People planning to visit whānau, family and friends in Tauranga and Whakatāne hospitals are reminded of the DHB’s Alert Level 2 Visitor Policy.

The focus at Alert Level 2 continues to be on protecting everyone from the risk of exposure to COVID-19, at the same time the BOPDHB recognises the important role of visitors in the healing process.

In the Emergency Department (ED), Intensive Care Unit (ICU), Coronary Care Unit (CCU), High Dependency Unit (HDU) and Acute Care Unit (ACU), the general principle is one nominated visitor per patient who can make one visit per day.

BOPDHB Incident Management Team Incident Controller Bronwyn Anstis says the DHB has had to differentiate between specialised areas such as ED, ICU, HDU and acute care and more general areas of the hospital.

“Often patients in these specialist areas are vulnerable or immunocompromised or have conditions that may mean they would be more greatly affected if they were to contract COVID-19. They are being cared for by highly trained, highly skilled staff, who we also need to ensure are protected from any potential risk of exposure.

“And like all areas of the hospitals, we are required to ensure safe social distancing for all and this is more challenging to do so in these specialist areas, hence our restriction on visitor numbers.

“We appreciate it has been a difficult time for people who have family, whānau and friends who are in hospital. We are very grateful to the public during this time for their understanding and helping us to ensure that priority is given to the needs and care of the patients, and the safety and security of staff.”

In other hospital areas, each patient may have one visitor at a time, but more than one person is able to visit during the day. Each visitor can only visit once per day. People attending an outpatient appointment may be accompanied by a support person. The visitor policy for our maternity units differs from other areas of the hospital, and is shown below.

In the Maternity Ward:

• One nominated support person during labour and birth.

• Postnatal and antenatal women can have their nominated support person plus one other

nominated visitor (this must be the same person each day and not visiting at the same time as the support person).

• No overnight stays will be permitted unless the woman is in labour and for early post-natal support.

• In the Special Care Bay Unit (SCBU) mother plus one nominated support person may visit daily, but only one person at a time is to be with the baby.

No visitors are allowed for any patients confirmed with COVID-19, or suspected or probable for COVID-19. Visiting hours are from 8am to 8pm, 7 days a week. And remember the golden rule: be kind.

Appropriate screening will take place for all visitors before they are allowed to enter the facility to ensure they are well.

All visitors will be required to complete the visitors register on entry and exit of the hospital for contact tracing purposes, and will be provided with a visitor sticker.

Clinical Nurse Managers/Clinical Midwife Managers or Duty Nurse Managers will consider additional requests on a case-by-case basis for compassionate reasons.

BOP and Lakes DHBs have created a new website to help address any COVID-19 questions. The website has the latest health updates relating to COVID-19, plus answers to frequently asked questions.

You can find it at:

Enquiries to the BOP HEALTH COVID-19 response team can be emailed to: