Tuesday 20 December 2022Health news4 minutes to read
West Coasters are being urged to ‘Have a safe-as summer’ by planning ahead before the summer holidays begin especially as COVID-19 case numbers are on the rise across the motu.
“If you are heading away, make sure you pack an extended supply of your regular medications. If you’re going to need a repeat prescription while away, get it sorted before your practice closes for the break and you leave town,” says Dr Graham Roper, Te Whatu Ora Chief Medical Officer for the West Coast.
“Now is also a good time to make sure that you have plans in place in case you or someone in your whānau tests positive for COVID-19 over the holidays. Consider packing rapid antigen tests (RATs) – five tests per family member is all that’s needed.”
Self-testing with a RAT is still a very effective way of finding out if you have COVID-19 and is easy to do. You can get free RATs from a range of locations, including collection sites, some marae and some pharmacies. You can search here for the closest place to get a test. RAT collection sites on the West Coast are open until 23 December.
Health guidance for the summer can be found here and maintaining good hygiene practices, such as those listed below, is key. And remember to stay up to date with your vaccinations.
Current face mask mandates for visitors in healthcare settings also remain in place. You can collect face masks for free when collecting RATs. You can also order them with your RATs through this website: requestrats.covid19.health.nz.
“If you catch COVID-19 on holiday, consider using antiviral medication, which is free for anyone who fits the eligibility criteria,” says Dr Roper.
“Antiviral COVID-19 medications help your body fight the virus thereby preventing you from becoming very unwell. They reduce the amount of the virus in your body, so you don’t get as sick and you’re less likely to have to go to hospital.”
Many pharmacies provide antivirals without a prescription, or your usual healthcare provider can write you a prescription for a pharmacy to fill. COVID-19 antiviral medicines are free for eligible people. Find out more at COVID19.health.nz
“This summer, wherever your holidays take you around Aotearoa New Zealand, remember that you can still get health advice whenever you need it,” says Dr Roper.
If you are injured or experiencing severe symptoms, it’s critical that you call 111.
Page last updated: 20 December 2022
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