There has been 1 confirmed case of coronavirus in NZ (Auckland) as of 29th Feb 2020.
Currently, the high-risk groups are those people unwell with fever, cough, shortness of breath, who have recently travelled from at-risk countries. The list of countries will be updated regularly, so please keep track of updates on the Ministry of Health website:
We advise all of our patients to rely only on health information coming out of reliable sources, and below are 2 other websites we believe can be trusted to give accurate and regularly-updated information:
To be able to provide our usual level of care to our patients through the next few months, it is vital our staff do not receive phone calls and consultation requests from those of you worried about Covid-19 risks to yourself and your family. Please use the websites above for this information, and if you have concerns not addressed by these websites, or want advice about changing/cancelling travel plans, phone the dedicated Coronavirus Healthline number: 0800 3585453.
Currently, the risk of infection with Covid-19 (in both New Zealand and overseas) is very low, and it appears that children and healthy younger/middle-aged adults are at very low risk of serious illness with Covid-19. But we want to be well prepared and to keep Cashmere Health open for business if Covid-19 starts to circulate more widely in our community. General Practices throughout New Zealand are concerned about the risks to our patients and staff if a person with Covid-19 walks into a medical centre. It is vital that if you have reason to be concerned you or a family member have coronavirus or have been in direct contact with someone who has it, that you DO NOT ENTER THE CASHMERE HEALTH PREMISES. This puts our staff and patients in the building at risk, as many patients in the waiting room will have health problems that place them in a high risk group for severe Covid-19 infection. Instead, phone the Coronavirus health professionals on 0800 3585453. If they decide you need to be medically assessed at our practice, they will let Cashmere Health know that you are coming to our carpark and will ask you to phone reception on your arrival, while remaining in your car. You will be assessed by our staff while still in your car, to minimise risks to other staff and patients.
The most important action you can all take to minimise your risks of becoming very unwell this winter, is to have this year’s flu vaccine. It will not protect you against Covid-19, but it will greatly reduce your chances of being infected with the influenza strains that will be circulating in NZ this winter. It will also reduce the chances of more vulnerable people contracting influenza if there is wide uptake of flu vaccine in NZ this year. Our concern is for people getting both influenza and Covid-19 at the same time, as they will have a higher chance of becoming very unwell. By ensuring all members of your family have the flu vaccine, you are reducing the likelihood of getting 2 serious viral infections at the same time.
We will be holding multiple dedicated flu clinics at Cashmere Health. Please keep checking our website for clinic dates, which we will publish as soon as vaccine supply is made available to us. Vaccines will be free for the usual groups (over-65 year olds, and those with many chronic health conditions). Charges will apply for everyone else. Please do not attend a flu clinic if you have a respiratory viral infection, as the level of concern in the community about respiratory illnesses will be higher than usual this vaccine season. Everyone will feel happier about coming to the medical centre for their vaccine if they know others attending are also well.
If Covid-19 infections increase sharply in our community at any time, we will probably have to shut down our on-line booking system, to ensure no one with respiratory viral infection symptoms gets into the building without being triaged by phone first. We apologise in advance for this inconvenience should it arise, but the safety and well-being of our staff and enrolled patient population is our highest priority.