There is still a heightened risk to vulnerable people in hospital, so we recommend all people to continue wearing a mask when visiting any of our facilities and follow other advice designed to keep patients, staff and visitors safe.  See our COVID-19 page for general COVID-19 advice, detailed hospital visiting guidelines and COVID-19 tests.

See West Coast COVID-19 vaccination clinics for info on vaccinations.

Last updated:
16 September 2022

Fewer visitor restrictions now apply

For visitors to all facilities (effective from and last updated on 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

COVID-19 care in the community

About COVID-19 Care in the Community

Most people with COVID-19 are likely to have mild to moderate illness. They will be able to self-isolate and fully recover in their own home, or in suitable alternative accommodation, with support from local healthcare providers.

COVID-19 Care in the Community is a national framework developed by the Ministry of Health in consultation with the health and disability and welfare sector.  The framework sets expectations and provides central guidance to ensure people with COVID-19 receive the health, welfare and wellbeing support they need.

COVID-19 Readiness Checklist [PDF, 121 KB] What to do at Red, Orange and Green


As case numbers rise across the Coast, now is a really good time to double-check that your household is ready to self-isolate if you get COVID-19, or are a Household Contact or if COVID-19 becomes widespread in our community. Having an isolation plan in place means you, your whānau and community can help each other if needed.

Here are some simple practical COVID-19 Care in the Community things you can do now.

How to prepare your household for COVID-19

  1. Make a plan
  2. Have what you need
  3. Know and share your plan
  4. Reach out to friends and whānau

Useful links


More information


Video: Be prepared for catching COVID-19! Team Talk with Coach

Watch the Be prepared for  catching COVID-19! Team Talk with Coach video on YouTube

COVID-19 Readiness Checklist [PDF, 121 KB]

Video: COVID symptoms and when to seek medical advice


If you have COVID and you’ve been asked to isolate at home, here’s some COVID-19 Care in the Community information about your symptoms – and when and who to phone.

You’ll be given the number for a healthcare team in case you need them. While you’re isolating you’ll need to keep an eye on your symptoms. You might be asked to take some recordings like your heart rate and oxygen levels.

What does that mean?


These are the things you’ll need to check and write down.

Taking your temperature IF YOU HAVE A THERMOMETER – not everyone gets a fever

but it’s worth knowing how to do it.

You may need to measure your blood oxygen levels and heart rate using a pulseoximeter.


How your breathing is GOING

And any new symptoms you have.

Knowing WHEN and WHO to call for help is really important.

CALL 111 IF:

  • you have a sudden change in breathing or bad chest pain (clutching chest)
  • you’re confused or not thinking clearly. (person looking confused or a bitbewildered)
  • you’re feeling faint or pass out (someone faints)


  • you have new or worse trouble breathing (new visuals for each symptom)
  • your symptoms are getting worse (clutching head or tummy)
  • you start feeling better, but then get worse (sitting on side of bed, feeling unwell)
  • you have a VERY dry mouth, aren’t peeing much or are feeling light-headed (CU face) Remember, if in doubt – give them a shout!

If you test positive for COVID-19, your doctor or a health professional will call you to discuss:

  • what it means to have COVID-19 and what you need to do
  • all the people you have had contact with recently
  • if you will move into a quarantine facility or self-isolate at home.

You will need to isolate for at least:

  • 10 days while you recover from COVID-19 and be symptom-free for 72 hours, if you are fully vaccinated
  • 14 days while you recover from COVID-19 and be symptom-free for 72 hours, if you are not fully vaccinated.

You can isolate in your home or suitable alternative accommodation. This could be another property that you have access to, or are provided, that is more suitable for self-isolation than where you usually live. You can self-isolate there instead.

Anyone you live with will need to stay home for the entire time you are isolating. If someone else in your household tests positive for COVID-19, you will be advised on how much longer you need to isolate for.

While you are isolating at home, you will have a dedicated contact person check up on you and make sure that you and your whānau are safe.  Now that’s COVID-19 Care in the Community!

It is normal to feel nervous or unsure about what the next few weeks will look like.

COVID-19 Care in the Community information to help you if you test positive for COVID-19.

Getting your results

Contact tracing

Going into isolation

What your household members need to do

If you are away from home

Care while you are in isolation


Support for if you get COVID-19 [PDF, 227 KB]

Self-isolating timeline [PDF, 90 KB]

Guidance for Casual Contacts [PDF, 200KB]

Guidance for Close Contacts [PDF, 200KB]

Guidance for Household Close Contacts [PDF, 200KB]

More information

COVID-19 testing

Help and support if you test positive for COVID-19

What happens after you test positive

If you test positive for COVID-19 while travelling

Video: How to use a Pulse Oximeter

View How to use a Pulse Oximeter video on YouTube

Video: Managing your COVID symptoms


It’s important to rest at home and drink plenty of liquids when you have COVID.

Here are some ways to ease some of the symptoms you might be experiencing.

I’ve had a few aches and pains and my healthcare team said I could take paracetamol or ibuprofen to help with fever, body aches and headaches.

My nose has gone from blocked to runny and I’ve been coughing a bit. So, I’m allowed to use a nasal spray, decongestants, lozenges and cough mixture.

I’ve tried a couple of things for my sore throat, like salt-water gargle. (pulls a face)

A Teaspoon of honey went down a bit better!!

I got the pharmacy to deliver lozenges and some throat spray.

I’ve been throwing up and pooing all day. It’s not fun, but I’m keeping my fluids up, best I can. Sucking an ice-cube or ice-block is good.

Even if you experience mild or no symptoms, it’s important to stay hydrated – this means drink plenty of liquids or rehydration drinks like Gastrolyte.

Keep monitoring your symptoms so you can stay on top of any changes. Avoid running, or strenuous exercise.

Just chill.

You can do this and if at anytime you have any concerns that healthcare team is just a phone call away.

Self-isolation means staying at home and taking common-sense precautions to avoid close contact with those you live with. You will get instructions and advice directly from a public health official that is specific to your individual situation and your needs.

What it means to self-isolate at home

When you can expect health and wellbeing checks

If you need to go into hospital

What to expect after you have had COVID-19

Getting extra support if you have COVID-19 or are self-isolating

General advice for self-isolating at home

  • Stay home. Do not go to work, school or public places — even to exercise.
  • Limit contact with others you live with — for example, sleep by yourself and limit the time you spend in shared spaces. If you cannot, you should stay at least 2 metres apart and wear a face covering that covers your nose and mouth when near others.
  • Do not share items with others in your household — for example, dishes, toothbrushes, and towels.
  • Do your own laundry.
  • Do not have visitors in your home.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces regularly. This includes items frequently touched like door handles, light switches and phones.
  • We recommend opening windows to increase fresh air flow inside. The risk of spreading COVID-19 is highest in crowded and poorly ventilated indoor spaces.
  • If you need food, prescriptions or essential items get friends or family to leave them on your doorstep, or get supplies delivered.

Self-isolating: Apartments, temporary or holiday accommodation

If you are self-isolating in an apartment building, multi-unit dwelling, temporary or holiday accommodation, you should self-isolate for the time period directed by public health and follow all the same health advice as applies to people self-isolating at home (please see above).

There is additional guidance for occupants of apartments and Body Corporate Committees about how to prepare for and manage an apartment building where a COVID-19 case is self-isolating.

Guidance – Isolating in Apartments (PDF, 607 KB)

There is also additional guidance for people isolating in temporary or holiday accommodation, and for managers and owners of holiday, emergency, transitional, public and temporary housing.

Guidance – Isolating in temporary or holiday accommodation (PDF, 423 KB)

This guidance is based on international guidelines and best current evidence available as the COVID-19 pandemic evolves. Further updates may be made as new evidence emerges and in response to the level of community transmission in New Zealand.

Information for people self-isolating in apartments, temporary or holiday accommodation (PDF, 88 KB)

Pay attention to how you are feeling and look out for worsening symptoms. If you need urgent medical help or cannot breathe properly, call 111 immediately. Tell them you have COVID-19 when you ring.


Care in the Community: Self-isolating timeline [PDF, 90 KB]

Support for if you get COVID-19 [PDF, 227 KB]

We are self-isolating poster [PDF, 1.5 MB]

Guidance for isolating in apartments |, PDF 528KB

Guidance for Casual Contacts [PDF, 200KB]

Guidance for Close Contacts [PDF, 200KB]

Guidance for Household Close Contacts [PDF, 200KB]

More COVID-19 Care in the Community information

Find COVID-19 information in your language

COVID-19 information and advice in alternate formats for disabled people with communication needs

COVID-19 – Financial help and other support you may be able to receive (Work and Income)

Looking after your mental wellbeing

Financial support

Getting support if you have COVID-19 or are self-isolating

The COVID-19 Care in the Community Framework (Ministry of Health)

Cleaning and disinfecting your home after self-isolating

General cleaning and disinfection advice (Ministry of Health)

What to do with your household waste

Get vaccinated if you are not already


Video: How to isolate (taratahi) at home


If you’ve been told you’ve got COVID or you think you might have it, it’s really important to isolate at home. This will help stop the virus from spreading.

Isolating can be really hard, especially if you live with whānau, friends or in smaller spaces.

You have to stay physically distanced from the rest of the household. It can help if you have a sleepout. If that’s not possible, stay in your room as much as you can and open windows to improve the airflow.

There are some important rules you should follow.

Stay at home

Kia ora John. I’m not feeling that great. I’ve got my results back and I’ve got the virus. No club night for me. I’ll be staying put for now.

Don’t leave home for food or medicines.

Koro, I’m leaving your brekky outside the door. And I’m making a list for online shopping.

Anything you need?

If you live alone or with others, arrange for someone to drop off food or medicines. Or you can get them delivered.

If you need to use the toilet or bathroom, use a separate one if you have it. If that’s not possible, use it after everyone else has been.

When you leave your room, wear a mask and keep 2 metres away from others.

Just going for a shower, kids.

We’re putting our masks on!

Hi guys, koro’s not too well. We’re all isolating so we can’t see you for a while, sorry.

If you are asked to stay at home with COVID-19, you’ll need to monitor your own symptoms. You can get help from a healthcare team if you need it. Kia ora e hoa. I’m outside getting some fresh air. I’m a bit hōhā but all good. Yep, I’m keeping track of my symptoms and got the kids running round after me.

You can do this and if at any time you have any concerns, a healthcare team is just a phone call away.


Page last updated: 22 June 2022

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