COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

Information about changes at West Coast DHB Grey Base Hospital and health centres can be found on our dedicated COVID-19 Information page

COVID-19 (formerly known as Novel coronavirus)

Level 2

Parts of Waikato and Auckland remain at Alert Level 3 (Step 1).  Northland has returned to Alert Level 2.  The rest of NZ remains at Alert Level 2. The covid19.govt.nz website will continually be updated with the latest information about Alert Levels 2 and 3. What happens at Alert Level 2

More information on our alert levels

COVID-19 Alert Level 2 – Access to healthcare and visitor restrictions on the Coast

Visitor restrictions effective from Wednesday 8 September 2021 until further notice

Under COVID-19 Alert Level 2, visitor access to all West Coast DHB facilities will continue to be restricted.

Please remember, limiting our interactions with others is one of our best defences against COVID-19. For this reason, a no visitor policy continues to apply across all West Coast DHB facilities, unless you are the nominated person as per the exceptions below.

The following restrictions are in place for all West Coast DHB facilities:

  • All visitors need to scan in or sign in on arrival and provide their contact details.
  • If you’re using the government’s COVID-19 Tracer App please ensure Bluetooth tracing is turned on – this means you’ll receive alerts if you’ve been exposed to a case.
  • All visitors should wear a mask or fabric face covering at all times, unless they have a physical or mental condition that makes them exempt.
  • All visitors are expected to practice safe physical distancing. You should remain two metres away from people you don’t know.
  • Everyone entering any DHB facility will be screened.
  • Visitors who are unwell should not be entering our facilities.
  • Everyone, including visitors should practise good hand hygiene.

Under Alert Level 2, the following visitor exceptions apply and a person may enter our facilities:

  • to visit a person receiving end-of-life care.
  • to provide support to a person with a disability.
  • GP or outpatient appointments – a support person will only be permitted under specific criteria – e.g. a person’s carer/support person is required to be with them due to complex needs/diagnosis/or clinical procedures.
  • Children’s Ward – one parent/caregiver to visit a child who is in hospital.
    • Children under 16 who are unwell with cold or flu-like symptoms (unless they are seeking health care) are not allowed as visitors under any circumstances.
  • General Ward and Critical Care Unit – one nominated person may visit once per day during visiting hours and be the only visitor for the duration of the patient’s stay.
  • Maternity
    • all visitors to our maternity facilities must scan or sign in each time they visit.
    • one support person only to accompany someone presenting for acute assessment.
    • women in labour in a maternity facility are allowed two support partners for the duration of the labour and birth.
    • for the duration of their postnatal stay a woman can have one named support person who will be able to visit. Siblings of the new baby may accompany this person as long as they are well.

Additional exceptions may be made on compassionate grounds at the discretion of the Duty Nurse Manager for the ward or service. Visitors will not be allowed in wards caring for patients in isolation.

DHB Aged Residential Care facilities – updated on 8 September 2021

To ensure the safety of patients, all of whom are aged over 65, visits to these facilities is by appointment.

Please contact the facility to discuss with the manager. There may be a separate entrance for visitors, please check with staff.

Exceptions for people with disabilities

Under any Alert Levels where visitor restrictions are in place, an exception will be made for people with disabilities who are in hospital or have to attend an outpatient appointment – where they need a support person to ensure equitable access to health services. For example, a sign language interpreter, support person for someone with a learning disability, or someone to assist with mobility is allowed in addition to that person’s permitted visitor/s.

Exception card for face coverings

We know that some people who have a disability or health condition may not be able to wear a face covering safely or comfortably. If you cannot wear one, you can get an exemption card. You can show your exemption card when needed, for example to a taxi driver. 

You can request a card from the Disabled Persons Assembly NZ by contacting them on 04 801 9100 or at info@dpa.org.nz

Visiting hours

Visiting hours remain unchanged. See further down on this page visitor hours for the various health facilities.

COVID-19 testing – updated 8 September 2021

You can be tested for COVID-19 at your General Practice. If you need a test, please call ahead to your general practice team or ring Healthline on 0800 358-5453 to arrange a suitable time.

If you develop any COVID-19 symptoms, please arrange to get tested immediately and remain isolated at home or in the accommodation you are staying in. This advice extends to anyone even if they haven’t visited any of the locations of interest.

No on-demand or walk-in COVID-19 testing is being carried out on the Coast.

Latest COVID-19 updates

More COVID-19 related health information can be found on the Ministry of Health website www.health.govt.nz/covid-19

For information about the national response to COVID-19, go to www.covid19.govt.nz

When should I seek medical advice?

If you are concerned about any COVID-19 symptoms you are experiencing, please contact Healthline (for free) on 0800 358 5453 or your doctor.

More information about accessing healthcare can be found on www.covid19.govt.nz

COVID-19 Vaccinations

For information about the COVID-19 vaccination rollout on the West Coast, please visit www.vaccinatecanterburywestcoast.nz

For all enquiries to COVID-19 vaccinations on the West Coast, please use the contact form on www.vaccinatecanterburywestcoast.nz

Total Covid-19 case numbers (combined confirmed and probable) by Territorial Authority in the West Coast DHB region. (Note: This table will only be updated if there is a change to case numbers.)

  Buller District Grey District Westland District All West Coast DHB
Total cases (confirmed and probable) 0 4 1 5

 

Map showing total Covid-19 case numbers (combined confirmed and probable) by Territorial Authority in the West Coast DHB region. This map will only be updated if there is a change to case numbers.

Map showing total Covid-19 case numbers (combined confirmed and probable) by Territorial Authority in the West Coast DHB region. This map will only be updated if there is a change to case numbers.

Privacy statement: To protect the privacy of individuals we will not be providing any further information on individual cases.

Changes at West Coast DHB hospitals and health centres

Visitor restrictions effective from Wednesday 8 September 2021 until further notice

Under COVID-19 Alert Level 2, visitor access to all West Coast DHB facilities will continue to be restricted.

Please remember, limiting our interactions with others is one of our best defences against COVID-19. For this reason, a no visitor policy continues to apply across all West Coast DHB facilities, unless you are the nominated person as per the exceptions below.

The following restrictions are in place for all West Coast DHB facilities:

  • All visitors need to scan in or sign in on arrival and provide their contact details.
  • If you’re using the government’s COVID-19 Tracer App please ensure Bluetooth tracing is turned on – this means you’ll receive alerts if you’ve been exposed to a case.
  • All visitors should wear a mask or fabric face covering at all times, unless they have a physical or mental condition that makes them exempt.
  • All visitors are expected to practice safe physical distancing. You should remain two metres away from people you don’t know.
  • Everyone entering any DHB facility will be screened.
  • Visitors who are unwell should not be entering our facilities.
  • Everyone, including visitors should practise good hand hygiene.

Under Alert Level 2, the following visitor exceptions apply and a person may enter our facilities:

  • to visit a person receiving end-of-life care.
  • to provide support to a person with a disability.
  • GP or outpatient appointments – a support person will only be permitted under specific criteria – e.g. a person’s carer/support person is required to be with them due to complex needs/diagnosis/or clinical procedures.
  • Children’s Ward – one parent/caregiver to visit a child who is in hospital.
    • Children under 16 who are unwell with cold or flu-like symptoms (unless they are seeking health care) are not allowed as visitors under any circumstances.
  • General Ward and Critical Care Unit – one nominated person may visit once per day during visiting hours and be the only visitor for the duration of the patient’s stay.
  • Maternity
    • all visitors to our maternity facilities must scan or sign in each time they visit.
    • one support person only to accompany someone presenting for acute assessment.
    • women in labour in a maternity facility are allowed two support partners for the duration of the labour and birth.
    • for the duration of their postnatal stay a woman can have one named support person who will be able to visit. Siblings of the new baby may accompany this person as long as they are well.

Additional exceptions may be made on compassionate grounds at the discretion of the Duty Nurse Manager for the ward or service. Visitors will not be allowed in wards caring for patients in isolation.

DHB Aged Residential Care facilities – updated on 8 September 2021

To ensure the safety of patients, all of whom are aged over 65, visits to these facilities is by appointment.

Please contact the facility to discuss with the manager. There may be a separate entrance for visitors, please check with staff.

Exceptions for people with disabilities

Under any Alert Levels where visitor restrictions are in place, an exception will be made for people with disabilities who are in hospital or have to attend an outpatient appointment – where they need a support person to ensure equitable access to health services. For example, a sign language interpreter, support person for someone with a learning disability, or someone to assist with mobility is allowed in addition to that person’s permitted visitor/s.

Exception card for face coverings

We know that some people who have a disability or health condition may not be able to wear a face covering safely or comfortably. If you cannot wear one, you can get an exemption card. You can show your exemption card when needed, for example to a taxi driver. 

You can request a card from the Disabled Persons Assembly NZ by contacting them on 04 801 9100 or at info@dpa.org.nz

COVID-19 testing – updated 8 September 2021

You can be tested for COVID-19 at your General Practice. If you need a test, please call ahead to your general practice team or ring Healthline on 0800 358-5453 to arrange a suitable time.

If you develop any COVID-19 symptoms, please arrange to get tested immediately and remain isolated at home or in the accommodation you are staying in. This advice extends to anyone even if they haven’t visited any of the locations of interest.

No on-demand or walk-in COVID-19 testing is being carried out on the Coast.

Visiting hours

Visiting hours remain unchanged.

Te Nīkau Hospital & Health Centre – updated 8 September 2021

Children's Ward8:00am - 8:00pm
Critical Care Unit10:00am - 01:00pm
03:00pm - 08:00pm
General Ward10:00am - 02:00pm
04:00pm - 08:00pm
Maternity Ward10:00am – 12:00pm
04:00pm – 08:00pm

Buller Health Centre – updated 8 September 2021

Foote Ward
10:00am-02:00pm
03:30pm-08:00pm
Kawatiri Maternity10:00am-02:00pm
03:30pm-08:00pm

Exceptions for people with disabilities

Whatever visitor restrictions are in place, an exception will be made for people with disabilities who are in hospital or have to attend an outpatient appointment and need a support person. For example, a sign language interpreter, support person for someone with a learning disability, or someone to assist with mobility is allowed in addition to that person’s permitted visitor/s.

As with all the visitor restrictions, exceptions can be made – but only through prior arrangement with the Duty Nurse Manager of the ward or service you are visiting.

Flu vaccinations

  • The flu vaccine is available for people most at-risk of developing a serious illness from influenza. This is to help protect the more vulnerable members of our community, given the additional current health risks from COVID-19.
  • A free flu shot is available from your GP team if you have certain chronic conditions, or for your child aged 4 or under if they have a history of severe respiratory illness.
  • A free flu shot is available from many pharmacies or your GP team if you are over 65 or pregnant.
  • The flu vaccine does not protect you against COVID-19, however, it can help you prevent a serious illness from flu and help reduce demand on our health system.
  • Ask your GP or pharmacy staff for more information.

Infection prevention and control

  • Our Infection Prevention and Control team continues to advise staff across the system on ways to control the potential spread of infection, including enhanced cleaning protocols, isolation procedures and the correct use of personal protective equipment.

 

COVID-19 related media releases

Tuesday 07 September 2021 – Covid-19 Delta Level 2 Access to healthcare and visitor restrictions on the Coast

Wednesday 01 September 2021 – Appointments for this week’s Greymouth drive-through COVID-10 vaccination events filling up

Monday 30 August 2021 – West Coast DHB’s initial Greymouth drive-through COVID-19 vaccination event well attended

Wednesday 25 August 2021 – West Coast DHB planning drive-through COVID-19 vaccination events across the Coast

Thursday 19 August 2021 – Auckland and Coromandel travellers asked to get tested and self-isolate

Wednesday, 18 August 2021 – West Coast DHB Alert Level 4 information for visitors and patients

Thursday 15 July 2021 – West Coast DHB invites remaining Group 3 Coasters to book their COVID-19 appointments

Wednesday 23 June 2021 – Mobile COVID-19 vaccination clinics ready to visit rural Coast communities

Friday 28 May 2021 – Melbourne travellers asked to get tested and self-isolate

Wednesday 5 May 2021 – COVID-19 vaccination programme roll-out expanding across the Coast

Friday 9 April 2021 – COVID-19 vaccination programme roll-out to commence on the Coast next week

Monday 8 March 2021 – West Coat DHB health facilities return to Alert Level 1 restrictions

Tuesday 16 February 2021 – Changes to national Alert Levels a timely reminder to follow COVID-19 protocols

Thursday 12 November 2020 – Busy weekend of events offers a timely reminder to stay home if you are unwell

Thursday 13 August 2020 – West Coast DHB makes changes to visiting at its facilities following Alert level 2 announcement

Wednesday 29 July 2020 – CE Update – 29 July 2020

Thursday 11 June 2020 – Updated visitor guidance under COVID-19 Alert Level 1 for West Coast DHB facilities

Friday 05 June 2020 – If you have the NZ COVID Tracer App, you can now scan as you enter West Coast DHB facilities

Friday 05 June 2020 – Westport and Greymouth CBACs to close next week

Tuesday 02 June 2020 – Further changes made to West Coast CBACs

Friday 22 May 2020 – Buller residents can continue to access their health care teams during COVID-19 alert level two

Friday 22 May 2020 – West Coast DHB’s COVID-19 community-based assessment centres reduce hours of operation

Friday 15 May 2020 – Updated visitor guidance under COVID-19 Alert Level 2 for West Coast DHB facilities

Tuesday 12 May 2020 – Blessing marks an important milestone for Te Nīkau Grey Hospital and Health Centre

Tuesday 12 May 2020 – West Coast DHB to continue mobile COVID-19 sentinel testing across the Coast

Friday 01 May 2020 – West Coast DHB to start further mobile COVID-19 sentinel testing on the Coast

Thursday 30 April 2020 – Restrictions remain in place during alert level three to protect the West Coast community

Thursday 30 April 2020 – Updated visitor guidance under COVID-19 Alert Level 3 for West Coast DHB facilities

Monday 20 April 2020 – Needing a prescription for your regular medicines?

Monday 20 April 2020 – Home and Community Support Workers continue to provide care during COVID-19 Alert Level 4

Thursday 09 April 2020 – Fifth case of COVID-19 confirmed on the West Coast

Wednesday 08 April 2020 – Coasters can still access their general practice team for health care appointments

Monday 06 April 2020 – Online form now available for expressions of interest to work in the health system

Monday 06 April 2020 – Fourth case of COVID-19 confirmed on the West Coast

Friday 03 April 2020 – Drive-through clinic targets Māori and other prioritised patients

Sunday 29 March 2020 – COVID-19 Statement from West Coast DHB

Saturday 28 March 2020 – Two further cases of COVID-19 confirmed on the West Coast

Friday 27 March 2020 – All Coast GP Practices have changed the way they are operating

Friday 27 March 2020 – COVID-19 Alert Level Four – Updated hospital and clinic visitor policy

Thursday 26 March 2020 – First COVID-19 case confirmed on the West Coast

Wednesday 25 March 2020 – Temporary changes to limit visitor numbers at West Coast DHB facilities have been implemented

Monday 23 March 2020 – West Coast flu campaign underway

What can you do?

Protect yourself and others

As per Ministry of Health Guidelines:

  • Stay at home if you feel unwell
  • If you are unwell, then phone your GP or the Healthline
  • Keep going with good hygiene practices. Sneeze or cough into your elbow, wash and clean hands with soap or antiseptic hand cleaner.
  • Face coverings / masks are not compulsory but consider using these when unable to keep physical distance – for example in the supermarket.
  • Keep safe distances from people when out and about
  • Continue to use the tracking app or personal record of places you visit

About COVID-19

COVID-19 (formerly known as novel coronavirus) is a respiratory illness that can be transmitted from person to person through droplets. It has spread to every continent except Antarctica and over 170 countries and territories have laboratory-confirmed cases.

It appears that most cases identified to date have mild to moderate illness. In severe cases, though, the virus can cause pneumonia and severe acute respiratory infection.

How to access Healthcare

  • If you need to see a Doctor or other medical professional you MUST phone first.
  • Most consultations will happen over the phone (or by videoconference) to stop any risk of the disease spreading by person to person contact.
  • If a face to face meeting is required, your doctor or other medical professional will organise this with you.
  • If you cannot get through and are severely unwell, for example having trouble breathing, don’t hesitate to call emergency services (dial 111).

When should I seek medical advice?

If you are concerned about any COVID-19 symptoms you are experiencing, please contact Healthline (for free) on 0800 358 5453 or your doctor.

More information about accessing healthcare can be found on www.covid19.govt.nz

New Zealand citizens and residents returning home

Public health staff are working with border agencies to ensure New Zealand citizens and residents returning home are screened as they enter the country, and aware of the need to self-isolate and understand what that entails. Self-isolation means avoiding situations where you could infect other people. People who have to self-isolate are also asked to register with Healthline’s COVID-19 advice line by phoning 0800 358 5453.

Staff at airports and ports have information on hand that advises people what to look out for and what to do if they get symptoms.

Latest updates

More COVID-19 related health information can be found on the Ministry of Health website www.health.govt.nz/covid-19

For information about the national response to COVID-19, go to www.covid19.govt.nz

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Page last updated: 20 October 2021

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