In line with the Government's directive, the Bay of Plenty District Health Board (BOPDHB) has now adopted a no-visitors policy, with few notable exceptions.
The exceptions include a nominated person who is supporting a terminal patient through end-of-life-care, a parent/guardian who is supporting a child and, in maternity, one support person/birthing partner per patient.
BOPDHB Incident Controller Bronwyn Anstis said the decision about whether exceptional circumstances apply was at the Clinical Nurse Manager's or another lead clinician's discretion.
"In all exceptions where a visitor is allowed access to any BOPDHB facility, appropriate screening will take place before they are allowed to enter the facility to ensure they are well.
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"This measure, as with all current COVID-19-related measures, is to ensure the safety of patients and staff by minimising avoidable contact and the potential for spread," she said.
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"We are going through an extraordinary situation where we must examine our tikanga to enable us to care for those people who are in hospital in the best possible way."
Anstis said, to this end, their new tikanga for visiting was designed to protect and care for those tūroro and tāngata whaiora who were in hospital.
"These tikanga are based on tiaki, manaaki and aroha. I ask that all whānau help us to protect and care for all who are in our care in Bay of Plenty District Health Board health services."