Visitors to Waikato Hospitals have today been banned following a policy change made by the Waikato District Health Board amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Waikato DHB made a statement on Sunday stating that no visitors will be permitted to enter any of the DHB's hospitals, including its southern rural and Thames hospitals, from Monday, March 30.

Te Awamutu's Matariki Continuing Care facility and the Te Awamutu Birthing Centre are both apart of the Waikato DHB.

They said that the precaution being taken is necessary.

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"We recognise how important the support of whānau and friends is for our patients. However, this is an extraordinary situation and a necessary precaution for the safety of our patients, staff and community."

Few exceptions to the policy have been made however, a child staying in paediatrics can be accompanied by one caregiver and in delivery and maternity facilities a partner or support person would be allowed during the birth.

Discretion on essential or compassionate grounds, such as end-of-life support, would also be considered. It would come down to the Charge Nurse Manager's call and must be agreed on prior to arrival.

In all cases, no children are allowed into the DHB's hospitals, including the children of staff.

Anyone who is Covid-19 positive or in voluntary or mandated isolation due to potential Covid-19 contact will not be permitted to enter under any circumstances.

The DHB also advises that those over 70-years-old or with an existing health condition should avoid visiting so that they do not increase their risk of being exposed to Covid-19.

Security will be at all entry and exit points and will require information from visitors to verify eligibility to enter the hospitals.

All visitors will be screened prior to entry and must observe strict hand hygiene and social distancing measures in place as well as follow the guidance of staff at all times.

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