MidCentral DHB facilities move to Alert Level 2

MidCentral DHB will ease some visiting restrictions at its facilities as the DHB  prepares to transition to Alert Level 2, as part of the national COVID-19 response to the Delta variant.

Changes that have been in place during Alert Levels 3 and 4 to protect patients and the community will be altered for Alert Level 2, including controls on hospital visitors.

From 11.59pm on Tuesday, 7 September 2021, the following rules will apply to visitors to all MidCentral DHB facilities, including Palmerston North Hospital and Horowhenua Health Centre:

-         Patients can have a support person from the same bubble with them at all times under the Mahi Tahi programme.

-         Patients may have two visitors between the hours of 10am and 8pm. If visitors are from the same bubble they can visit together otherwise only one visitor at a time is permitted.  

-         No visitors under the age of 16 are permitted.

-         A birthing mother is allowed one support person during labour and her postnatal stay.

-         Visitors are asked to sign in using the tracer app or log books at ward and clinic entrances.

-         All people entering the hospital must wear a mask and sanitise their hands.

Outpatients can have one support person accompany them to their clinic appointment, if requied. Ideally, visitors and support people should be from the patient’s bubble.

MidCentral DHB Chief Executive Kathryn Cook welcomed being in a position to allow  more people to visit their loved ones while in hospital as it had been a difficult time for patients, whānau and staff.

“While it is important that some restrictions on visitors remain in place to protect patients, whānau and staff at our facilities, we know how important whānau support is during recovery. We are pleased to be able to increase this support for patients during their hospital stay.”  

Ms Cook said the DHB would resume some planned surgeries and appointments deferred during Alert Levels 3 and 4, but under safe conditions that ensured physical distancing and mask wearing was maintained. MDHB was contacting people directly about their upcoming appointments and procedures, but anyone with questions could call 0800 256 963.

Ms Cook said that while restrictions were easing it was still important that people followed the Alert Level 2 rules, which also included maintaining high levels of personal hygiene, and not visiting patients if you are  feeling unwell.

Visitors or outpatients who are experiencing cold, flu or respiratory illness symptoms, no matter how minor, are encouraged to stay away from MDHB facilities and get tested at one of our testing sites. Testing is available seven days a week. For information on testing, call Healthline on 0800 358 5453, go to the Healthpoint website or contact your GP team.

Vaccination clinics continue to operate for people with booked appointments and Ms Cook encouraged anyone wanting to get vaccinated to visit the Book My Vaccine website or phone the COVID Healthline on 0800 611 116.

For more information on COVID-19, testing and vaccinations in the MidCentral region, please visit our website at https://covid19.mdhb.health.nz/ (external website) .