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.

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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

Updated visitor guidance under COVID-19 Alert Level 2 for West Coast DHB facilities

Friday 15 May 2020Health news3 minutes to read

As we settle into Alert Level 2, and more of us are getting out and about our best defence against the spread of COVID-19 is to continue engaging in physical distancing protocols, so visitor restrictions still apply at all of our facilities, however some rules have been relaxed.

For most inpatient ward areas at Grey Base Hospital, it’s still one visitor at a time but we are now allowing more than one person to visit a patient each day during visiting hours. Each visitor can only visit once.

Visitors are now allowed in our high risk areas where our most vulnerable patients are or where patients are in isolation but this is confined to one visitor per patient per day. Exceptions may be made on compassionate grounds on a case-by-case basis for end of life care of patients who are not COVID-19 positive.

General family visits are allowed to all Aged Residential Care (ARC) facilities across the Coast but there are restrictions on the number of family members visiting and frequency of visiting. All visitors to ARC facilities will be assessed for symptoms consistent with COVID-19 and will be asked about their travel history and history of contact of people with COVID-19.

People who are self-isolating or who are unwell should remain at home and should not visit.

Visiting for maternity services under Alert Level 2 remains the same. Women who have had an elective caesarean section can have one support person. Women in labour in a maternity facility are allowed two nominated support people from their extended bubble for the duration of the labour and birth. For the duration of postnatal stays, women can have one named support person from the same bubble who can visit once per day for any length of time between 10am and 8pm.

For contact tracing purposes, all visitors will be screened at entrances to our facilities, and you will need to sign in and out.

“Good hand hygiene, covering coughs or sneezes and practicing safe physical distancing are all still vitally important,” says West Coast DHB Medical Director, Dr Graham Roper.

“Under Alert Level 2, for most inpatient ward areas only one person per patient can visit or support a member of your whānau who is unwell at a time, but we are now allowing more than one person to visit a patient each day during visiting hours. If you are planning to visit, we just ask that you follow the rules which have been put in place to protect you and others,” Dr Roper says.

This updated guidance came into effect at all West Coast DHB facilities from Thursday 14 May.

For more information on the visitor guidance for each West Coast DHB health facility, please visit the COVID-19 page on our website.



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Page last updated: 16 December 2022

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