Whanganui Hospital at Alert Level 4


18 August 2021


Whanganui Hospital is now operating under Alert Level 4 conditions following community cases of the COVID-19 Delta variant in Auckland.


The Alert Level is initially for three days until midnight on Friday 20 August 2021.


The hospital is open 24/7 for emergency cases and for people who need urgent care, but otherwise access is restricted to maintain the safety of the public and health staff. 


Whanganui District Health Board chief executive Russell Simpson reassures the community that our health service is well-prepared for this situation.


“The DHB staff and the hospital have been in a state of readiness should there be a case of community transmission and, unfortunately, that is where we are now with the recent cases in Auckland.


“As a community we have been here before; as a health service we have also been here before.  The Delta strain is highly contagious and we need to ensure we remain safe, in our bubbles and limit any non-essential contact.


“There are protocols in place at the hospital to protect our staff and community members and we thank the community for their understanding. 


“Whanganui DHB is also in discussions with other agencies to keep our community safe and are in an increased state of readiness should a community case emerge in our rohe.” 


Outpatient appointments will be re-scheduled and we will be in contact with patients to arrange new appointments. Those who have been contacted by Whanganui District Health Board and told their appointments are going ahead should turn up as usual.


At Alert Level 4, visitors are only allowed for patients at end stage of life, in the Critical Care Unit, Maternity Unit and one parent for children in the Children’s Ward.


COVID-19 testing is available at the community-based assessment centre (CBAC) on the hospital grounds. The CBAC will be open Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, 18-20 August, from 8am to 5pm. These hours may be extended if demand is high.


Traffic controls are in place at the hospital campus, so please follow the directions of traffic management personnel -- and be patient and kind as the CBAC is experiencing high volumes.


Anyone with a cough, cold, sore throat, fever or flu-like illness should contact their GP or call Healthline on 0800 358 5453 and get advice about being tested or visit the CBAC on the hospital campus. 


The COVID-19 vaccination rollout was paused on Wednesday 18 August, but will resume at Te Rito, the Whanganui Wellness and Vaccination Centre in Victoria Avenue, on Thursday 19 August with physical distancing and strict Alert Level 4 safety protocols. The clinic will be for bookings only – there will be no walk-ins.


Key messages

  • Stay calm, stay in your bubble and take care of yourself and your whānau.
  • If you are unwell, please stay home. Do not go to work even if an essential worker and do not socialise.
  • If you have cold, flu or COVID-19 symptoms, call your doctor or Healthline on 0800 358 5453.
  • If you have been told to self-isolate, you legally must do so immediately.


COVID-19 symptoms include: 

  • a new or worsening cough 
  • a fever of at least 38°C 
  • shortness of breath 
  • sore throat 
  • sneezing and runny nose  
  • temporary loss of smell
  • muscle cramps.  


Keep track of where you’ve been


Download the NZ COVID Tracer app and scan QR code poster everywhere you go. This will help trace people's movements and track down community cases.


Any future cases need to be quickly identified, and their contacts isolated and tested, to avoid the virus spreading unimpeded in our communities.


Face coverings 


Everyone must wear a face covering on all public transport and on domestic flights, at bus terminals and in taxis. In addition, people must wear a mask when going out to the supermarket, dairy, pharmacy, service station etc, and staff at those essential services will wear masks.


It is also strongly encouraged to wear face masks in any situation where physical distancing is not possible or in closely-confined spaces.


Practice good hygiene


Wash your hands with soap. Cough and sneeze into your elbow. Clean surfaces.