Health services and testing update: Alert Level 2
Where to get tested during Alert Level 2
Testing is free for people with COVID-19 symptoms in the Nelson Marlborough region. If you are unsure of whether you should get a test, call Healthline for advice: 0800 358 5453.
Here are your options for testing:
1. At your regular GP clinic (your family doctor). Appointments are needed, but there is no charge for testing. Phone ahead first if you are planning to visit your doctor and request a test. Golden Bay and Motueka GP clinics will increase their capacity for testing from Thursday 13 August.
2. After-hours clinics: The Medical and Injury Centre in Nelson and the Urgent Care Centre in Blenheim. After-hours centre information for Golden Bay, Motueka and Murchison is available online here: https://www.nmdhb.govt.nz/health-services/after-hours-and-emergency-services/
3. During Alert Level 2, testing will also be available at two community-based assessment centres (CBAC):
- At the Tahunanui CBAC in the former Suburban Club building on 168 Tahunanui Drive
- Operating hours: 8am to 5pm from Thursday 13 August
- At the old netball courts, Horton Park, 29b Redwood St
- Operating hours: 8am to 5pm from Thursday 13 August
4. Testing is available when required for inpatients in hospitals and for people presenting to EDs in emergencies.
Health and disability services at Alert Level 2
- Health and disability services will continue to be available under Alert Level 2
- There will be no changes to planned care – appointments, clinics and surgical procedures will go ahead. People should attend their scheduled appointments at the hospital unless they have been contacted and told otherwise. People who are unwell and may be infectious should not put others at risk – they should phone ahead to reschedule their appointment or to make special arrangements for urgent care.
- Staff will adhere to physical distance and infection prevention guidelines. Patients and visitors are asked to cooperate with Level 2 rules, and any requests to them from health workers.
- Mask guidance: Staff who need to work with patients at a close distance will wear face masks. Patients who have symptoms may be asked to wear a mask during their appointment or procedure, and while they are in the hospital building. Patients who do not have symptoms do not necessarily have to wear a mask for their appointment however.
- Patients and visitors may be asked screening questions, eg about whether they have been overseas recently, had contact with anyone who has been overseas recently, or had any potential recent exposure to COVID-19 such as being a close contact of a confirmed or probable case. They may also be asked if they have recently travelled to Auckland, or been in contact with someone who has.
- Hospitals will operate in line with the National Hospital Response Framework.
- Some appointments will be offered by virtual consultation – this has been occurring during Alert Level 1 and will continue.
Information for hospital visitors and support people during Alert Level 2
Hospital visitor policy under Alert Level 2
Under Alert level 2 slight adjustments have been made to the Nelson Marlborough Health visitors’ policy to protect patients and staff from any potential risk of exposure to COVID-19.
1. Patients who are not in high risk areas in Nelson and Wairau Hospitals:
- One visitor at any one time but they can nominate three names of visitors who will be able to visit during their stay. Visitors are advised to check they have been nominated by a patient before visiting as they may be turned away.
2. Medical Admissions & Planning Unit (MAPU), Day Stay Unit, Alexandra Hospital and Wahi Oranga at Nelson Hospital:
- No visitors are permitted unless by exception
3. Patients in high risk areas such as the Emergency Department, Intensive Care, High Dependency Unit, Special Care Baby Unit, and maternity units:
- Only one visitor and one visit per day will be allowed.
4. In maternity wards:
- Women may have one support person or partner for labour and birth, and they may visit while the woman is in an antenatal or postnatal ward between 8am-8.30pm.
- In addition to their partner or support person, women may have one adult visitor at a time, for one visit per day, during visiting hours 2.30pm and 8.30pm.
- At the Motueka Maternity primary facility the one visit extends to the one support person or partner staying overnight. The partner must stay at the facility and not come and go if staying overnight.
Under Alert Level 2 visiting policy:
- Visitors will be asked screening questions
- Anyone with symptoms, or who has had contact with a confirmed or probable cases in the last 14 days, will not be allowed to enter
- Visitors’ names and contact details will be registered
- Visiting hours are between 2.30pm and 8.30pm Monday to Sunday, unless there is a prior arrangement with the ward charge nurse manager
- Visitors must enter through the main doors at each hospital
- Children under 16 are not permitted to visit except by prior arrangement with the ward or unit concerned.
- Visitors must follow Alert Level 2 precautions: wash or sanitise their hands before and after visiting, and maintain two metre physical distancing from strangers and at least one metre from people including friends, family and whanau (no hugs).
- If a visitor is unwell or has flu-like symptoms they should stay home
- Giving flowers is to be discouraged, gifts, books, pens and toiletries permitted (as long as these items go home with the patient)
- Only one person may enter the building, after screening, to collect a discharged patient.
The new policy is effective immediately. Visitors are reminded that our patients are in a vulnerable state.
Requests for exceptions to the visiting policy level on compassionate grounds will be considered carefully and in line with the Ministry’s guidance and at the discretion of the Charge Nurse/Midwife Manager for the ward or area concerned.
Information for outpatients (people with hospital appointments)
People coming to a DHB facility for an outpatient, radiology, or laboratory appointment may bring a support person with them.
People should attend their scheduled appointments at the hospital unless they have been contacted and told otherwise, or if they are unwell, in which case they should ring to re-schedule.
The continued restricted visitor access is part of measures that all New Zealand hospitals are taking to minimise the risk of exposure to COVID-19 by reducing the numbers of people that move through hospitals.
NMH will monitor and review the policy measures as required.
Public health advice
Anyone with COVID-19 symptoms should stay at home until they have obtained medical advice or testing from Healthline or their GP. If you have been tested, follow the instructions given to you by the nurse or GP about what to do during the time you are waiting for your test results.
While at home, people with symptoms should ensure they take hygiene measures to reduce risk of transmitting their possible respiratory infection to other people in their households. This means thorough and regular handwashing and drying, covering coughs and sneezes, avoiding touching their face, and regular cleaning of surfaces that they touch with their hands.
Please see the dedicated NMH COVID-19 webpage for all COVID-19 news, information and resources.