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 1

New Zealand incl. the West Coast region is now on Alert Level 1 until further notice.

More information on our alert levels

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

When will I be vaccinated?

Information on when and how you can expect to be vaccinated for people in the West Coast DHB region. We are currently vaccinating across both Group 2 and Group 3

You are in Group 2 if you:

  • are a high-risk frontline healthcare or disability worker
  • work in a long-term residential care environment
  • live in long-term residential care
  • are an older Māori or Pacific person being cared for by whānau
  • live in the Counties Manukau DHB area and are over 65, have an underlying health condition or disability, are pregnant, or are in a custodial setting.

You are in Group 3 if you:

  • are aged 65 and over
  • have underlying health conditions
  • have a disability
  • are an adult in a custodial setting.

Our current focus, within Group 2, is on vaccinating frontline healthcare and disability workers as well as emergency services personnel, education personnel and essential workers such as supermarket employees. We started vaccinating this group in mid-April and will continue through to late May.

We are also offering appointments to household members of staff who either identifying as Māori or have underlying health conditions as part of our ‘whānau approach’. This approach has been implemented to ensure that our Coast Māori population who are more vulnerable to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic are vaccinated as early on in the programme as possible. We have extended this approach to include family members of staff who have underlying health conditions.

We will be vaccinating people in Aged Residential Care (Rest Home) facilities from mid/late-May.

We will provide further details shortly outlining when and where the COVID-19 vaccine will be available to the West Coast wider public. To be eligible, you need to be 16 years of age or older and we encourage anyone who is not registered with a general practice to do so.

Please note: Timeframes might vary, and we will let you know if the times are going to change.

We will provide further details shortly outlining when and where the COVID-19 vaccine will be available to the West Coast wider public.

Appointments for Group 2

If you are a frontline healthcare or disability worker, you should already have received information about how to make an appointment. If you haven’t, speak to your employer or email covax@wcdhb.health.nz

When booking your first appointment, you can also book in for your second dose 21 days later. If you are unable to attend your appointment, please reschedule it as soon as possible. We encourage all staff to take up the opportunity to get vaccinated.

For others in Group 2, when it is your turn to be vaccinated, we will let you know and tell you how to make an appointment.

More information and contacting us

Vaccine rollout plan

COVID-19 vaccination is free and voluntary for everyone in New Zealand aged 16 and over, regardless of their visa or citizenship status.

We plan to:

  • supply enough vaccine to protect Aotearoa and the Pacific
  • protect Māori, Pacific peoples, and other groups at greater risk of COVID-19
  • make it easy for people to get vaccinated
  • put safety first with all COVID-19 vaccines
  • ensure we are prepared for future outbreaks
  • support New Zealand’s contribution to global well-being.

The best way to protect you, your kaumātua and whānau is to get vaccinated.

Vaccines used in New Zealand

The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine is the main COVID-19 vaccine being used in New Zealand. The Government has secured enough doses for everyone.

Learn more about the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine

Who can get the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine

Vaccination schedule (timings are estimates)

  • Group 1 — now onwards: Border and managed isolation and quarantine (MIQ) workers and their household contacts
    The first people to be vaccinated are people working at the border or in MIQ, and the people they live with (household contacts).
  • Group 2 — now onwards: High-risk frontline workers and people living in high-risk places
    You are in this group if you are a high-risk frontline healthcare worker, work in a long-term residential environment, live in long-term residential care, are an older Māori or Pasifika person being cared for by whānau, live in the Counties Manukau DHB area and are over 65, have an underlying health condition or disability, are pregnant, or are in a custodial setting.
  • Group 3 — from May: People who are at risk of getting very sick from COVID-19
    You’re in this group if you are aged over 65, have a relevant underlying health condition, disabled, an adult in a custodial setting.
  • Group 4 — from July: Everyone
    You’re in this group if you’re aged 16 or over. 

Requesting an early vaccine

If you need to travel outside of New Zealand, you can apply for an early COVID-19 vaccine on compassionate grounds or for reasons of national significance. Learn more about applying for an early vaccine

Find out when you can get a vaccine

If you’re 16 or over, click here and answer the questions to find out which group you’re in.

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

Visiting West Coast DHB health facilities under Alert Level 1 – updated 8 March 2021

Please remember, limiting our interactions with others is our best defence against COVID-19.

Under Alert Level 1, the restrictions we have in place are to prevent the spread of infectious diseases in an environment where many people are especially vulnerable. Thank you for continuing to help us keep people safe.

Please don’t enter our facilities if you don’t need to.

  • Visitors are limited to two people per patient at any one time to ensure that safe physical distancing can be maintained.
  • All people attending an outpatient appointment or planned surgery can have one support person with them.
  • There can be more than one family member invited to attend a family meeting.
  • Parents and caregivers can be present in paediatric areas as normal.

Mask guidance

Masks and face coverings are not compulsory but you’re welcome to wear one if you wish.

Physical distancing

It’s still worthwhile to keep a safe distance from people you don’t know while you’re out and about. This will help to minimise the spread of COVID-19 if community transmission returns.

Use the COVID-19 Tracer App

Please check in at the front door when you enter any of our buildings using the Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 Tracer App. This is to help you record where you have been and when. If you don’t have the app, make sure you keep a record of where you have been and who’ve you’ve seen.

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.

Visiting hours

Te Nīkau Hospital & Health Centre

Children's WardWhānau/parents/caregivers are welcome at any time, but only one person can stay overnight.
All other visitors are welcome between 8:00am - 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
Visitors that mums have nominated can visit at any time

Buller Health Centre

Foote Ward
10:00am-02:00pm
03:30pm-08:00pm
Kawatiri Maternity10:00am-12:00pm
04:00pm-08:00pm

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 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: 12 May 2021

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