Novel Coronavirus - COVID-19

Novel Coronavirus - COVID-19

What is coronavirus?

Coronavirus is part of a large family of viruses that cause a range of illness, from the common cold to more severe illnesses such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV) and Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV).

COVID-19 is a new strain. Common signs of infection include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. Although in the majority of cases that have occurred globally people have recovered, in some it can go on to cause more severe infection such as pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and may be fatal.

What is the situation in New Zealand?

There have been confirmed cases reported in New Zealand and this is likely to increase. There is increased vigilance and awareness across the country and border controls have been put in place. 

What is happening at Crest Hospital?

Crest Hospital is constantly reviewing the situation in the context of both national and international information available.

For more detailed information about the virus and how you can protect yourself, you can refer to Ministry of Health resources available at: Q&As or the Ministry of Health Facebook page at:

At this time we have visiting restrictions in place of one nominated visitor per patient between the hours of 10.00 am - 8.00 pm daily, however visits maybe arranged outside of the preferred hours in consultation with nursing staff.

I am due to visit Crest Hospital, but have recently travelled to one of the countries on the travel restricted list. What should I do?

We have issued clear guidance to all patients, staff and visitors, to protect the health and wellbeing of everyone in our hospital.

If you have the following travel or contact history or any of the symptoms outlined below, please call and ask to speak to a ward team leader or manager.

  • recent return from Countries and regions of concern or as published by the Ministry of Health (in the past 14 days) or
  • close contact with someone who has recently returned from one of the above countries (in the past 14 days) or
  • close contact with someone who is a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 or
  • experiencing symptoms of respiratory infection such as raised temperature, a sore throat, a cough, experiencing chest discomfort or difficulties with breathing (regardless of travel history).

Following further assessment, your planned surgery may be postponed and another date provided.

I have been assessed and may be at risk of developing infection. What do I do?

The Ministry of Health is advising individuals who have been assessed as potentially at risk, based on travel or contact history to ‘self-isolate’ at home. There is more information on this available via the Ministry of Health website: Self Isolation

You are also advised to phone Healthline where you can get additional support and advice: 0800 358 5453

Where can I get additional, up-to-date resources and information about 2019-nCoV?

The Ministry of Health website is being updated regularly, so you are advised to visit that site:

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