Hospital visiting guidelines updated 20 July 2022: Hospital visitors must wear a surgical/medical paper mask. Fabric face coverings are no longer acceptable. See our COVID-19 pages for detailed information about hospital visiting guidelinesCOVID-19 tests and care in the community advice. See for information about vaccinations.

We are at ORANGE according to the NZ COVID-19 Protection Framework

Last updated:
9th April 2022

  • For visitors to all facilities effective from Wednesday 20 July 2022

    With the recent resurgence in cases in Canterbury, largely due to the Omicron BA.5 subvariant we are seeing an increase in demand right across the health system. Presentations to our Christchurch ED and Ashburton’s AAU are higher than ever and admission rates are high, which means we have a shortage of resourced beds.

    Recently, we have seen too many unwell people coming to visit someone in hospital and too many that cannot or will not wear a medical mask. This increases the risk to vulnerable people in hospital. For these reasons we need to everything we can to minimise these risks.

    We have therefore tightened visitor restrictions for all Te Whatu Ora Waitaha Canterbury hospitals and health facilities.

    Kia whakahaumaru te whānau, me ngā iwi katoa – this is to keep everybody safe:

    • One visitor per patient in the hospital at any given time, except where stated otherwise in the ‘exceptions’ section below.
    • No visitors under 16 to any part of our facilities.
    • No visitors to COVID +ve patients other than in exceptional circumstances.
    • No eating or drinking at the bedside or anywhere other than cafes or areas designated for eating/drinking, as taking your mask off puts patients at risk.
    • Visitors or support people must not visit our facilities if they are unwell with cold or flu-like symptoms (even if they have tested negative) or have had a recent tummy bug.
    • Do not visit if you are COVID +ve or a household contact of someone who has tested positive
    • Surgical/medical masks must be worn at all times at all sites and will be provided if people don’t have them. Mask exemptions do not apply in our facilities – people who cannot tolerate a mask cannot visit at this time.
    • Hand sanitiser stations are visible and must be used.

    By sticking to the rules above, you help keep our patients, staff, other visitors and yourself safe. We thank you in advance for your patience and understanding as our staff work hard to protect and care for some of the most vulnerable in our community.

    Exceptions to the ‘one visitor’ policy

    • Exceptions can apply in some circumstances where trusted whānau members provide assistance, reassurance and other support for therapeutic care or on compassionate grounds – please talk to the ward’s Charge Nurse to discuss this before you come to hospital to visit. For whānau with an essential support role as a Partner in Care – again, please check with the ward’s Charge Nurse before you come to hospital to visit.
    • People attending Christchurch ED or Ashburton AAU can have one support person with them.
    • Women in labour and in the birthing suite can have two named support people + their community LMC/midwife if they have one – for the duration of the birth only. All other women on the Maternity Ward are allowed one support person for the duration of their stay in our facilities at Christchurch Women’s Hospital and other maternity units. Only one support person can be with each woman in the maternity ward, and one support person for maternity clinic appointments. No under 16s are allowed to visit or attend appointments.
    • Parents/caregivers can be with their baby in NICU.
    • Parents/caregivers are able to be with their child in hospital (Except Children’s Haematology and Oncology Day patients where only one parent or caregiver is permitted).
    • People requiring support when attending an appointment can have one support person. Please let the relevant service know if you need this so they are able to accommodate your request.

    Visiting patients with COVID-19

    • To avoid them becoming infected with COVID-19 and passing it one, visitors to COVID-19 positive patients will not be allowed except in extenuating circumstances – by prior agreement with the Charge Nurse Manager only, and wearing an N95 mask.
    • Other methods of communication will be facilitated e.g. phone, facetime, zoom etc.

    You must NOT visit the hospital if you

    • are a household contact of a COVID-19 positive case
    • are COVID-19 positive
    • Have a cold or flu/COVID-19-like symptoms (even if you are testing negative for COVID-19)

    Exceptions for people with disabilities

    An exception will be made for people with disabilities who are in hospital or have to attend an outpatient appointment – where they need a support person to access health services. For example, a sign language interpreter, support person for someone with a learning disability, or someone to assist with mobility. The support person is in addition to the one permitted visitor.

    Everyone visiting our facilities must wear a mask, no exceptions

    While we appreciate that some people have legitimate reasons for being exempt from wearing a mask and may even have an official card to confirm this, people who cannot or will not wear a mask cannot visit someone in hospital or attend hospital, other than to access healthcare. This is another measure to minimise the risk to vulnerable patients.

    Patients and visitors should also read the additional more detailed visiting guidelines for each specific hospital.

    More COVID-19 information

Tin, Urine

Diagnostic Use

Tin is a soft, insoluble metal extensively used in the caning industry to line food, beverage and aerosol cans. It is present in brass, bronze, pewter and solder. Tin can be combined with other elements (chlorine, sulphur, oxygen) to form so called inorganic tin, these compounds are present in toothpastes, food additives, colourants, perfumes and soaps. Organotin compounds – alkyl and phenyl derivatives – are used in the manufacture of plastic pipes, food packaging, wood preservatives, antifouling paints and rodenticides.

Normal population exposure is primarily from food and drinking water. Tin in its various forms is present in normal soils and hence vegetables. Food preserved in tin lined cans is a significant source of tin in the diet; however more than 90 % of cans are lacquered to prevent contact of food with the tin, reducing the tin content of the food from 100 ppm in unlacquered cans to 25 ppm in lacquered cans. Light coloured fruit and fruit juices are an exception being packed in unlacquered cans; the tin helps preserve the colour of the fruit. Stannous fluoride is often added to toothpaste. Seafood and drinking water may also contain tin (butyltin) as leachates from antifouling paints and PVC pipes. Occupational exposure occurs in processing industries which work with tin containing compounds, exposure is generally through inhalation of dust.

Only small amounts of inorganic tin and tin compounds are absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract and the urine is the main route for excretion. The majority of ingested tin is excreted within 24 hours but some can be retained in the bones and tissues for 2 – 3 months. Acute health effects from ingestion of large quantities of tin include abdominal pain, anaemia, hepatic and renal dysfunction. Tin absorption reduces the absorption of zinc.

Organic tin compounds (alkyl- and phenyltin derivatives) can cause a range of toxic effects after inhalation, ingestion or dermal exposure. These include skin, eye and respiratory irritation. Acute and chronic neurological problems have also been reported. Very large acute ingestions may be lethal.


Lipids/Trace Metals

Delphic Registration Code


Laboratory Handling


Recommended sampling time is PRE SHIFT - following a period of 16 hours with no exposure OR - POST SHIFT - the last 2 hours to immediately following the end of the working day.


Aliquot to Core laboratory for UCRN



Turnaround Time

5 days

Test Code