New visitor policy and ED entrance measures to help protect others against COVID-19

Hawke’s Bay District Health Board Medical Officer of Health Dr Rachel Eyre today confirmed temporary changes at its hospitals and health centres in response to COVID-19 (Coronavirus).

“To help protect our vulnerable patients and our staff, we need to put sensible measures in place to reduce the chance of any infection spread.

“As we boost our response to COVID-19, we have introduced a new visitor policy, as well as stationing staff in full Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) outside the front entrance of Hawke’s Bay Hospital’s emergency department to double-check travel history and the reason for coming to ED, before entering.

“We are currently in the ‘Keep it out, Stamp it out’ phase and this is a necessary step to protect our patients and our staff so that we can continue to focus on providing care,” she said.

From 5pm tonight, the DHB is limiting the number of people coming into its facilities as follows.

  • Emergency Departments – one support person only to accompany people presenting to ED
  • Villa Outpatient Appointments– one support person per patient.
  • Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU) – parents only visiting
  • All remaining inpatient wards and services – one visitor per patient at any one time.
  • No children under 16 to come hospital visiting.
  • Visitors will not be allowed to visit any COVID-19 patients
  • Maternity – one support person only. Must sign in and sign out.

Exceptions: Clinical Nurse Managers and Duty Managers can assess requests on a case-by-case basis. For example, exceptions will be considered on compassionate grounds for end of life care.  If unsure, please call the hospital on (06) 878-8109 to be transferred to the ward your loved one is staying.

Dr Eyre stressed anyone visiting someone at the hospital must be well and not displaying any symptoms such as fever, cough, sore throat, sneezing or a runny nose. Additionally, anyone who is required to be in self-isolation should stay home and call ahead to their GP or Healthline 0800 358 5453 if they were worried about their health.

“Now more than ever we need people to unite and do the right thing.

Do not visit our patients if you are unwell. Also, if you think you have COVID-19 symptoms, call ahead to your GP or Heathline where you will be assessed over the phone and directed to a community-based assessment centre for testing, if required.

“We need our health workforce to be well and we need everyone in our community to follow this important advice and make responsible choices.”

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  • Anne Norton 27 Mar 2020, 14:06 (8 days ago)

    Please can i ask about heart patient coming back from Wellington operation soon to your hospital to recover. Will he have a covid swabprior to discharge as routine procedure. Will my sister in law who will be his wonderful caregiver need to self isolate for 2 weeks when he is back home? Thanksfor all you are doing . Hugs