No visitor policy introduced at MDHB facilities

To ensure the safety of patients, staff and visitors as New Zealand moves into Alert Level 4 of the COVID-19 response, MidCentral DHB is introducing a no visitor policy at its facilities.

From 11.59pm on Wednesday 25 March, MidCentral DHB will adopt the no visitor policy, but with a few notable exceptions on essential and compassionate grounds. These include:

  • A nominated person who is supporting a terminally ill patient
  • A nominated person supporting a severely ill patient
  • A parent/guardian who is supporting a child
  • A nominated person supporting a birthing mother

MidCentral DHB chief executive Kathryn Cook said the changes are necessary to keep MidCentral’s communities safe, and to ensure staff and patients are not put at risk.

“I ask that all whānau help us to protect and care for all who are in our care in MDHB health services. We are going through an extraordinary situation where we must examine our tikanga to enable us to care for those people who are in hospital in the best possible way.

“To this end our new tikanga for visiting is designed to protect and care for those tūroro and tāngata whaiora who are in hospital. These tikanga are based on tiaki, manaaki and aroha.”

Ms Cook encouraged people to find alternative ways to contact their loved ones while they were in hospital.

“I know how important it is for people to support loved ones while they are in hospital. So if you’re unable to visit, I encourage you to use the appropriate technology to keep in touch during their stay.”

As an additional precaution, approved visitors to DHB facilities will be asked to sign in and sign out at entry points.

People with appointments or procedures who have not been contacted to have them postponed are encouraged to come in as planned. The visitor policy also extends to them.

Symptoms of COVID-19 include a cough, a high temperature (at least 38°C) and shortness of breath. These symptoms do not necessarily mean you have COVID-19. The symptoms are similar to other illnesses that are much more common, such as cold and flu. Shortness of breath is a sign of possible pneumonia and requires immediate medical attention.

If you have these symptoms and have recently been to a country or area of concern, or have been in close contact with someone confirmed with COVID-19, please telephone Healthline (for free) on 0800 358 5453 or call ahead to your GP practice immediately.

To prevent the illness spreading, it is important to maintain good hygiene, including washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, coughing or sneezing into your elbow, putting used tissues into the bin immediately, avoid contact with unwell people, do not touch your face and stay home if you feel unwell.

For the most accurate and up-to-date information on the coronavirus in New Zealand, health advice and resources, please visit the Ministry of Health website.