test result.



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Page last updated: 3 November 2022

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