Two Christchurch hospitals have restricted visits to essential purposes only amid an increase in viral respiratory illnesses in the community, including the highly-contagious RSV.
"We are requesting that people only visit Christchurch and Burwood Hospitals for essential purposes only and stay home if they are unwell," Canterbury DHB chief medical officer Dr Helen Skinner said today in a press release.
The changes are effective immediately following an increased demand for the DHB's hospital-based services.
“We request that only one person at a time comes in to visit, and that no children come in to visit our hospitals. Exceptions will be made on compassionate grounds, and should be discussed with the nurse in charge of the area you want to visit," she said.
Skinner said mask-wearing is essential on public transport - including the hospital shuttle - and people have been recommended to wear a mask or other face covering which covers their nose and mouth when visiting the facilities.
The changes will be in place until further notice while the viruses continue to circulate in the community and hospitals are at capacity, she said.
Anyone with planned surgery or an outpatient appointment should still turn up as planned. Anyone with changes to their appointment will be contacted directly.
It comes after hospitals in Taranaki, Northland, and Hawke's Bay restricted visitors last week amid an increased demand for hospital services.