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Bay Of Plenty DHB Updates Visitor Policy Under Alert Level 2

The Bay of Plenty District Health Board recognises the important role of visitors in the healing process. With this in mind, we have updated our visitor policy under COVID-19 Alert Level 2, while continuing to protect patients and staff from any potential risk of exposure.

The managed visitor access for Tauranga and Whakatāne hospitals will allow one visitor at a time per patient, effective from Thursday 14 May.

In the emergency department, Intensive Care Unit (ICU), High Dependency Unit (HDU) and Acute Care Unit (ACU) the general principle is for one visitor per patient and one visit per day.

For the maternity ward it is one nominated support person during labour and birth; for postnatal and antenatal patients can have their nominated support person plus one other nominated visitor (this must be the same person each day and not visiting at the same time as the support person). No overnight stays will be permitted unless the woman is in labour and for early post-natal support.

In the Special Care Bay Unit (SCBU) the visitor policy allows for mother plus one nominated support person per day. The nominated support person must be the same person each day and cannot visit the unit at the same time as the mother.

In other hospital areas, it's still one visitor at a time but more than one person is able to visit during the day. Each visitor can only visit once per day.

Appropriate screening will take place for all visitors before they are allowed to enter the facility to ensure they are well. All visitors will continue to be required to complete the visitors register on entry and exit of the hospital for contact tracing purposes, and wear a visitor sticker.

Clinical Nurse Managers/Clinical Midwife Managers or Duty Nurse Managers will consider additional requests on a case-by-case basis for compassionate reasons.

Should a patient be confirmed with COVID-19 or suspect or probable for COVID-19, then no visitors are allowed.

Visiting hours will be from 8am to 8pm, 7 days a week.

People who would like more information can phone the Patient Information Centre on 0800333477 or email contactus@bopdhb.govt.nz in advance.

Our Māori Health Gains and Development team are available to provide guidance and support to Māori whānau who want to understand how to provide manaakitanga to their loved ones in the hospital. Whānau can ask to be referred to Māori Health Gains and Development through the Patient Information Centre.

BOPDHB Incident Management Team Incident Controller Bronwyn Anstis says the DHB appreciates it has been a difficult time for people who have family, whānau and friends who are in hospital.

“We are very grateful to the public during this time for their understanding and helping us to ensure that priority is given to the needs and care of the patients, the safety and security of staff.”

“As always when visiting people in hospital, you have a responsibility to be respectful of the patient you are visiting, other patients and visitors, and our staff.

“As part of our ‘team of five million’ response to eliminate the spread of COVID-19, we all need to be especially mindful of core public health precautions such as good hand hygiene and physical distancing.”

This policy may change as we continue to monitor the risks for patients, staff and visitors, and receive further advice from the Ministry of Health.

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