Yesterday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced NZ has shifted to Alert Level 3 immediately and will move to Level 4 within 48 hours (by midnight Wednesday).
As you might know, health and medical facilities (such as medical practices and pharmacies) are recognised as an essential service and will remain open — even in a Level 4 lockdown.
If you require any medical assistance, you MUST phone our practice. All patients will be screened during their initial phone call to determine their 'next steps'. DO NOT turn up unannounced. In the interest of safety, we will send you away. Dial 111 if you need urgent help.
Most consultations will happen over the phone (or by videoconference, FaceTime, Skype, etc.) to stop any risk of the disease spreading by person-to-person contact. If a face-to-face meeting is required, our team will organise this with you.
Please try only to call us (or Healthline) when you need medical assistance. Many New Zealanders are reaching out for help and advice, but it's crucial phone lines are kept free so those who need medical advice can ring through. You may be able to find answers to your COVID-19 questions at covid19.govt.nz or www.healthy.org.nz/.
At this stage, we will still be administering scheduled immunisations and vaccinations. Our team will call all affected patients directly.
Finally, stay calm. Be kind. Follow all instructions.
While we may be changing the way we operate for the foreseeable future, this doesn't mean we're going anywhere. We will continue to provide our community with health services. There's no reason to panic.