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Ashburton Hospital.

Visitor restrictions at Ashburton Hospital and maternity have been relaxed.

Canterbury District Health Board chief medical officer Dr Sue Nightingale said all facilities had begun to ease restrictions that had been in place to help stop the spread of Covid-19.

Visiting at Ashburton Hospital is from 11am to 7pm daily. Women staying at Ashburton maternity can have partners visit from 8am to 10pm, with other visiting from 11am to 10pm and 3pm to 8pm.

The public can expect to see fewer restrictions in place at the health board’s facilities in terms of physical distancing requirements and visiting hours.

‘‘We have already stopped screening people at the entrances to our facilities, however we encourage people to keep a record of where they go and when. This can be done by checking in via the QR code at the entrances to our facilities, or keeping a diary note of where they go and when. This information is useful if we were to have a case and needed to advise the public.’’

The main changes are to the visiting hours at Christchurch Hospital. For most areas at Christchurch Hospital public visiting was previously condensed to between 3pm and 9pm. Visiting hours have now been extended to between 11am-1pm and 3pm-8pm.

There is still only one visitor at a time permitted for each patient, but it can be a different person each time. All people attending an outpatient appointment can have one support person with them. Parents and caregivers can be present in paediatric areas as normal.

There have also been some minor changes to visiting arrangements at maternity facilities.
For women staying at Ashburton maternity and Christchurch Women’s Hospital, partners can visit from 8am to 10pm. All other visiting is from 11am to 1pm and then 3pm to 8pm.
Burwood Hospital visiting hours are now 11am to 7pm daily.

‘‘People should not come visiting a hospital if they are sick or have any flu-like symptoms. People should also keep up the good hygiene practices such as washing and thoroughly drying hands, and using hand gel where it is provided.’’

Dr Nightingale said anyone with symptoms of Covid-19 or flu-like symptoms should phone for advice – either your own general practice team or Healthline’s Covid-19 line 0800 358 5453.

The symptoms of Covid-19 are similar to common illnesses such as a cold or influenza and include a cough, a high temperature, shortness of breath, a sore throat, sneezing and runny nose and temporary loss of smell.