From today (April 28) a new restricted visitor policy will be in place at all Waikato DHB hospitals.

Alert level 3 visiting restrictions have taken into account guidance provided at a national level, with the health and wellbeing of our patients and staff being the highest priority, the DHB says.

"We also recognise how important the support of whānau and friends is for our patients," a DHB statement says.

Visiting hours will be 11am to 1.30pm and 4pm to 8pm with additional, temporary restrictions and requirements:

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• All visitors must submit personal details to ensure contact tracing can be performed if required.

• One visitor per patient / one visit per day.

• Must be from the same bubble.

• No children will be allowed on the wards.

• All visitors must not have any cold-like symptoms.

• Birthing suite to allow two support partners (must be from the same bubble).

• One caregiver for paediatrics.

• One support person for Emergency Department.

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The current 'no visitors' policy will remain in place for Critical Care (ICU and HDU) and the Henry Rongomau Bennett Centre. Some exceptions may be possible on essential or compassionate grounds and must be approved by the charge nurse manager.

The Henry Rongomau Bennett Centre at Waikato Hospital. Photo / File
The Henry Rongomau Bennett Centre at Waikato Hospital. Photo / File

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

Those over 70-years-old, or with an existing health condition which may expose them to greater risk are advised to avoid visiting.

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

The DHB says it thanks the community for its continued support, and reminds everyone to practice effective hand hygiene through washing with soap for 20 seconds and to maintain appropriate social distancing by staying in your "bubble".
Covid19.govt.nz: The Government's official Covid-19 advisory website