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Update: COVID-19 alert level 2

10 September 2021

In line with national guidance, we are now introducing some new measures to protect our patients, staff and visitors.

These changes are slightly different to our previous alert level 2 policy and includes these key differences:

  • No visitors under 16, unless approved by the clinical manager/lead on the ward.
  • One birthing partner is permitted for labour and birth and may stay for postpartum period. Once your baby is born, one person at a time can visit during hospital visiting hours.
  • One parent/caregiver will be allowed to accompany a child for the duration of their admission or outpatient appointment. Both parents may visit on a ward, one at a time.

These key changes above will be in place from 11.59pm tonight, Friday 10 September.

Level 2 Visiting restrictions

Restrictions on visiting, as with all current COVID-19-related measures, are to ensure the safety of patients and staff by minimising avoidable contact and the potential for spread of the virus.

 

At Alert Level 2, general inpatients will be able to have two visitors who will be allowed to visit them while they are in hospital. No visitors under 16, unless approved by the clinical manager/lead on the ward.

These visitors are allowed to come once per day. If visitors are from same bubble, they can visit at the same time. If not, they will need to come one at a time. 

All visitors must wear a mask and scan or sign-in upon arrival. Medical masks provide a higher level of protection from COVID-19 and visitors are asked to wear one while in our hospitals. Medical masks will be provided at the entrances to our hospitals. Please gel your hands upon arrival and maintain physical distancing. 

Visiting will be allowed between set visiting hours. We ask that you stay with your loved one in their room and avoid moving around our wards. When you leave, please go straight to your nearest exit.

Visiting hours: 10am – 1pm and 3pm – 8:00pm.  

Where a visitor is allowed to access any DHB facility, they will be asked a set of questions to ensure they are well before they are allowed in.

We’ll also be asking those visiting to follow Alert Level 2 precautions such as ensuring that hands are washed and physical distancing of 2 metres is maintained. This is to keep our patients and our staff safe. For more information, please view our full visitor policy.

In some cases, the restrictions on visiting are a little different, these include:

  • Emergency Department – One visitor per patient—this visitor is not to be swapped with another person unless it is discussed with the clinician in charge. Masks must be worn at all times. No visitors under 16.
  • Support people for women/people in labour - In addition to your midwife or LMC, one birthing partner is permitted for labour and birth and may stay for postpartum period. Paraparaumu Maternity cannot accommodate partner/support person staying overnight.

    After the birth of your baby, one person can visit in hospital during visiting hours. No visitors under 16. Masks must be worn by visitors at all times.

  • Outpatient appointments (including radiology) - One support person is permitted to accompany a patient to an outpatient appointment of ambulatory care services. Masks must be worn at all times, by both patients and support people. An additional support person is permitted for those needing physical or psychosocial support. A kaumātua is allowed a support person at all times.
  • Visiting NICU/SCBU - Both parents will be able to visit babies in our neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) and Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU) one at a time. No siblings or other whānau during this time.
  • Intensive Care Units - In ICU, two nominated visitors per patient, per day may visit. Masks must be worn at all times. Physical distancing of 2 metres must be maintained. In events where distancing cannot be maintained, visitors may be asked to visit one at a time.
  • Patients with disabilities may have one nominated visitor in addition to their support person.
  • Child Health - One parent/caregiver will be allowed to accompany a child for the duration of their admission or outpatient appointment. One parent/caregiver may stay overnight. Both parents may visit on a ward, one at a time. Meals will be provided. No visitors under 16.
  • Oncology (cancer) 5 North one visitor permitted at a time. No children under 16. Visitors from outside the region need approval from the clinician in charge (SMO). 
  • Dialysis - Due to the difficulty to physical distance, no visiting or support people.

Other exceptions will be considered on a case by case basis – for example allowing family to visit a dying patient - by the clinical team caring for the patient. The clinical team will work with the family, and the infectious diseases team as appropriate, to ensure the right balance between compassion and safety is maintained.

We encourage our patients to nominate a family member to help with communication with whānau.

Our staff can also help you and your loved one in hospital stay connected via phone or video conference. Read more about how we can help

We ask that all families and whānau help us to protect and care for all who are in our care in Capital & Coast DHB and Hutt Valley DHB health services.

There are restrictions on visiting all Capital & Coast DHB and Hutt Valley DHB facilities.

Information about surgeries and appointments

 

With the move to alert level 2, we are looking at what services we can increase while continuing to keep our staff and patients safe.

Urgent acute and some non-deferrable surgery is continuing. This includes working with private providers to ensure that non-deferrable planned surgery – such as cancer or cardiothoracic surgery – continues. All decisions are made based on patients’ assessed level of need and in consultation with clinical teams.

We are contacting all affected patients but if you have not heard from us, and are unsure whether to come to your scheduled appointment please phone (04) 806 0992 to confirm.

Please note that emergency and urgent services are not affected. If you are unwell or experiencing mental health distress you should not hesitate to seek care.

We will continue to provide patients and the public with information as developments progress.

 

 

COVID-19 testing

Community-based Assessment Centres have been set up across the Wellington Region.

*NEW* We have had large numbers of people call to book a COVID-19 test this morning Sat 21/8/21 – a reminder to please call Healthline first for advice on 0800 358 545 and to confirm if you need a test.

Information on testing sites, hours, and how to book a test is located on Healthpoint.

If you don’t manage to get through to our booking number at first, please try again. We have increased the number of sites and extended our hours so everyone who needs to be tested can be tested.

These centres, also known as CBACs (Community Based Assessment Centres), are primarily to screen and assess people for testing, and test those who meet the criteria

No on-demand (or drop-in) COVID-19 testing is being carried out in the hospital. Please follow the instructions on your referral letter for directions on how to get to a testing facility.

Thank you to everyone for your patience.

Find out more about centre locations and the testing process

Maternity Care

If you are pregnant and expecting to give birth soon, you may be worried about what giving birth will be like while the country is in COVID-19 Level 2.

Maternity care is an essential service.  All your maternity care will still be provided. However, to protect you, your baby and your whānau, we’ve made some changes to how we work.

For the safety of you, your baby, your whanāu, and our teams, our routine care has been changed to protect everyone. This includes restricting your visitors and support people. 

Support people for women/people in labour - In addition to your midwife or LMC, one birthing partner is permitted for labour and birth and may stay for postpartum period. Paraparaumu Maternity cannot accommodate partner/support person staying overnight.

After the birth of your baby, one person can visit in hospital during visiting hours. No visitors under 16. Masks must be worn by visitors at all times.

Our staff, and hospital teams are all aware of how difficult this is for you. We encourage the use of video calls with your whānau and friends. Speak to our staff if you need some assistance to stay connected while in hospital.

Information for pregnant women and mums who are breastfeeding is available on the Ministry of Health website.


Abortion services

We continue to provide abortion services for women in Wellington, Hutt, Porirua and Kāpiti.

Abortion care is an essential part of health care for women and we will maintain services even where non-urgent or elective services are suspended.

However, to reduce the risk of infection entering the hospital we’re limiting the amount of people coming into the hospital. This means that 1 support person will be allowed to attend your appointment with you.

Read more about accessing abortion services

 

Working with our disability community

We're working to ensure that information about COVID-19  is accessible and ensuring we respond to our community needs as we  tackle COVID-19. We're also working with the Wellington Regional Emergency Management Office (WREMO) to ensure emergency responses connect everyone to the support they need.

Accessing Healthcare

COVID-19 is an illness that can affect your lungs and airways.

In severe cases, it can cause pneumonia and severe infection of the lungs.

Going to your GP if you think you may have COVID-19

  • If you need to see a Doctor or other medical professional you MUST phone first.
  • Most consultations will happen over the phone (or by video call) 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, call 111 for an ambulance.

When should I seek medical advice?

If you are concerned about symptoms you are experiencing, please contact the dedicated COVID-19 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 means.

Self-isolation means avoiding situations where you could infect other people. If you have to self-isolate please register register with Healthline online. If you have issues with the online registration, you can also register by calling 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.

Parking and transport

While New Zealand is at Alert Level 3, there is no charge to park in our parking areas.

Help us unite against COVID-19

There are lots of things that you can do to keep yourself and those around you well.

Look after yourself

If you or someone you know needs wellbeing support or advice, call or text 1737 to speak with a trained counsellor. This confidential service is free of charge and is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. There’s also useful information on the government’s website COVID19.govt.nz

 

Be kind and stay connected

This is a stressful time for many. Remember to be kind.  While we need to maintain physical distance, it is important to stay connected.  Check in on the elderly or vulnerable by phone or video call. Connect them with specialist help (health or welfare for example) if it is needed. Make a difference by dropping off supplies to those who are home sick and ‘virtually’ check in with whānau, friends and neighbours.

Be kind

Stay home

You must stay home unless you work in an essential service. We all need to do everything we can to break the chain of possible transmission of COVID-19 (and other viruses) in our communities. If you're outside the house, please keep at least two metres away from others.

Stay home

Protect yourself and others

  • Wash your hands with soap and water often (for at least 20 seconds). Then dry.
  • Cough or sneeze into your elbow or by covering your mouth and nose with tissues.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects, such as doorknobs. Put used tissues in the bin or a bag immediately.
  • Stay home if you feel unwell.
  • Don’t touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean.
  • Put used tissues in the bin or a bag immediately.
  • Stay home if you feel unwell.
Wash your hands with soap

 


 

     

    More information

    More COVID-19 related health information is available on the Ministry of Health website www.health.govt.nz/covid-19

    For information about the national response to COVID-19 and support from across government go to www.covid19.govt.nz

    Last updated 8 October 2021.