Visiting Tauranga and Whakatāne hospitals during COVID-19 at Alert Level 2

People wishing to visit whānau, family and friends in Tauranga and Whakatāne hospitals during COVID-19, are reminded of the Bay of Plenty District Health Board's Alert Level 2 Visitor Policy.

The focus at Alert Level 2 continues to be on protecting patients and staff from any potential risk of exposure to COVID-19, at the same time as recognising the important role of visitors in the healing process.

In the Emergency Department (ED), Intensive Care Unit (ICU), High Dependency Unit (HDU) and Acute Care Unit (ACU), high risk areas of our hospitals, the general principle is one nominated visitor per patient who can make one visit per day.

The BOPDHB, has had to differentiate between more specialised areas such as ED, ICU, HDU and AC from the general areas of the hospital

This is because often patients in these specialist areas are vulnerable or immunocompromised or have conditions that may mean they would be more greatly affected if they were to contract COVID-19. In addition, they are being cared for by highly trained, highly skilled staff, who we also need to ensure are protected from any potential risk of exposure. 

In all areas of both hospitals, we are also required to ensure safe physical distancing for all, and this is more challenging to do so in the specialist areas, hence our need to restrict visitor numbers. 

We appreciate 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, and the safety and security of staff."

In other hospital areas, it is 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.

For outpatient appointments, one person can accompany the outpatient.

In the Maternity Ward:

  • One nominated support person during labour and birth.
  • 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 are permitted unless the woman is in labour and for early post-natal support.
  • In the Special Care Bay Unit (SCBU) mother, plus one nominated support person who can visit daily, but only one person at a time.

Appropriate screening will take place for all visitors before they are allowed to enter either of the hospitals, to ensure they are well. All visitors will continue to be required to complete the visitors register on entry and exit of the hospitals 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.

No visitors are allowed for any patients confirmed or suspected to have COVID-19.

People who would like more information can phone the Patient Information Centre on 0800 333 477 or email 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.

COVID-19 has been a difficult time for people who have family, whānau and friends in hospital. As always when visiting people in hospital, visitors have a responsibility to be respectful of the patient they are visiting, as well as other patients, their visitors, and our staff.

We all need to be especially mindful of core public health precautions such as good hand hygiene and physical distancing."

Last updated: May 21, 2020