BOPDHB health services under COVID-19 Alert Level 3 | Te Whatu Ora | Health New Zealand | Hauora a Toi Bay of Plenty

News and notices Pānui

BOPDHB health services under COVID-19 Alert Level 3

31 August 2021

We have introduced further measures to help avoid the spread of COVID-19 in our communities, and these mean we need to change some of the ways we work and care for you at this time.

New Zealand is currently at Alert Level 3. We have introduced further measures to help avoid the spread of COVID-19 in our communities, and these mean we need to change some of the ways we work and care for you at this time.

Visitor policy

While we are at COVID-19 Alert Level 3, visitors to hospital facilities in Tauranga and Whakatāne are restricted. Clinical Nurse Managers, Clinical Midwife Managers, or Duty Nurse Managers will assess requests on a case-by-case basis. In assessing requests for Māori whānau visits, they will consult with Te Pare ō Toi. Requests will be considered on compassionate grounds, for end-of-life care, a parent or guardian who is supporting a child, and a nominated support person accompanying any person who is in labour and birth. Please wear a mask and scan or sign in when visiting our healthcare facilities.

Information about surgeries and appointments

We are currently prioritising acute, urgent, and semi-acute services, including surgeries and procedures.

Urgent (life-threatening) acute surgery

Urgent/acute surgery as a result of illness or injury will go ahead.

Outpatients and Planned Care

Most outpatient appointments and non-urgent planned care (elective surgery/procedures) have been rescheduled. Outpatient appointments may be offered by telephone or video link. A member of our team will contact you about your appointment.

If you have not been contacted, please do not come to the hospital, but free phone our patient information centre on 0800 333 477 (between 8.00 am–4.30 pm Monday to Friday; outside of these times, please leave a detailed message).

Cancer patients

Those patients receiving chemotherapy and radiation therapy will continue with staggered treatment times to allow for social distancing.

You will still need to wear a face mask while in the cancer treatment areas. If you have any symptoms or concerns, please contact your treatment provider prior to appointment.

Those patients with a scheduled assessment appointment with an oncologist will be contacted by telephone – face to face clinics will not occur during Alert Level 3.

Renal Patients

Renal patients on in-center dialysis will be treated as per your usual treatment. However, there may be some changes in times due to the need to maintain social distancing in departments. You will be contacted by staff to advise of any changes.

If you have symptoms or suspect you may have been exposed to COVID-19, please call the renal unit for advice before presenting for dialysis.

Home based dialysis (PD) patients will be contacted by PD nursing staff and supported via telephone – if you have any concerns, please make contact with renal service via the usual 0800 number.

If you are booked for a renal clinic, this will not be face to face and you will be contacted by telephone.

Maternity care in hospitals

All people not in active labour are to wear a mask when they are within two metres of another person not from their bubble.

All staff are to wear a mask if they are within two metres of a person who is pregnant or who has given birth, a baby, or a support person.

Advice from the Ministry of Health about labour and birth and postnatal care is:

• The Lead Maternity Carer (LMC) remains responsible for labour and birth care for their clients who do not have suspected or confirmed COVID-19.
• People who are pregnant and have suspected or confirmed COVID-19 are transferred to the DHB for labour and birth care.
• People who are pregnant and are in self-isolation for epidemiological risk (this means recent travel or contact with a confirmed or probable COVID-19 case) and are well/asymptomatic, remain the responsibility of the LMC for labour and birth.

Emergency Department

Our ED remains open for urgent care, but there will be restricted access for support people or visitors. Requests will be assessed on a case-by-case basis as outlined in the Visitor Policy. You will be requested to wear a mask during your time in the Emergency Department.

One parent or caregiver per child can accompany their tamariki.

A person with disabilities can have one support person.

COVID-19 vaccine appointments

Vaccine appointments are operating, but COVID-19 protocols apply, including social distancing, and the wearing of a mask. Vaccinations are by appointment only, which ensures we can maintain safe practises.

GP Appointments

If you have an appointment with your General Practice, call ahead of time. Under Alert Level 3, your consultation may still be done over the phone, or by video. All General Practices are open.


Community Pharmacies are essential health services and will be open for prescriptions and over the counter medications. 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.

Kia kaha tātou!

Please follow the rules as this will help us all return to normal more quickly.

For more information about Alert Level 3, visit