Local hospitals urging visitors to wear masks

Some Tauranga and Whakatāne hospital departments have had 10 per cent or more of their staff on sick leave while the hospitals are caring for large numbers of patients. Photo: File

Tauranga and Whakatāne hospital staff are asking visitors to wear masks and follow other public health requirements to keep patients safe from Covid-19 and the flu.

They are also asking people to avoid visiting friends and whānau in hospital if they are sick with an infection that can be transmitted to others.

The number of people with Covid-19 and the flu has been creeping up in recent weeks, and the two local hospitals were caring for a total of 22 patients with Covid-19 as of Monday.

Chief Operating Officer Bronwyn Anstis says there have been several instances at local hospitals recently in which visitors have infected patients and staff with Covid-19.

“There is the potential for some people visiting their loved ones to be carrying Covid-19 or the flu without showing any symptoms,” says Bronwyn.

“Because they don’t know they’re infectious, there is the possibility of visitors putting staff and vulnerable patients at risk by removing their masks and getting too close to other people.”

The hospitals are asking visitors to:

- wear a properly fitted mask

- wash/sanitise their hands regularly

- keep their distance from other people as much as possible.

“The safety of patients and staff is our highest priority,” says Bronwyn.

“Please be kind to our staff – they’re doing their best to keep everyone safe.”

Respiratory diseases like Covid-19, the flu and RSV can place a lot of pressure on hospitals – partly because large numbers of patients need care, and partly because staff catch the diseases and cannot work.

At various times this winter, some Tauranga and Whakatāne hospital departments have had 10 per cent or more of their staff on sick leave while the hospitals are caring for large numbers of patients.

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@ terry hall

Posted on 06-07-2022 08:43 | By Yadick

Totally agree with you. If you’re caught without properly on once you’ve gained entry then you should be told to leave. Comes down to self-centeredness. Also agree with jed and fair game puts up a great comment too.


Posted on 05-07-2022 21:07 | By terry hall

should not have to ask, it should be made compulsory or no entry.

Follow the science...

Posted on 05-07-2022 19:44 | By fair game

Get vaccinated for COVID & Influenza, wear a mask and wash your hands! Honestly it’s easier to potty train toddlers than get adults to do this! Every supermarket has signs that says mask wearing is mandatory yet very few actually wearing masks and it’s not enforced. I haven’t had COVID as I listen to the experts and wear a mask in pubic, wash my hands, and am fully vaccinated. No sympathy for those who get sick if they aren’t mask wearing. Maybe someone can explain why people won’t wear masks in public because I just don’t understand their logic. Maybe people don’t realise that our taxes are going to massively increase soon to pay for all these COVID expenses and treatments. Mask up!!!!!!

I still wear the n95 mask

Posted on 05-07-2022 16:39 | By jed

I’ll still wear my mask in supermarkets, malls, and stores. Probably half the people don’t. Haven’t had covid yet either... I put it down to a combination of wearing a proper mask and a bit of luck.

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