Health and disability services at Alert Level 3

Nelson Marlborough region is in Alert Level 3 from 11.59am, Tuesday 31 August 2021.

Health and medical facilities will remain open while we are at Alert Level 3.

You can still get medical help if you need it. This includes healthcare services, such as Healthline (0800 611 116), GPs, cancer services, disability and aged support services.

However, if you need to see a doctor or other medical professional you MUST phone first. Many consultations will happen over the phone or by videoconference to stop any risk of COVID-19 spreading by person-to-person contact.

Please only call Healthline if you or someone you know feels unwell or you need medical advice, rather than general questions about COVID-19. It's important Healthline is able to answer calls from those who need medical advice. The more people who call asking for general information, the fewer people who need medical advice can get through.

If you cannot get through and are severely unwell, for example having trouble breathing, contact emergency services (call 111).

 

Your appointments during Alert Level 3

We may have to postpone your planned care (elective surgery) or other appointment during Alert Level 3. We may offer you an alternative appointment by phone or video conferencing instead (telehealth), with a few appointments occurring in person. In these cases, we will contact you directly to arrange this.

Please note, due to physical distancing constraints in the waiting rooms we are asking only one support person to attend appointments if necessary. Exceptions will be made for circumstances such as parent/guardian of child, physical or mental disability, translation, and significant diagnosis. These will need to be approved by the Manager.

Please attend your appointment unless you hear from us. Phone 03 546 1800 if you are unsure.

 

Hospitals and visiting hours during Alert Level 3

At Alert Level 3 our hospitals are open but things may look a little different as we work to keep each other safe:

  • It is a requirement for staff and patients to wear masks in healthcare settings.
  • Record keeping is mandatory at healthcare facilities. Staff and patients need to sign-in or keep a record of their attendance.
  • Hospital attendees will be asked COVID-19 screening questions on entry.

To minimise the risk of COVID-19 transmission visitor restrictions are in place:

  • In the inpatient setting (when people stay overnight) this means:
    • Visiting hours are strictly 2.30pm-8pm.
    • Visitors are restricted to family members or support people only.
    • One visitor from the same bubble may be nominated by the patient to visit.
    • The nominated visitor may visit for one visit per day.
    • Children under the age of 16 are restricted from visiting.
    • Exceptions to the above (eg, compassionate grounds) require approval by the manager in charge. To request an exception, please phone the main line on 03 546 1800 and ask to be put through to the ward you want to visit.
  • In the outpatient setting (where people attend an appointment) this means:
    • One support person may accompany the patient if necessary.
    • Exceptions to the above require approval by the manager in charge. To request an exception, please phone the main line on 03 546 1800 and ask to speak with the Charge Nurse Manager Outpatients.

Entries closed on 5 December for a promotion offering a range of prizes for people who go their first vaccine between 1 November and 5 December.

Prizes: One prize per person

  1. Skydive Abel Tasman: 1 person 16,500 ft tandem skydive Skydive Abel Tasman | Tandem Skydiving in New Zealand
  2. Cable Bay Adventure Park: 2 person Quadbike Tour Bayview Circuit Best Adventure Park In Nelson | Cable Bay Adventure Park
  3. Cable Bay Adventure Park: 2 person SKYwire experience Best Adventure Park In Nelson | Cable Bay Adventure Park
  4. R&R Kayak: 2 person guided Kayak Paradise tour Adele Island, stunning scenery Abel Tasman National Park 
  5. Adventure Flights Golden Bay: 2 person Scenic Flight over Abel Tasman Adventure Flights Golden Bay Scenic-Flights
  6. Able Tasman accomodation and breakfast: 1 night for 2 people at Abel Tasman Accommodation | Mārahau | Abel Tasman National Park 
  7. Lochmara Lodge, Marlborough Sounds: $250 voucher to be used for transfer, food, activities or accommodation at Lochmara Lodge, Marlborough Sounds https://www.lochmara.co.nz/
  8. Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre Admission and a joy flight for two in a Boeing Stearman vintage biplane at Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre https://www.omaka.org.nz/
  9. E-KO Tours, Queen Charlotte Sounds: Dolphin Swimming Tour for two with E-KO Tours in the Queen Charlotte Sounds https://www.e-ko.nz/tours/dolphin-swimming-tour
  10. Wilsons Abel Tasman: 2 person Vista Cruise and Walk package https://www.abeltasman.co.nz/day-trips/cruise-and-walk/

Eligibility criteria

  • all people who received their first vaccination between 1 November and 5 December 2021 will automatically go into the draw 
  • vaccination must be done in the Nelson, Tasman or Marlborough region

How the prizes will be drawn

  • the draw will be conducted randomly and independently by a Nelson Marlborough Health Intelligence Analyst using data from the COVID-19 Immunisation Register
  • winners will be contacted by phone/email to arrange shipping or pick up of their prize
  • the winner may be asked to contribute to media coverage/promotion once their prize is drawn. Any such participation is completely voluntary.

 

 

Nelson Marlborough region is in Orange under the COVID-19 Protection Framework (traffic lights) from 11:59 pm on Thursday 2 December 2021. 

You can still get medical help if you need it. This includes healthcare services, such as Healthline (0800 611 116), GPs, cancer services, disability and aged support services.

However, if you need to see a doctor or other medical professional you MUST phone first. Many consultations will happen over the phone or by videoconference to stop any risk of COVID-19 spreading by person-to-person contact.

Please only call Healthline if you or someone you know feels unwell or you need medical advice, rather than general questions about COVID-19. It's important Healthline is able to answer calls from those who need medical advice. The more people who call asking for general information, the fewer people who need medical advice can get through.

If you cannot get through and are severely unwell, for example having trouble breathing, contact emergency services (call 111).

COVID-19 vaccinations 

See our COVID-19 vaccine rollout page for more information on the vaccine rollout in Nelson, Tasman and Marlborough.

Omicron Phase Two 

Moving to Phase 2 in the Omicron plan means that the number of Omicron cases across New Zealand has spread and we need make some changes to slow the transmission of the virus to protect our vulnerable communities.

What does Phase 2 mean for me and my whānau?

  • We expect there to be a rapid increase in cases in phase two which will require people to manage their own self isolation using online tools. Find out more here.
  • You will still need to isolate should you or your family test positive for COVID-19. Make sure you are prepared in case you need to isolate at home or away.

The most important things you can do to protect yourself and your whānau are:

  1. Get your booster, if you have tamariki aged 5 or older make sure they are vaccinated
  2. Wear a mask and scan in everywhere you go
  3. Keep up good hygiene habits, washing hands, physical distancing and staying home if you are sick.

For more information about phase two in the Omicron pan visit Our response to Omicron | Unite against COVID-19 (covid19.govt.nz)

 

The process for people in our region who test positive for COVID-19 is the same as in other regions, as directed by NZ health authorities.

There is some clear information about the process, and the length of time people stay in isolation for, on the Ministry of Health's webpage here.

If you are a confirmed case, who does not require hospitalisation, you will be required to go into isolation along with all members of your household. 

If you have COVID-19 | Unite against COVID-19 (covid19.govt.nz)

The Ministry of Health (MoH) advises DHBs to release case info only at territorial authority (ie, division by regional or district council) level.

This is primarily to protect the privacy of individuals. The MoH provides the following information for each case: Gender, age range and any relevant travel details. If a DHB were add to this data, by providing a specific location for that case, the person’s identity could be assumed – either correctly or incorrectly. This could lead to a privacy breach.

Nelson Marlborough Health (NMH) decided to confirm Golden Bay data on 18 April 2020 in direct response to community demand for this information. By doing so, NMH is one of very few DHBs to break case data down beyond territorial authority level.

Here is the MoH guidance to DHBs:
Information about testing and cases (both confirmed and probable) can be released at either the DHB or TA level as per Ministry of Health guidelines.

It should be noted that the release of TA level information should be exercised with discretion where there is a risk of compromising patient confidentiality, especially in light of information being released on a national level. The Ministry continues to see some inappropriate behaviour against people who are being tested or have/had COVID-19 by some parts of the community. We continue to need to act to respect patient confidentiality.

Advice for hosting gatherings or travelling at Red

Under Red in the COVID-19 Protection Framework (traffic lights), gatherings can still go ahead with restrictions and domestic travel is still possible with recommendations to consider COVID-19 contingency plans:

Health & Disability Services at Alert Level 4

New Zealand is in Alert Level 4

Health and medical facilities will remain open while we are at Alert Level 4.

You can still get medical help if you need it. This includes healthcare services, such as Healthline (0800 611 116), GPs, cancer services, disability and aged support services.

However, if you need to see a doctor or other medical professional you MUST phone first.

Many consultations will happen over the phone or by videoconference to stop any risk of COVID-19 spreading by person-to-person contact.

If a face-to-face meeting is required, your doctor or other medical professional will organise this with you.

Please only call Healthline if you or someone you know feels unwell or you need medical advice, rather than general questions about COVID-19. It's important Healthline is able to answer calls from those who need medical advice. The more people who call asking for general information, the fewer people who need medical advice can get through.

If you cannot get through and are severely unwell, for example having trouble breathing, contact emergency services (call 111).

COVID-19 vaccinations at Alert Level 4

Our vaccination programme has resumed and we are now vaccinating people at Alert Level 4 with physical distancing in place. Please wear a face mask or face covering to your appointment. See our COVID-19 vaccine rollout page for more information on the vaccine rollout in Nelson, Tasman and Marlborough.

 

We may have to postpone your planned care (elective surgery) or other appointment during Alert Level 4. Or we may offer you an alternative appointment by phone or video conferencing instead (telehealth). 

In these cases we will contact you directly to arrange this. Please attend your appointment unless you hear from us.

Phone 03 546 1800 if you are unsure.

Under Alert Level 4, no visitors will be granted access to our hospitals. 

An exception may be made for one family member, legal guardian or support person to attend where there is a high level of requirement for support (e.g. disability or compassionate grounds such as end-of-life).

This one visitor will need to be screened and granted access by the relevant ward charge nurse manager or charge midwife manager or senior duty manager.

To request visitation approval please phone the main line and ask to be put through to the ward you want to visit: 03 546 1800

 

At Alert Level 4, there are important rules we all need to follow to keep ourselves and each other safe.

  • Stay within your immediate household bubble. Extended bubbles are allowed where there is shared care and custody arrangements or if you live alone. Once you go into a bubble you must stay in it and others cannot join.
  • Keep 2m apart from other people at all times while in public. This includes when undertaking physical exercise in your neighbourhood, visiting the supermarket or pharmacy, urgent medical care or getting a test.
  • If you undertake activities outside, please wear a mask when you leave the house.
  • If you feel unwell you must immediately self-isolate from others in your bubble and get a test.
  • Maintaining good hygiene practices: washing your hands, coughing or sneezing into your elbow and cleaning surfaces.
  • Keeping track of where you've been by using the NZ COVID-19 Tracer App or a written diary record

Read the Alert Level 4 rules in detail

Nelson Marlborough health and disability services at Alert Level 2

Health and disability services will be available as normal under Alert Level 2, with appropriate safety measures in place.

  • 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 with cold or flu symptoms should stay home and phone the department they are booked to visit 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 physical distancing and hand hygiene 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 recently returned to New Zealand (via an MIQ), or had contact with anyone who has. They may also be asked if they have recently travelled to Auckland or New Plymouth, 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.
  • GP appointments may be offered as telehealth appointments, or by phone, as well as face-to-face. GPs and nurses will continue to provide urgent care, care for long-term conditions and routine care such as screening, antenatal and new-born care, mental health consults, prescriptions and treatment of common illnesses. You will be referred to specialists if needed.
  • Community midwives will continue face-to-face, phone or video appointments. Community dental services will open for routine care, and emergency dental services remain available.
  • Cancer screening programmes will continue as normal, as will cancer treatment. 
  • Community mental health and addictions services are available, and urgent mental health services continue as usual. 

A broader range of information about health and disability services, including cancer screening, during Alert Level 2 is available on the Ministry of Health’s website here.

How we keep our hospitals safe for you to visit

If you have a hospital appointment, or need to attend an emergency department, please do not worry that you are at risk of catching COVID-19.

Our hospitals are safe for you to visit:

  • very strict infection prevention procedures have been in place for months
  • any hospital inpatients who have COVID-19 symptoms are being cared for in an isolation ward
  • the hospitals are not busy with people during Alert Level 2, due to the restricted visitor numbers. This means that our waiting rooms and shared spaces are roomy enough for you to be able to keep your distance from other people
  • healthcare workers are wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) where required

Healthcare for urgent and emergency needs is available

Healthcare services for urgent and emergency needs has been available, and has not changed, from the very start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Please do not hesitate to go to an emergency department, or call an ambulance in an emergency. 

NOTE FOR VISITING HOURS PAGE: 

The Nelson, Tasman and Marlborough region is currently in COVID-19 Alert Level 2: This means there are reduced visiting hours as part of our Level 2 policy to keep our patients, visitors and staff safe.

Please refer to our COVID-19 information page for visiting hours and rules during  Alert Level 2.

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TEXT BELOW TO GO ON COVID PAGE

The Nelson, Tasman and Marlborough region is in Alert Level 2 from 6.00am Sunday 28 February. This means changes to our visitor policy, as part of efforts to keep patients and their visitors, and our staff, safe. 

Reduced visitor numbers during Alert Level 2:

Emergency departments, intensive care, high dependency units, special care baby units and any wards with patients in isolation: Only one visitor at a time will be allowed, for one visit per day. Visitors are advised to check they have been nominated by a patient before visiting to avoid being turned away.

The medical admissions and planning unit (MAPU), oncology chemotherapy and day stay units: NO visitors are permitted unless by permission from the charge nurse manager.

Alexandra Hospital and Wahi Oranga (Nelson Hospital): No visitors are permitted unless by permission from the charge nurse manager.

Maternity wards: Women may have one support person or partner for labour and birth support. That person is also allowed to visit while the woman is in an antenatal or postnatal ward between 8am and 8.30pm.

In addition to their support person or partner, women may have one adult visitor at a time, for one visit per day, during visiting hours from 2.30pm to 8.30pm.

At the Motueka Maternity Unit, one support person or partner may visit and stay overnight.

In all other hospital areas:

  • one nominated visitor may visit or accompany a patient to an appointment
  • patients can nominate three names of visitors who will be able to visit, one at a time. Patients should inform their intended visitors that they have been nominated
  • visitors are advised to check that they have been nominated before they visit

Exceptions to these rules:

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. Exceptions may include:

  • supporting an end-of-life patient
  • supporting a child who is an inpatient
  • a breastfeeding mother of an inpatient
  • supporting a birthing woman
  • a father supporting a long-stay baby in a special care baby unit

Visitor screening process during Alert Level 2

Under Alert Level 2 visiting policy:

  • visitors will be asked screened questions (eg about their health and recent travel history)
  • anyone with symptoms, or who has had contact with a confirmed or probable case 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 medical area concerned
  • visitors must follow 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
  • if a visitor is unwell or has flu-like symptoms they should stay home
  • flowers are discouraged (and not allowed in some areas) but gifts, books, pens and toiletries are 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.

Information for outpatients (people with hospital appointments)

People coming to a DHB facility for an outpatient, radiology, or laboratory appointment should come alone unless they have been advised to bring someone with them or they require assistance with mobility or comprehension issues or need an interpreter. The exceptions to this are oncology appointments, or if accompanying a child.

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.

 

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.

Testing is free from your GP or after-hours centre. Please do not request a test however, unless you have cold or flu symptoms or have been advise to get a test from Healthline or another health professional.

People are asked to follow the Alert Level 2 rules, eg:

  • staying home if you're sick
  • maintaining good hygiene practices: washing your hands, coughing or sneezing into your elbow and cleaning surfaces.
  • keeping track of where you've been by using the NZ COVID-19 Tracer App or a written diary record
  • keeping a distance of at least 2 metres in public and in retail stores, like supermarkets and clothes shops
  • keeping a distance of at least 1 metre in most other places like workplaces, cafes, restaurants and gyms
  • wearing a face covering on public transport and aircraft (this is a legal requirement
  • considering wearing a face covering in situations where physical distancing is not possible, like in shops.

Read all Alert Level 2 rules

Read about COVID-19 symptoms

Archived at 1 April 2021. Webpage now links straight to Ministry of Health testing page.

 

 

The below tables include COVID-19 testing data for tests undertaken since 13 August 2020.

Note: 

i) Data is from all providers of tests: community-based assessment centres (CBACs), GP clinics, after-hours clinics (urgent care) and hospitals and at maritime borders (eg ports).

ii) The data is for the test site location, and not the the place of residency for the person who was tested. For example, a test taken by a Tasman-based person who had their test at the Nelson community-based assessment center will be recorded under Nelson test data.

 

1. Running total

 

NELSON

TASMAN

MARLBOROUGH

TOTAL TESTS UNDERTAKEN

13 August to 20 September 2020

Tested: 3476

Tested: 1514

Tested: 2052

 7042

2. Breakdown by date

DATE

NELSON

TASMAN

MARLBOROUGH

TOTAL TESTS PER DAY

13 August 2020

Tested: 376

Tested: 209

Tested: 220

 805

14 August 2020

Tested: 240

Tested: 130

Tested: 171

 541

15 August 2020

Tested: 113

Tested: 0

Tested: 27

 140

16 August 2020

Tested: 98

Tested: 0 (NB: 50 tests from Tasman residents were conducted at Nelson test sites)

Tested: 33

 131

17 August 2020

Tested: 168

Tested: 92

Tested: 146

406

18 August 2020

Tested: 179

Tested: 61

Tested: 91

331

19 August 2020

Tested: 239 (inclusive of Port Nelson testing)

Tested: 53

Tested: 72

364

20 August 2020

Tested: 107

Tested: 52

Tested: 57

216

21 August 2020

Tested: 120

Tested: 45

Tested: 53

218

22 August 2020

Tested: 19

Tested: 0

Tested: 21

40

23 August 2020

Tested: 25

Tested: 0

Tested: 11

36

24 August 2020

Tested: 81

Tested: 45

Tested: 54

180

25 August 2020

Tested: 86

Tested: 33

Tested: 46

165

26 August 2020

Tested: 63

Tested: 30

Tested: 46 

139

27 August 2020

Tested: 94

Tested: 41

Tested: 41

176

28 August 2020

Tested: 183 Tested: 39 Tested: 49 271

29 August 2020

Tested: 41 Tested: 0 Tested: 14 55

30 August 2020

Tested: 30 Tested: 0 Tested: 14 44

31 August 2020

Tested: 80 Tested: 87 Tested: 50 217

1 September 2020

Tested: 80 Tested: 45 Tested: 69 194

2 September 2020

Tested: 74 Tested: 51 Tested: 43 168

3 September 2020

Tested: 79 Tested: 27 Tested: 30 136

4 September 2020

Tested: 58 Tested: 135 Tested: 39 232

5 September 2020

Tested: 24 Tested: 0 Tested: 14  38

6 September 2020

Tested: 32 Tested: 0  Tested: 5  37

7-14 September 2020

Tested: 481 Tested: 201 Tested: 361 1043

15 September 2020

Tested: 71 Tested: 55 Tested: 102 228

16 September 2020

Tested: 69 Tested: 16 Tested: 40 125

17 September 2020

Tested: 82 Tested: 29 Tested: 64 175

18-20 September 2020

Tested: 84 Tested: 38 Tested: 42 164

 

 

In the week starting 24 May there were some hitches with the booking process; we’ve made some changes and the process is now working more smoothly.

People are being contacted in batches with the invitation to make an appointment. You will be given an 0800 number or email address to use. When we send messages out in batches like this, we often receive a large number of calls in a very short space of time.

If your call goes through to the answerphone and you leave a message, you will be phoned back within 48 hours. We ask you to leave a phone number in your message, so that we know exactly which number to phone you back on. Please do not leave multiple messages as this slows down the process.

There may be rare occasions when the 0800 number is overwhelmed and, instead of going to answerphone, you will hear a ‘line busy’ dial tone. If this happens, please try again a little later.

Information for visitors to our hospital

Under Alert Level 1, hospital visiting hours have returned to normal. 

Please remember:

  • the more space there is between you and others, the harder it is for viruses and bugs to spread.
  • if you are unwell please stay home.
  • visitors are important for a patient's recovery - but so is rest. Be mindful of the balance.
  • keep track of where you've been by using the tracing app — NZ COVID Tracer. This app works by scanning a QR code on a poster displayed at the hospital entrance.

For more information on visiting hours, see our Visiting Hours page.

Nelson Marlborough health & disability services at Alert Level 2

Health and disability services will be available as normal under Alert Level 2, with appropriate safety measures in place.

  • 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 with cold or flu symptoms should stay home and phone the department they are booked to visit 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 physical distancing and hand hygiene 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 recently returned to New Zealand (via an MIQ), or had contact with anyone who has. They may also be asked if they have recently travelled to Auckland or New Plymouth, 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.
  • GP appointments may be offered as telehealth appointments, or by phone, as well as face-to-face. GPs and nurses will continue to provide urgent care, care for long-term conditions and routine care such as screening, antenatal and new-born care, mental health consults, prescriptions and treatment of common illnesses. You will be referred to specialists if needed.
  • Community midwives will continue face-to-face, phone or video appointments. Community dental services will open for routine care, and emergency dental services remain available.
  • Cancer screening programmes will continue as normal, as will cancer treatment. 
  • Community mental health and addictions services are available, and urgent mental health services continue as usual. 

A broader range of information is available on the Ministry of Health website here.

A broader range of information about health and disability services, including cancer screening, during Alert Level 2 is available on the Ministry of Health’s website here.

How we keep our hospitals safe for you to visit

If you have a hospital appointment, or need to attend an emergency department, please do not worry that you are at risk of catching COVID-19.

Our hospitals are safe for you to visit:

  • very strict infection prevention procedures have been in place for months
  • any hospital inpatients who have COVID-19 symptoms are being cared for in an isolation ward
  • the hospitals are not busy with people during Alert Level 2, due to the restricted visitor numbers. This means that our waiting rooms and shared spaces are roomy enough for you to be able to keep your distance from other people
  • healthcare workers are wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) where required

Healthcare for urgent and emergency needs is available

Healthcare services for urgent and emergency needs has been available, and has not changed, from the very start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Please do not hesitate to go to an emergency department, or call an ambulance in an emergency. 

CBAC Info

CBAC Info removed 22 September 2020

What happens at a CBAC? Will I definitely be tested there?

People who go to a community-based assessment centre (CBAC) will be seen free of charge.

When you go to a CBAC you will be met by clinicians wearing protective masks and other personal protective equipment.

They will ask you 'screening questions' to determine if you need to be assessed (examined by a doctor). Screening also happens on the phone when you call a CBAC, GP or Healthline on the phone. Once screened, you may be assessed (examined by a doctor) inside a CBAC building. After the assessment, the doctor may then decide to test you.

Testing is where a swab (sample) is taken from your nose and sent to a laboratory for testing. If you are tested, it is very important that you stay in careful isolation at home and follow the physical distancing rules.

You will be called on the phone with the test results, usually within 48 hours. If your test is negative, you will be phoned by your GP. If it is positive, you will be phoned by the Nelson Marlborough Public Health Service.

Where can I find a CBAC?

Locations and operating hours

Tahunanui, Nelson

  • At the former Suburban Club building, 168 Tahunanui Drive
  • 10am until 4pm, Monday to Friday
  • Phone 0800 358 4636

Blenheim

  • At the old netball courts off Horton Park, 29b Redwood Street
  • 11am until 2pm, Monday to Friday
  • Phone 0800 3584636

Takaka

  • Outside the Golden Bay Community Health Centre, 10 Central Takaka Rd
  • The hours may change: Call 03 525 0060
  • Please phone first for confirmation that you should go to the centre

 

What are my options if I live in Picton or Murchison?

Safe assessment sites have been set up in Picton and Murchison.

At the Picton Medical Centre a cabin has been set up outside of the building to allow the safe assessment of people with COVID-19 symptoms, away from other patients in waiting rooms. This is available during the center's operating hours on weekdays from 9am to 5pm. Phone: 03 520 3222

At Murchison Hospital and Health Centre, a negative pressure room is being used for safe assessment. Call the centre on: 03 523 1120.

 

What if I need assessment outside of the CBAC working hours?

People seeking assessment outside of these hours are asked to stay at home – away from school and work and other populated places. They should call Healthline (0800 538 5453) or their GP for advice.

In urgent situations, they can phone an urgent care centre in Nelson or Blenheim.

 Nelson Medical & Injury Centre:

  • 98 Waimea Rd
  • 8am to 10pm, 7 days a week
  • 03 546 8881

Urgent Care Centre, Blenheim:

  • Wairau Hospital (near ED), Hospital Rd
  • 8am to 8pm, 7 days a week
  • 03 520 6377

In emergencies, people should phone 111 or attend a hospital emergency department (ED). 

When should I go to a community-based assessment centre for testing?

You should contact a community-based assessment centre (CBAC) if you develop any COVID-19 symptoms. These are:

  • A fever (high temperature of 38 degrees Celsius or more)
  • A cough
  • Shortness of breath or trouble breathing
  • A sore throat
  • Sneezing and a runny or dripping nose
  • A temporary loss of sense of smell

It’s especially important to contact a CBAC if you live in the same house with a large family, or if you live in a communal environment (such as a hostel or apartment block).

If you are immunocompromised (eg an oncology or diabetes patient), please go to a hospital emergency department instead of a CBAC for assessment.

The contact details for CBACs are listed on this webpage under 'Where can I find a community-based assessment centre?'

 

What happens at a CBAC? Will I definitely be tested there?

People who go to a community-based assessment centre (CBAC) will be seen free of charge.

When you go to a CBAC you may be met by clinicians wearing protective masks and other personal protective equipment.

They will ask you 'screening questions' to determine if you need to be assessed (examined by a doctor). Screening also happens on the phone when you call a CBAC, GP or Healthline on the phone. Once screened, you may be assessed (examined by a doctor) inside a CBAC building. After the assessment, the doctor may then decide to test you.

Testing is where a swab (sample) is taken from your nose and sent to a laboratory for testing. If you are tested, it is very important that you stay in careful isolation at home and follow the physical distancing rules.

You will be called on the phone with the test results, usually within 48 hours. If your test is negative, you will be phoned by your GP. If it is positive, you will be phoned by the Nelson Marlborough Public Health Service.

 

Is it safe to deliver and receive hand-delivered mail or goods?

Is it safe to deliver and receive hand-delivered mail or goods?

Your hand-delivered mail and goods are safe to handle. 

NMH Clinical Director of Public Health, Dr Stephen Bridgman says that there is negligible risk of COVID-19 being transmitted on the surface of mail or packaged items. This is because there is no evidence of community transmission (spread) of COVID-19 in the Nelson Marlborough region, currently. Nearly all local cases have been linked to travel or close contact with someone who has travelled, all cases have been in isolation, and Nelson Marlborough has not had a person with a positive COVID-19 test since April 3rd. This means that COVID-19 is not circulating in our communities, and certainly not on mail or packages.

Hygiene is very important to keep mail and goods clean
While the risk of the COVID-19 virus being transmitted on mail or goods is negligible, employees and volunteers who deliver mail and goods (such as meals on wheels) to people’s homes should still follow basic but thorough hygiene practices. These include:

  • physical distancing (eg delivering the goods at a 2m distance from other people)
  • good hand hygiene and cough etiquette (coughing into an elbow or disposable tissue)
  • regular cleaning of surfaces and frequently touched items (such as steering wheels and pens)
  • avoid touching face, eyes, mouth and nose.

The Ministry of Health (MoH) do not recommend the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) for delivery services, as outlined in this resource [MoH website]: 

In addition to the MoH guidance: The Nelson Marlborough Public Health Service does not recommend the routine use of gloves when delivering goods This is because gloves are more likely to become dirty, compared to the preferable practice of frequent and thorough hand washing.

 

How is NMH protecting its healthcare workers?

The safety of our staff is Nelson Marlborough Health's highest priorities.

The restriction of visitors to our hospitals will help protect our staff from being exposed to COVID-19. The postponement of non-urgent elective procedures (planned care) will allow our staff to prioritise their planning and preparation for more cases of COVID-19. 

Staff are being trained on how to manage patients with COVID-19, and simulations or ‘dummy’ practice runs are being undertaken. In many cases the protocols and health pathways are similar to those already tested and proven for other infectious respiratory diseases. 

We will ensure that we have the personal protective equipment (PPE) required for staff and that they are aware of the correct procedures in dealing with COVID-19.

Information for visitors to our hospitals

Slight adjustments have been made to the Nelson Marlborough Health visitors’ policy while continuing to protect patients and staff from any potential risk of exposure to Covid19.

Patients who are not in high risk areas in Nelson and Wairau Hospitals may still have only one visitor at any one time but they can now nominate three names of visitors who will be able to visit during their stay.

However, restrictions remain in force for high risk areas such as the Emergency Department, Intensive Care, High Dependency Unit, Special Care Baby Unit, maternity units or any ward with Covid 19 suspected or positive patients.
In these areas only one visitor and one visit per day will be allowed.

Visitors are advised to check they have been nominated by a patient before visiting as they may be turned away.

In maternity wards women may include one person for labour and birth support and one visitor per day while they are an inpatient in an antenatal or postnatal ward. No children are to visit maternity units.

The new policy is effective immediately.

Lexie O’Shea, General Manager Clinical Services, Nelson Marlborough Health says she is very appreciative of the public’s response to the changing visiting policy put in place over the last few weeks.
“We acknowledge how important connections with family and friends are for healing and wellbeing and I am grateful for the support and understanding we have received from the public,” she says. “It is this support that has enabled us to protect our staff and our patients and ensure their safety.”
Where possible, family and whanau are still encouraged to keep in touch with patients in hospital by text, video calls, social media or phone calls.
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.


Under Alert Level 2 visiting policy:
• visitors will be asked screened 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 medical area concerned. 
• visitors must follow 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

• If a visitor is unwell or has flu-like symptoms they should stay home
• flowers are discouraged (and not allowed in some areas) but gifts, books, pens and toiletries are permitted (as long as these items go home with the patient) 
• only one person may enter the building, after screening, to collect a patient.

Information for outpatients (people with hospital appointments)
People coming to a DHB facility for an outpatient, radiology, or laboratory appointment should come alone unless they have been advised to bring someone with them or they require assistance with mobility or comprehension issues or need an interpreter. The exceptions to this are oncology appointments, or if accompanying a child.

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.

Need care? It's here

Please don't neglect your health during any Alert Level. What may start as a minor issue could become serious if you leave it too long.

You can still see a pharmacist, doctor, nurse, midwife, counsellor and other healthcare professionals – just in a different way. You may be offered consultation via phone, email or video. If you need to be seen in-person, arrangements will be made for this to happen safely for you.

GP visits are free for children under 14 (including after-hours care) and are subsidised for Community Service Card holders. Pharmacies offer free advice and some offer the free flu vaccination for eligible people. 

Healthline's normal (non-COVID specific) line is 0800 611 116. Phone calls are free – including from a mobile phone. Healthline is available 24 hours, 7 days a week. The Healthline team can arrange an interpreter to talk with you in your language – when your call is answered, say you'd like an interpreter and the language you'd like to speak in. They can also engage with the NZ Relay Services and support the Deaf, hearing impaired, Deafblind and speech impaired. 

After-hours, you can get help from an urgent care centre. If it's an emergency, call 111 or go to a hospital emergency department. These services are not affected by COVID-19.

You do not need to be worried about catching COVID-19 at a hospital, clinic or health centre. New Zealand healthcare providers follow international best practice for infection prevention. This is why things will look different. Doors may be closed. You may be screened before you come in (asked questions about your health), given a mask to wear, or assessed in a cabin outside of the main building. These are all precautions to keep you and others safe.

Need care? It's there. Please don't delay getting medical advice when you need it. Find out where to get healthcare:

www.nmdhb.govt.nz/healthcare

https://covid19.govt.nz/individuals-and-households/health-and-wellbeing/how-to-access-healthcare/

What is Nelson Marlborough Health's COVID-19 plan?

Nelson Marlborough Health (NMH) established an Emergency Coordination Centre (ECC) in late January 2020 to prepare for a COVID-19 outbreak.

The ECC comprises members from health, councils, iwi-led agencies, emergency management groups, NZ Police and other regional partners. The multi-agency ECC shares a common purpose – to protect the health and wellbeing of the Nelson Marlborough population, without increasing health inequities.

In addition to the ECC, there are three NMH emergency operations centres and three technical advisory groups in place. All groups are working together to prepare regional hospitals, health centres, GP clinics and community healthcare providers for more confirmed cases of COVID-19.

Like all district health boards, NMH is following the lead of the National Health Coordination Centre and all-of-Government response.

NMH hospital beds and equipment

There are 244 beds available across both hospitals. There is capacity, as planned for in hospital pandemic planning, to reconfigure bed use and wards as required.

     BED OR EQUIPMENT TYPE          NELSON HOSPITAL                WAIRAU HOSPITAL           
Ventilators 15 10
Negative pressure rooms 4 4
Intensive care unit (ICU) beds 7 4

Archived resources