COVID-19: Client Update 25 March

Kia ora koutou

25 March Client Update:  Covid-19

As promised, we are keeping you updated as we work to implement our Covid-19 response plan. Our sector is considered an essential service by the Government and therefore we will continue provide services to the people we support.

The advice we are providing for you is in line with Ministry of Health (MoH) guidelines to help protect our support workers and the people we support.

 

Supporting you at home

We are continuing to ensure our support workers and clinical teams understand the requirement for extra precautions when providing your support, this is to ensure that care is delivered in a safe manner and follows MoH guidelines.

It is also important that everyone is practising good hygiene measures as they are the most important ways to stop the spread of infections, including COVID-19:

  • Cover coughs and sneezes with disposable tissues or your elbow
  • Wash your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds with soap and water and dry them thoroughly:
    • before eating or handling food,
    • after using the toilet,
    • after coughing, sneezing, blowing your nose or wiping noses.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean
  • Try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell with cold or flu
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at your home and objects, such as doorknobs. The normal cleaning protocols are enough to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

 

Should my support team wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)?

We have been advised that there is an appropriate PPE policy for all workforces being reviewed under urgency by the Ministry of Health National Coordination Centre; we will provide an update as soon as possible.

We are following the Ministry of Health’s guidance in relation to the use of PPE and Healthcare NZ staff will continue to observe standard precautions, such as handwashing.

If you have any concerns about the use of PPE, you can email hcnz.covid19@healthcarenz.co.nz

 

What services are we going to continue to provide?

HealthCare NZ will continue to provide the people we support with the services they receive, unless changes are required and have been deemed necessary as assessed by our Clinical Team.  We will always work closely with you should any changes to your support be required.

As this situation evolves, Government health organisations are working together to monitor the situation closely and respond accordingly. Information is available on the Ministry of Health website or you can visit the Government Covid-19 website at https://covid19.govt.nz/

 

Going to work advice  

Please be aware that the Government announced that as a precaution:

  • anyone over the age of 70 should stay at home, and
  • anyone whose immune system is compromised should stay at home.

We have advised our support workers and clinical teams that they cannot go to work if:

  • They have cold or flu symptoms (staff should be symptom free for 48 hours before returning to work)
  • They have been overseas in any country in the previous 14 days
  • They have been in close contact with a suspected, probable or confirmed case of COVID-19

Conversely, if any of the above applies to you:

  • Please stay home and phone Healthline on 0800 358 5453 or your doctor ASAP
  • Following this, please immediately contact us by email covid19@healthcarenz.co.nz to advise us of this situation so we can work with you on next steps as appropriate.

 

Self-isolation guidelines from the Ministry of Health:

If you have been overseas or in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19, you are to self-isolate for 14 days from date of departure or date of close contact.

Self-isolation means staying away from situations where you could infect other people, including going to work. For more information on self-isolation, please see http://health.govt.nz/covid19-self-isolation. Please register your details with Healthline if you have not already on 0800 358 5453.

If you develop symptoms (listed below) within 14 days of being anywhere overseas or within close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19, you should phone Healthline on 0800 358 5453 or your doctor.

The symptoms of COVID-19 are:

  • a cough
  • a high temperature (at least 38°C)
  • shortness of breath
  • a sore throat

As always, our focus is providing the necessary service to you to the best of our ability while keeping our people safe.

It’s best to email us at hcnz.covid19@healthcarenz.co.nz if you have any concerns or urgent queries as the phones in New Zealand tend to become overloaded given this unprecedented situation that we are all facing.

We will keep you updated as our response continues, and information is available at www.healthcarenz.co.nz

 

Kia kaha whānau.

Vanessa Dudley

Chief Executive
HealthCare NZ

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