Visitor restrictions at Canterbury hospitals

An increase in viral respiratory illnesses is being seen at Canterbury hospitals calling for officials to limit visitors to Christchurch and Burwood hospitals, effective immediately.

The Canterbury District Health Board is restricting access to Christchurch and Burwood hospitals due to an increase in viral respiratory illness being seen in the community.

Only one person at a time is able to visit, and no children are to visit the hospitals, except in exceptional circumstances.

The change is effective immediately.

Canterbury DHB chief medical officer Dr Helen Skinner says there is currently increased demand for the DHB’s hospital-based services due to a rise in patients presenting with respiratory illness and we need to do whatever we can to prevent the spread of illness in our facilities.

“For that reason, we are requesting that people only visit Christchurch and Burwood Hospitals for essential purposes only and stay home if they are unwell.

“We request that only one person at a time comes in to visit, and that no children come in to visit our hospitals.

“Exceptions will be made on compassionate grounds, and should be discussed with the nurse in charge of the area you want to visit.

“Mask use is currently essential on public transport, including the hospital shuttle, and we’re recommending people also wear a mask or other face covering (it can be a fabric mask or scarf but must cover your nose and mouth) when visiting our facilities” says Dr Skinner.

These changes are in place until further notice while there are a number of viruses circulating and our hospitals are at capacity. Thank you for your cooperation and understanding as we all work to protect our vulnerable patients and staff.

Anyone with planned surgery or an outpatient appointment should still turn up as planned – if there’s any change to your appointment, we’ll contact you directly.

Summary of key changes for Christchurch and Burwood Hospitals:

Visiting is restricted to one person at a time per patient, for essential purposes only.

People should stay home if they’re unwell.

Children are not permitted to visit, unless an exception has been granted by the relevant

Charge Nurse of the ward being visited, until further notice.

It is recommended that anyone visiting wears a face mask or other face covering.