Health Services in BOPDHB under Delta Alert Level 2 | Te Whatu Ora | Health New Zealand | Hauora a Toi Bay of Plenty

News and notices Pānui

Health Services in BOPDHB under Delta Alert Level 2

08 September 2021

The Bay of Plenty is currently at Delta Alert Level 2. 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.

Strict hand hygiene and physical distancing measures remain in place throughout our facilities to keep our community safe and to support the elimination of COVID-19. Infection prevention and control principles will be adhered to across the BOPDHB facilities.

Visitor policy

While we are at COVID-19 Delta Alert Level 2, the BOPDHB services, including the Tauranga and Whakatāne Hospitals, will remain open and operate normally where possible, while managing public health risks.

All visitors to our healthcare facilities must have no confirmation or suspicion of COVID-19. In addition, all visitors will be screened prior to entry to ensure they are well, and must wear a face mask or covering, observe strict hand hygiene, practice physical distancing, and scan or sign in on arrival.

Visiting hours: 8 am – 8 pm daily.

  • High risk areas: Patients in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), High Dependency Unit (HDU), Acute Care Unit (ACU), Mental Health & Addiction Services, and Emergency Department (ED) may have two approved visitors per day. On compassionate grounds, a roster of visitors (only two at a time) may be arranged.
  • Maternity: A person in labour or birth may have two nominated support people. Following birth, one nominated support person at a time may visit once daily and stay as long as the person who has given birth wants.
  • Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU): Māmā and one nominated support person can visit any baby in the SCBU per day.
  • Tamariki: Two parents or guardians may visit any hospitalised child.
  • All other hospital areas: patients may have two visitors at any one time per day.

Clinical Nurse Managers, Clinical Midwife Managers or Duty Nurse Managers will consider additional requests on a case-by-case basis for compassionate reasons. In assessing requests for Māori whānau visits, they will consult with Te Pare ō Toi.

Emergency Department

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

Information about surgeries and appointments

We are currently prioritising acute, urgent, and semi-acute services, including surgeries and procedures. Planned care, including elective surgery and radiology, will be provided in order of clinical priority. Some non-urgent services or treatment may be deferred.

For Māori patients, if you need tikanga support in any appointment (including telephone or video appointments), we can arrange to have a Pou Kōkiri (tikanga expert) attend your appointment to support you.

Urgent (life-threatening) acute surgery

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

Outpatients and Planned Care

Some outpatient appointments and non-urgent planned care (elective surgery/procedures) will continue as normal, but most will be conducted via 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 need to wear a face mask while in the cancer treatment areas. If you have any symptoms of COVID-19 or concerns, please contact your treatment provider prior to appointment.

Some patients with scheduled assessment appointments with an oncologist will be contacted by telephone, as some face-to-face clinics will not occur during Alert Level 2.

Renal Patients

Renal patients on in-centre 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

A person in labour or birth may have two nominated support people during labour and birth.

Following birth, one nominated support person at a time may visit once daily and stay as long as the person who has given birth wants.

Māmā and one nominated support person can visit any baby in the Special Care Baby Unit per day.

For our Māori Māmā, if you need tikanga support whilst in our care, we can arrange for one of our wāhine Pou Kōkiri (tikanga expert) to be available to you.

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

COVID-19 vaccine appointments

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

GP Appointments

General practices will be open during Delta Alert Level 2, but appointments will still be conducted online or by phone where possible. You can see your doctor or nurse face-to-face if required.


Community pharmacies remain open, and all pharmacy services continue. Some pharmacies will conduct some services online or by phone, with in-person services available for people who do not have reliable access to technology and the internet.

Please do not visit a pharmacy if you are sick.


Kia ū te manawarere!

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

For more information about Alert Level 2, visit Alert Level 2 |