COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

Information about changes at West Coast DHB Grey Base Hospital and health centres can be found on our dedicated COVID-19 Information page

COVID-19 (formerly known as Novel coronavirus)

25 March 2020: Nationwide, New Zealand at Alert Level 4 for COVID-19 – Eliminate

Alert Level 4 means it is likely the disease is not contained and there is a high risk of sustained and intensive transmission and widespread outbreaks.

New Zealanders not working in essential services must stay at home and stop all interactions with others outside of your household for at least the next four weeks.

See more information about Alert levels, which specify the public health and social measures to be taken.

Changes at West Coast DHB hospitals and health centres

We’ve activated the West Coast DHB Emergency Coordination Centre, which is working with the Ministry of Health (National Health Coordination Centre), other DHBs, and our community partners to ensure a coordinated, timely and effective response.

We are working closely with all our health partners to ensure we are responding effectively as a system to provide appropriate and timely care to those who need it.

Visitor restrictions

  • Visitor restrictions are now in place. No visitors are allowed, except under exceptional circumstances. Children under the age of 16 are not allowed to visit at any time.
  • All visitors will be assessed at the entry to ensure they meet the exception criteria and will be required to register their details.
  • Visitors who are unwell will not be allowed entry.
  • These restrictions apply to all wards and services at all times.

Flu vaccinations

  • The flu vaccine is available now for people most at-risk of developing a serious illness from influenza. This is to help protect the more vulnerable members of our community, given the additional current health risks from COVID-19.
  • A free flu shot is available from your GP team if you have certain chronic conditions, or for your child aged 4 or under if they have a history of severe respiratory illness.
  • A free flu shot is available from many pharmacies or your GP team if you are over 65 or pregnant.
  • The flu vaccine does not protect you against COVD-19, however, it can help you prevent a serious illness from flu and help reduce demand on our health system.
  • The flu vaccine will be available for the wider public from Monday 13 April.

Infection prevention and control

  • Our Infection Prevention and Control team continues to advise staff across the system on ways to control the potential spread of infection, including enhanced cleaning protocols, isolation procedures and the correct use of personal protective equipment.

Staff working from home

  • Staff that can work at home without affecting the smooth running of our health system have been instructed to work from home, to reduce the risk spread in the health environment and out into the community.

 

Changes at West Coast DHB hospitals and health centres

Look after your wellbeing

  • If you or someone you know needs wellbeing support or advice, call or text 1737 to speak with a trained counsellor. This confidential service is free of charge and is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. There’s useful and practical information available for those at home in isolation on the government’s website COVID19.govt.nz

Be kind

  • West Coast DHB will get through this. We’re stronger together. Remember to check in on the elderly or vulnerable – but make sure you respect the 2 metre rule and call for specialist help (health or welfare for example) if it is needed. Make a difference by dropping off supplies to those who are home sick and ‘virtually’ check in with whānau, friends and neighbours who are in isolation.

Stay home

  • You must stay home unless you work in an essential service. We all need to do everything in our power to break the chain of possible transmission of COVID-19 (and other viruses) in our communities. While in isolation at home you can still go out for a walk, but please keep at least two metres away from others.

Protect yourself and others

  • Wash your hands with soap and water often (for at least 20 seconds). Then dry.
  • Cough or sneeze into your elbow or by covering your mouth and nose with tissues.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects, such as doorknobs. Put used tissues in the bin or a bag immediately. Stay home if you feel unwell.
  • Don’t touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean.
  • Put used tissues in the bin or a bag immediately.
  • Stay home if you feel unwell.

Protect yourself and others

  • Wash your hands with soap and water often (for at least 20 seconds). Then dry.
  • Cough or sneeze into your elbow or by covering your mouth and nose with tissues.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects, such as doorknobs. Put used tissues in the bin or a bag immediately. Stay home if you feel unwell.
  • Don’t touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean.
  • Put used tissues in the bin or a bag immediately.
  • Stay home if you feel unwell.

 

About COVID-19

COVID-19 (formerly known as novel coronavirus) is a respiratory illness that can be transmitted from person to person through droplets. It has spread to every continent except Antarctica and over 170 countries and territories have laboratory-confirmed cases.

It appears that most cases identified to date have mild to moderate illness. In severe cases, though, the virus can cause pneumonia and severe acute respiratory infection.

How to access Healthcare

  • If you need to see a Doctor or other medical professional you MUST phone first.
  • Most consultations will happen over the phone (or by videoconference) to stop any risk of the disease spreading by person to person contact.
  • If a face to face meeting is required, your doctor or other medical professional will organise this with you.
  • If you cannot get through and are severely unwell, for example having trouble breathing, contact emergency services (dial 111).

When should I seek medical advice?

If you are concerned about any COVID-19 symptoms you are experiencing, please contact Healthline (for free) on 0800 358 5453 or your doctor.

More information about accessing healthcare can be found on www.covid19.govt.nz

New Zealand citizens and residents returning home

Public health staff are working with border agencies to ensure New Zealand citizens and residents returning home are aware of the need to self-isolate and understand what that entails. Self-isolation means avoiding situations where you could infect other people. People who have to self-isolate are also asked to register with Healthline’s COVID-19 advice line by phoning 0800 358 5453.

Staff at airports and ports have information on hand that advises people what to look out for and what to do if they get symptoms.

 

 

Latest updates

More COVID-19 related health information can be found on the Ministry of Health website www.health.govt.nz/covid-19

For information about the national response to COVID-19, go to www.covid19.govt.nz

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Page last updated: 25 March 2020

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