All parts of New Zealand are at the ORANGE setting of the COVID-19 Protection Framework (traffic lights).
Most people with COVID-19 are likely to have mild to moderate illness. They will be able to self-isolate and fully recover in their own home, or in suitable alternative accommodation, with support from healthcare professionals.
Care in the Community, developed by the Ministry of Health in consultation with the health disability and welfare sectors, sets expectations and provides guidance to ensure if you get COVID-19, you receive the health, welfare and wellbeing support you need.
Now that the highly infectious Omicron COVID – 19 variant has reached Aotearoa New Zealand, there are many positive cases in our community. Being ready for getting COVID-19 is about making sure you and your household have a plan and know what to do. This means your whānau and community can help each other if needed.
Omicron is circulating in our community - this means wearing a mask in indoor settings with people you don’t know, physical distancing and scanning in using the COVID-19 Tracer app, when you’re out and about.
If any cold or flu symptoms develop, please get a test and isolate at home for a minimum of 7 days.
The most common early symptoms of the Omicron variant are a sore or scratchy throat, and a runny nose. So if you have these symptoms, please get a test.
Here are some simple practical things you can do now in case you, or someone in your household becomes unwell..
There are confirmed community cases of Omicron in Canterbury. This means it is much more likely you or your whānau will be exposed to the virus.
Visit the Ministry of Health's COVID-19, current cases webpage for more information on new cases.
With Aotearoa New Zealand’s very high rates of vaccination, the community is generally well-protected. If you are fully vaccinated and get the Omicron variant, you are likely to have mild to moderate illness. If you cannot get vaccinated or have chosen not to, you are less likely to get COVID-19 because the vaccinated people around you are less likely to pass the virus onto you. However, your illness is likely to be more severe.
If you or someone who lives with you gets COVID-19, you/they will need to isolate in your home, away from anyone outside of your household, for at least 7 days. COVID-19 symptoms
If you test positive for COVID-19 a health professional will be in contact with you to discuss what to do.
Everyone in your household will also have to self-isolate, even if they are fully vaccinated and do not appear unwell.
During your isolation period you cannot go anywhere or mix with people from outside your home – not even to pick up groceries or medication. This is where ‘getting ready’ is really important – because it includes identifying who will do these things for you if you are isolating.
If you have a disability, let your health team know and they will make sure you have the help you need to get you through.
There is lots of information and resources in alternative formats and languages (other than English). Click the languages button on the top right of the Unite Against COVID-19 website for information in other languages and formats or chose one of these:
If you have specific health needs, let your health team know what you need.
If at any time you are feeling unwell with symptoms that could be COVID-19, phone your usual GP/doctor for advice. If you do not have a GP/doctor, call Healthline on 0800 358 5453 and they will tell you what to do.
If you are having difficulty breathing or your condition is deteriorating, call 111. Our urgent and emergency care services will always be available.
Where you can get health, welfare and other support,
Information and advice during the current Omicron outbreak.
Tips on self-care, mental wellbeing, and
Useful information about when you should call for health advice,
Where you can go for Urgent Care and what to expect when you get there.
What if I test positive?
Health and social support contacts
Disability related services
Getting help from a doctor and getting medicines
Health checks and COVID-19 testing
Returning your equipment
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Services and support directory
If you can’t work from home
My Health Diary
If you test positive for COVID-19, a health professional (this may be your GP/doctor) will call you to discuss:
You will need to isolate for at least:
You can isolate in your home or in other suitable accommodation, as long as it wouldn’t mean you living with a new group of people. This could be another property that you have access to or are provided, that is more suitable for self-isolation than where you usually live.
Contact your general practice or Māori or Pasifika health provider – treatment and health advice for people who have tested positive for COVID-19 is free. All other non-COVID-19 related health advice may incur usual consultation fees.
If you are not enrolled with a GP, or other health provider, or require after hours, non-emergency COVID-19 health advice, call Healthline’s COVID-19 line: 0800 358 5453. They are available 24/7.
If you or the person you are caring for develops difficulty breathing, severe chest pain, fainting or becomes unconscious, call 111 immediately. Tell the operator if you or anyone in your household has tested positive for COVID-19.
For all other non-health related support for things like financial assistance or kai, please call the COVID-19 Welfare line: 0800 512 337. They are available 8am-8pm, 7 days a week.
If you develop COVID-19 symptoms it is most likely you have COVID-19. You are a probable case and will need to get a test to confirm. You need to start self-isolating for 7 days from the day that your symptoms started to prevent further spread of the virus to others.
Most people with cold and flu symptoms manage with simple care and recover within a few days. Simple care is:
For most people symptoms of COVID-19 will be mild. If your symptoms get worse or you need urgent medical care call your local healthcare provider or Healthline on 0800 358 5453
If you have difficulties breathing or feel faint or dizzy at any stage, call 111 immediately. Tell them you have COVID-19 when you ring.
More information for Household contacts can be found on the COVID-19 Health Hub website
While you are isolating at home, you will have a contact person/team who you can speak to about any health concerns to ensure you and your whānau are safe.
You may feel nervous or unsure about what the next few weeks will look like – that’s normal. Please contact your doctor/healthcare provider if you have any concerns about your health.
You may get COVID-19 while you are away from home. If you test positive while travelling, here is what you need to know.
During Phase 3 of our Omicron response, Close Contacts do not need to self-isolate or get a test. Only Household contacts need to do this.
Self-isolation means staying at home and taking common-sense precautions to avoid close contact with those you live with. You will get instructions and advice directly from a health professional that is specific to your individual situation and your needs.
If you are self-isolating in an apartment building, multi-unit dwelling, temporary or holiday accommodation, you should self-isolate for a minimum of 7 days and follow all the same health advice as applies to people self-isolating at home.
There is additional guidance for occupants of apartments and Body Corporate Committees about how to prepare for and manage an apartment building where a COVID-19 case is self-isolating.
There is also additional guidance for people isolating in temporary or holiday accommodation, and for managers and owners of holiday, emergency, transitional, public and temporary housing.
This guidance is based on international guidelines and best current evidence available as the COVID-19 pandemic evolves. Further updates may be made as new evidence emerges and in response to the level of community transmission in New Zealand.
Pay attention to how you are feeling and look out for worsening symptoms. If you need urgent medical help or cannot breathe properly, call 111 immediately. Tell them you have COVID-19 when you ring.
COVID-19 – Financial help and other support you may be able to receive (Work and Income)
The COVID-19 Care in the Community Framework (Ministry of Health)
General cleaning and disinfection advice (Ministry of Health)
Advice and resources for community providers.
The COVID-19 Care in the Community Framework (Ministry of Health)
Supporting providers through COVID-19 (Work and Income)
COVID-19: Advice for all health professionals (Ministry of Health)
COVID-19: Support workers (Ministry of Health)
COVID-19: Primary care (Ministry of Health)
COVID-19: Advice for community allied health, scientific and technical providers (Ministry of Health)
COVID-19: Aged care, disability and hospice care providers (Ministry of Health)
COVID-19: Pharmacy (Ministry of Health)
COVID-19: Well Child Tamariki Ora (Ministry of Health)
COVID-19: People with dementia at home (Ministry of Health)
Case definition and clinical testing guidelines for COVID-19 (Ministry of Health)
COVID-19: Medical transfer (road and air) (Ministry of Health)
Page last updated: 23 May 2022
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