Tairāwhiti is at alert level 2
All of New Zealand south, and north of the Auckland boundary will move to Alert Level 2 from Tuesday 7 September 2021. You can check the current COVID-19 case information here (external link).
You can check the locations of interest on the Ministry of Health website (external link).
Visiting Gisborne Hospital
Visitors will be permitted between the hours of 2pm and 8pm in most areas of the hospital (including Planet Sunshine) with one well visitor per patient only permitted at any one time.
In addition to the one partner or support person permitted for the duration of labour and birth, one other adult visitor (must be a close family member) may visit once per day between the hours of 2pm and 5pm.
One other adult visitor (must be a close family member) may visit between the hours of 2pm and 5pm.
One visitor between the hours of 2pm and 5pm. Visits for critically unwell people must be discussed with the charge nurse on duty.
The ED entrance will be open for those attending appointments in outpatients, fracture clinic, radiology TLAB and Tui Te Ora.
Under Alert Level 2 there will be two entrances operating, the Emergency Department entrance (2pm-8pm) and the main entrance (2pm-5:30pm). All visitors not wearing a DHB ID will be screened upon entry and must wear a face covering to enter the hospital. Face coverings will be provided to those who arrive without one.
If you need to attend Gisborne Hospital for Emergency Care or an urgent appointment, please enter through the Emergency Department entrance where you will be screened upon entry. All other entrances are closed to the public.
The Emergency Department remains open but no support people or visitors will be allowed. One parent or caregiver per child can accompany their child at the discretion of the Charge Nurse.
Please be patient, use hand sanitiser on your way in and out and wear a face covering.
If you do not have a face covering, one will be provided.
Scan the QR code on the door using the New Zealand Government's COVID-19 tracer app (external link) and ensure Bluetooth is turned on within the app. This means you’ll receive alerts if you’ve been exposed to a case.
When you should see your GP:
General Practices will be open, but appointments will still be conducted by phone where possible. People will be able to see their doctor or nurse face-to-face if required, and should call ahead before arriving at their local practice.
Childhood immunisations are also a priority and essential to keep up to date with. It is still safe to bring babies in for these as organised by your local practice. For those aged 15-30 years old, check you are protected for measles. If you are in doubt, or did not get two doses of the Measles Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccine as a child, you can this now, free from your GP Practice.
If you are experiencing cold or flu symptoms including a runny nose, cough or loss of smell and taste, you must stay home and call your GP or Healthline on 0800 611 116. They may refer you for a COVID-19 test.
Even if you only have very mild symptoms (external link), it is vital to be tested early – as soon as you get symptoms and not to expose others.
Please continue physical distancing of at least 1 metres. Continue to wash your hands regularly and other good hygiene habits.
People referred to hospital doctors for the treatment and management of illnesses such as diabetes, respiratory problems, and skin conditions, and all other general illnesses that do not require surgery will resume with appointments for those assessed as having clinical priority seen first. These appointments may be via phone.
If you haven’t heard from us expect that your appointment or surgery is still deferred. However, if you think your condition has changed please talk to your GP.
Surgery will get underway for those assessed as having a clinical priority being completed first. In level 3, major joint replacement surgery will not proceed.
The daily fracture clinic continues to run between 9am to 12 midday weekdays.
Other outpatient appointments will continue with some appointments made over the phone.
TLAB Gisborne is performing tests deemed urgent or essential by referring GPs, midwives and nurse practitioners.
If you have an appointment please call your General Practice team for advice on whether your consultation can be done over the phone, by video or in person. All General Practices are open.
Ultrasounds, MRI scans and CT scans continue to be offered for priority patients.
Mental health and addiction services
24/7 mental health crisis service can be contacted on 0800 243 500.
Mental health and addiction support is still available through Te Waharoa by phoning 06 868 3550 from 8.30am to 4pm Monday to Friday.
The Hauora Tairāwhiti adult community mental health and addiction service - Phone: 0800 999 014; Infant Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service – Phone: 06 869 0541; and mental health services for older people are still operating.
Other community health services:
Community pharmacies remain open but medicine management services will be provided over the phone where possible. Medicines may continue to be delivered to some people. Please do not visit if you are sick. Always wear a mask and practice physical distancing – stay at least two metres away from people you don’t know.
Community midwives will continue to provide services in a variety of ways, including face-to-face for essential appointments and telephone consultations for those in between appointments.
Community oral health services may provide face-to-face appointments for urgent or emergency care. Routine care (non-essential and elective dentistry) will not be provided.
Appointments for allied health services such as physiotherapy, podiatry, optometry services will continue via phone. Some face-to-face physiotherapy, podiatry and optometry appointments may be provided for urgent appointments only.
Well Child Tamariki Ora services continue to liaise with families and will provide face-to-face care as needed.
Aged Residential Care
Aged care providers will continue to maintain residents in their bubble as this group of people are a known vulnerable population.
In some cases, a person may apply for permission to see a resident and the request will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Requests must be made electronically or by phone.
Family visits for residents who are palliative will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
Planned respite services will remain suspended, but urgent respite care may be provided
Essential personal care services, such as toileting, washing and feeding, and home help services will be provided as usual.
Mask and Face Coverings
You legally must wear a face covering if you are a customer or an employee involving customer contact at a business or service operating at Alert Level 3.
This means, you legally must wear a face covering:
- on public transport and at departure points, for example, train stations and bus stops
- on flights
- in a taxi or ride-share vehicles — drivers and passengers
- when visiting healthcare facilities
- inside any Alert Level 3 businesses and services that are still open and involve customer contact, including supermarkets, pharmacies and petrol stations.
Testing for COVID-19
If you have symptoms of COVID-19 (external link) or if you have been to any of the locations of interest on the Ministry of Health website please get tested. Click here for more information about where you can get tested.
For details on where and when you can get vaccinated and the progress of the vaccination programme in Tairāwhiti, click here.
Contact tracing is key to any COVID-19 response in Tairāwhiti. Could you easily remember everywhere you have been over the last 14 days?
Most people couldn’t. It is important to use a tool that can help you. Download NZ COVID Tracer (external link) to create a digital diary of places you visit by scanning the official QR codes.
The tracker will help contact tracers to isolate anyone who may have been exposed to COVID-19 quickly.
Businesses should have a QR code displayed so customers can be traced quickly if required. Get it here (external link).
COVID-19 Testing for travellers leaving New Zealand
Some countries require travellers to confirm a negative COVID-19 test before they leave New Zealand. You can check the requirements of the country you are travelling to, by contacting their local High Commission, Embassy or Consulate in New Zealand.
If you do need a COVID-19 test prior to departure, please contact your GP Practice or Three Rivers Medical for this service.
They will tell you how much it costs and how to pay. Book a test once your travel plans are confirmed. The test needs to be taken as close as possible to when you will be travelling. It usually takes 48 hours for test results to be available, but this can vary. Please ensure you don’t leave it too late, especially around the weekend. If your travel plans change to a later day than expected, a re-test and negative result may be required.
Please note the Emergency Department at Gisborne Hospital does not provide COVID-19 swabs for people travelling from New Zealand.
For more COVID-19 advice for people travelling, see the Ministry of Health's website (external link).
Change and uncertainty can be tough to navigate, but it's important to seek help if you're struggling.
Feeling overwhelmed, stressed or anxious is common during periods of change. Recognising these emotions is an important step in finding the right help for you.
Tairāwhiti has a broad range of local services to support your mental, physical and emotional health.
If you are seriously concerned about someone's immediate safety, call 111 or take them to the Accident and Emergency Department (A&E) at your nearest hospital.
Visit our COVID-19 Support Directory to find out more about local support services available.
- Need To Talk? Call or text free 1737
- The Depression Helpline: 0800 111 757
- Healthline: 0800 611 116
- Lifeline: 0800 543 354
- Samaritans: 0800 726 666
- Youthline: 0800 376 633
- Alcohol Drug Helpline: 0800 787 797
- Elder Abuse Helpline: 0800 32 668 65
Updates, resources and more information:
NZ Government COVID-19 homepage (external link)
COVID-19 testing numbers - Ministry of Health (external link)
Gisborne District Council COVID-19 Information (external link)
Tairāwhiti Response and Recovery Plan Rau Tipu Rau Ora (external link)
Ministry of Health resources for health professionals (external link)
Current COVID-19 case definition (external link)
NZ COVID-19 Alert levels and what they mean (external link)
COVID-19 Alert Level 4 Updates: