Hawke’s Bay DHB has reviewed its Alert Level 2 visitor policy following feedback from senior Emergency Department clinicians, who have asked for the no visitor policy to remain in place.
Head of Department Mark Barlow said the physical constraints of the department made it impossible for people to be able to maintain physical distancing of at least a metre between patients and staff, if visitors were able to come into the department.
Dr Barlow said while his team was optimistic the risk of COVID-19 infection in Hawke’s Bay was remote, it couldn’t be ruled out entirely and he needed to ensure the safety of his patients, visitors and staff that worked in the department.
“We understand for anyone coming into ED it can be a very stressful and emotional time, but until we are completely confident there is no risk of COVID infection in New Zealand we need to protect everyone in the department.
Our staff will be doing all they can to help patients liaise with family members and discretion under exceptional circumstances may be applied to allow visitors but only with the agreement of the Clinical Nurse Manager, he said.