Alert Level 2

Like other health centres across the country, we are working differently to try and reduce the spread of any potential COVID-19 outbreaks. This means that under Alert Levels 2-4 we are offering non-urgent appointments by phone or video and sometimes even by text or email. However, if you need to see your Healthcare Provider in person, you can still do that safely.

Key Points

This means that you can still get the healthcare service and advice that you need.

Such as calling you on the phone, sending you a text or email or using a video call. You will still get the same level of expert healthcare advice as you would if you were in the practice in person. 

If you need to come into the practice, we will care for you safely and protect you from the risk of catching COVID19. 

Please don’t think that you are “bothering us” during this time with your health issues and needs – we are still here for you even when your needs are not related to covid-19

Why do we need to triage appointments at the health centre?

Vulnerability:

If someone with Covid-19 walks into the Pleasant Point Health Centre, we would then have to close our doors, to all patients, until such time as the practice has been ‘deep cleaned’ and all staff have been isolated, tested and cleared. That would take several days – during which time we could see no other patients at all. If any staff then develop Covid-19, the practice would have to remain closed until we could establish that all the staff are Covid- free. That could take weeks!

That would also mean that the 2000 patients registered here would not be able to use our services during that time. To keep everyone safe (including our staff – so they can support you) we need you to;

  • keep your distance from other people in public
  • wash your hands regularly sneeze and cough into your elbow
  • keep a track of where you’ve been and who you’ve seen (use the App)
  • wear a mask if you can.
  • get tested for Covid-19 if you have symptoms
  • stay home if you are unwell- call the practice. DO NOT COME IN unless instructed to do so.

We are triaging all appointment requests – which simply means that a registered nurse will decide;

  • if you actually need to be seen,
  • who will best meet your needs and,
  • how they can do that- safely. (face-to-face, video or phone consult).

To do any less, under Alert Levels 1-4 would not meet our professional responsibility to all of our patients, or to our staff.

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a coronavirus discovered in 2019.

The virus that causes COVID-19 has mutated (changed) over time, creating new variants. Delta is now the most common variant across the world. Delta spreads and infects people more easily and may cause people to get more serious illnesses. 

Most people that get infected with the COVID-19 virus will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without requiring special treatment.  Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer are more likely to develop serious illness.

The best way to prevent and slow down transmission is to be well informed about the COVID-19 virus, the disease it causes and how it spreads. Protect yourself and others from infection by washing your hands or using an alcohol based rub frequently, wearing a mask when in public places and not touching your face.  

The COVID-19 virus spreads primarily through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose when an infected person coughs or sneezes, so it’s important that you also practice respiratory etiquette (for example, by coughing into a flexed elbow).

The Covid-19 numbers (08/11/2021) 

  • 249,826,779 cases globally
  • 5,048,497 deaths globally
  • 7,246,174,025 Vaccine Does administered globally

COVID-19 is the disease caused by a new coronavirus called SARS-CoV-2.  WHO first learned of this new virus on 31 December 2019, following a report of a cluster of cases of ‘viral pneumonia’ in Wuhan, People’s Republic of China.

Covid-19:  CO short for corona     Vi short for virus    D short for disease   19 represents 2019 - the year it was first identified.

COVID-19 quickly established itself globally and was officially designated a pandemic by the World Health Organisation. The latest information on Covid-19 is available on the World Health Organization website.

Whilst the virus has mutated since its first discovery, we are now experiencing the effects of the delta variant, which is proving to be very effective at transmission, and seems to impact on wider age range and is harder to combat..

Complications from Covid19 (all variants) that can lead to death may include respiratory failure, acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), sepsis and septic shock, thromboembolism, and/or multiorgan failure, including injury of the heart, liver or kidneys.

In rare situations, children can develop a severe inflammatory syndrome a few weeks after infection. 

 

 

 

Symptoms of COVID-19 are similar to a range of other illnesses, including flus and colds and they do not necessarily mean that you have COVID-19.

The time from exposure to COVID-19 to the moment when symptoms begin is, on average, 5-6 days and can range from 1-14 days. This is why people who have been exposed to the virus are advised to remain at home and stay away from others, for 14 days, in order to prevent the spread of the virus, especially where testing is not easily available.

 

 

 

It can be hard to tell the difference between the flu, certain allergies and Covid-19.

If you have these symptoms and have recently been to a country or area of concern, or have been in close contact with someone confirmed with COVID-19, please contact Healthline (for free) on 0800 358 5453 (or +64 9 358 5453 for international SIMs) or your doctor immediately.

Most people infected with the COVID-19 virus will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without requiring special treatment. 

Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer are more likely to develop serious illness.

DELTA VARIANT:

  • It is easier to transmit and catch
  • It causes more serious symptoms
  • It carries a higher risk of hospitalisation
  • People who catch Delta are sicker for longer and are contagious for longer too
  • There is less time between exposure and symptoms appearing
  • Some people are contagious even when they have no symptoms 

 

Vaccines

As there are now several approved vaccines to combat Covid-19 and its many strains, most countries have a vaccination programme in place. These programmes prioritise those most at risk, including elderly, frontline health workers, border control staff and those with health conditions that make them vulnerable.

Studies show that about 95% of people who have received both doses of the vaccine, are protected against getting COVID-19 symptoms. Current research shows that once you are fully vaccinated you are far less likely to fall seriously ill and less likely to transmit the virus to others.

NOTE: Having been vaccinated does not mean that you wont get Covid19. It does mean that the effects will not be as brutal. (There are plenty of documented cases where fully vaccinated people have contracted Covid)

Antibiotics

Antibiotics do not work against viruses; they only work on bacterial infections. COVID-19 is caused by a virus, so antibiotics do not work. Antibiotics should not be used as a means of prevention or treatment of COVID-19.

In hospitals, physicians will sometimes use antibiotics to prevent or treat secondary bacterial infections which can be a complication of COVID-19 in severely ill patients. They should only be used as directed by a physician to treat a bacterial infection.

If you become unwell, contact Healthline

Contact Healthline for free on 0800 358 5453, or your Healthcare provider if you begin to feel unwell. The symptoms of COVID-19 are cough, fever, and shortness of breath.

For all non-health related questions, call 0800 Government (0800 779 997).

New Zealand currently has very few cases of COVID-19. The Delta variant is a particularly  virulent strain and health authorities are determined to keep it at bay in New Zealand. Everyone will need to follow the instructions given by the authorities.

The best way to prevent and slow down transmission is;

  • to keep yourself well informed about the COVID-19 virus, the disease it causes and how it spreads.
  • protect yourself and others from infection by washing your hands or using an alcohol based rub frequently and not touching your face.
  • wearing a mask whenever you are in public spaces
  • Maintain social distancing

The COVID-19 virus spreads primarily through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose when an infected person coughs or sneezes, so it’s important that you also practice respiratory etiquette (for example, by coughing into a flexed elbow).

Wash your hands frequently

Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water.

Why? Washing your hands with soap and water or using alcohol-based hand rub kills viruses that may be on your hands.

Maintain social distancing

Maintain at least 1 metre (3 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.

Why? When someone coughs or sneezes they spray small liquid droplets from their nose or mouth which may contain virus. If you are too close, you can breathe in the droplets, including the COVID-19 virus if the person coughing has the disease.

Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth

Why? Hands touch many surfaces and can pick up viruses. Once contaminated, hands can transfer the virus to your eyes, nose or mouth. From there, the virus can enter your body and can make you sick.

Practice respiratory hygiene

Make sure you, and the people around you, follow good respiratory hygiene. This means covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately.

Why? Droplets spread virus. By following good respiratory hygiene you protect the people around you from viruses such as cold, flu and COVID-19.

If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early

Stay home if you feel unwell. If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention and call in advance. Follow the directions of your local health authority.

Why? National and local authorities will have the most up to date information on the situation in your area. Calling in advance will allow your health care provider to quickly direct you to the right health facility. This will also protect you and help prevent spread of viruses and other infections.

Stay informed and follow advice given by your healthcare provider

Stay informed on the latest developments about COVID-19. Follow advice given by your healthcare provider, your national and local public health authority or your employer on how to protect yourself and others from COVID-19.

Why? National and local authorities will have the most up to date information on whether COVID-19 is spreading in your area. They are best placed to advise on what people in your area should be doing to protect themselves.

The following facts are all responses to theories and questions about Covid-19 that have done the rounds. Some of them may appear to be downright whacky and weird, however; some folks believe them. Further information about each fact can be found on the World Health Organisation website here >>>> 

FACT: Vitamin and mineral supplements cannot cure COVID-19 

FACT: Hydroxychloroquine does not have clinical benefits in treating COVID-19

FACT: Dexamethasone is not a treatment for all COVID-19 patients

FACT: People do NOT have to wear masks while exercising (can makes it hard to breathe!) 

Fact: Water or swimming does not transmit the COVID-19 virus

FACT: The likelihood of shoes spreading COVID-19 is very low

FACT: The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is caused by a virus, NOT by bacteria

FACT: The prolonged use of medical masks when properly worn, DOES NOT cause CO2 intoxication nor oxygen deficiency

FACT: Most people who get COVID-19 recover from it

FACT: Drinking alcohol does not protect you against COVID-19 and can be dangerous

FACT: Thermal scanners CANNOT detect COVID-19

FACT: Adding pepper to your soup or other meals DOES NOT prevent or cure COVID-19

FACT: COVID-19 is NOT transmitted through houseflies, sandflies or mosquitos

FACT: Bleach or disinfectant WILL NOT protect you against COVID-19 and is dangerous

FACT: Drinking methanol, ethanol or bleach DOES NOT prevent or cure COVID-19 (and is extremely dangerous)

FACT: 5G mobile networks DO NOT spread COVID-19 (no aluminium hats required) 

FACT: Exposing yourself to the sun or high temperatures DOES NOT protect you from COVID-19

FACT: We will not run out of toilet paper

FACT: Catching COVID-19 DOES NOT mean you will have it for life

FACT: Being able to hold your breath for 10 seconds or more without coughing or feeling discomfort DOES NOT mean you are free from COVID-19

FACT: The COVID-19 virus can spread in hot and humid climates

FACT: Cold weather and snow CANNOT kill the COVID-19 virus

FACT: People of all ages can be infected by the COVID-19 virus

 

Is the Health Centre still open during Alert Levels 3 or 4?

Yes we are. If you need an in-person appointment, you can still get one. However, non-urgent, routine appointments will be done via telehealth options whenever possible.

Will I still have to pay for my appointment if it is by a different method than usual?

Yes, your appointment will be treated the same as if you were in the clinic, so normal charges will apply. The usual 15 minute consult limits also apply as this is about enabling clinicians to manage their time for all patients.

Can I call my Healthcare provider anytime?

No, you’ll need to make an appointment just like normal. Call the Health Centre or use the Myindici patient portal to set that up.

How can I get a prescription?

If you need medicine prescribed, then your Healthcare Provider will tell you that during your appointment and can send your prescription straight to the pharmacy that best suits you. You can let them know during the appointment where that is.

If your request is for a repeat prescription, just ask for it as you normally would;

  • Order your repeat meds through the patient portal Myindici,
  • Ring the script line 03 6147002 or,
  • Ring the Health Centre and ask to speak to a nurse about your prescription needs. 

Can I still get my flu jab?

Yes, you can – call the Health Centre as normal and they’ll let you know how this will happen. You might need to stay in your car and have the flu jab there or we may use a different area of the practice. We'll let you know.

If I use telehealth, how will they take my blood pressure?

The clinician will talk to you over the phone about how this will work. Visits in person will still be needed for some health issues and these will be arranged for you.

Can I just turn up at the Health Centre to get seen?

We would prefer it if you called to make an appointment first. Under level 2, you can call in, but you wont be seen straight away unless it is a medical emergency. Under Levels 3-4, the doors will be locked and you will need to call first so that we can help reduce the potential spread of COVID-19 and keep everyone safe and healthy.

I’m over 70 and not allowed to leave home – how can I see my Healthcare Provider?

Call the Health Centre first and then if they need to see you at the clinic, come in. We care deeply about looking after your health and have the most up to date information from the Ministry of Health. We will make sure you are safe when you visit them.

What should I do if I think I have COVID-19?

Your first call should be to the Healthline COVID-19 number on 0800 358 5453. Do not visit the Health Centre unannounced – you need to alert us first and they will tell you what to do.

Telehealth Consults.

The Pleasant Point Health Centre provides video or phone consults to those patients that want to be seen, but that do not essentially need a face-to-face consult.

But isnt treating people your role?

Yes it is, but we cannot help anybody if we get infected. If someone in our bubble’s gets infected, we would have to shut our doors for the minimum isolation period, during which time our 2000 patients would have no health cover by our practice.

Video and phone consults protect you and us. Of course if the clinician cannot establish what they need to know in order to be able to diagnose your problem via telehealth, then they may then require you to come for an appointment. But they will make that very clear to you.

WHY?

Even under Alert Level 2 we expect everyone in the practice to wear a face mask and practice social distancing wherever possible. We have the facilities to use telehealth consults for most situations and all you require is internet access via a phone or tablet (preferably with a camera).

Face to face consults are always available.

How do we do a video consult?

Once you have let the Health Centre know that you need an appointment they will send you a link for you to go to on your cellphone or ipad/tablet. If you do not have a device with a webcam, then you may be restricted to a simple phone consult. Discuss this when you make your appointment.

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