COVID-19: Testing, vaccination, advice and resources
The most important things you can do to protect yourself and your whānau are:
- Get your booster, if you have tamariki aged 5 or older make sure they are vaccinated.
- Wear a mask.
- Keep up good hygiene habits, wash hands, physical distancing.
- Stay home if you are sick and get a COVID-19 test.
Preparing to manage COVID-19 at home
It's important to be prepared in case you, or someone in your whānau becomes unwell and you need to isolate at home. Our Preparing your whānau for COVID-19 page, includes information on simple, practical things you can do to prepare, such as:
- Making a plan for your household
- What to expect if you have to self-isolate
- Ideas to keep busy/entertained while isolating
- How to stay connected while isolating
- Shopping checklists and other practical advice.
View our Preparing your whānau for COVID-19 page.
With Omicron spreading in our community, getting yourself and your whānau vaccinated is really important. To find out more about the vaccine, eligibility and where to get your vaccination in the Nelson Marlborough region visit our COVID-19 vaccine page.
See the Unite Against COVID-19 website for important information on testing, including:
- Who can get a free COVID-19 test
- When you should get a test
- Types of tests
- Where to get a test
- How to use a Rapid Antigen Test (RAT)
- Understanding your RAT results
- How to report your RAT results
- Getting your PCR test results
Testing positive for COVID-19
You will need to isolate should you or your household members test positive for COVID-19. The isolation period is 7 days. Make sure you are prepared in case you need to isolate. Have an isolation plan.
At 11.59pm on Wednesday 13 April 2022, all of New Zealand moves to the Orange setting in the traffic light system. All of New Zealand remains at Omicron response phase 3.
At Orange, there is still community transmission of COVID-19, with increasing risks to vulnerable communities, and pressure on the health system. Most people who test positive will experience a mild to medium illness and will be able to safely manage COVID-19 at home. This means we can keep our hospital beds free for people who are vulnerable and need medical treatment. Further advice if you test positive is available on the Unite Against COVID-19 website.
At Orange under the COVID-19 Protection Framework (traffic lights), you can still get medical help if you need it. This includes healthcare services, such as Healthline (0800 611 116), GPs, cancer services, disability and aged support services.
However, if you need to see a doctor or other medical professional you MUST phone first. Many consultations will happen over the phone or by videoconference to stop any risk of COVID-19 spreading by person-to-person contact.
Please only call Healthline if you or someone you know feels unwell or you need medical advice, rather than general questions about COVID-19. It's important Healthline is able to answer calls from those who need medical advice. The more people who call asking for general information, the fewer people who need medical advice can get through.
If you cannot get through and are severely unwell, for example having trouble breathing, contact emergency services (call 111).
Everyone can access healthcare but we do however have some restrictions in place to help keep you and our health services safe from COVID-19.
Before the day of your appointment
- Support person: We are unable to accommodate support people at appointments. An exception can be made in advance for people with disabilities where a support person is required to access health services. For example a sign language interpreter, support person for someone with a learning disability, assistance with mobility or compassionate grounds for diagnosis. To request an exception please phone the number provided in your appointment/surgery letter.
- Wearing a mask: We encourage all patients and approved support people to wear a surgical mask and can provide this when you enter the hospital. If you have a disability or health condition that prevents you from being able to wear a mask, we ask that you provide a valid exemption card and let us know in advance so we can make appropriate plans. Please alert the team by phoning the number provided in your appointment/surgery letter. If we don’t know in advance, you will be asked to wait at the main entrance when you arrive and a clinical member of staff will come and talk with you to understand the risks. This may cause a delay for you as appropriate measures are put in place to keep everyone safe. Valid exemption cards can be issued by Disabled Persons Assembly NZ, Blind Citizens NZ and Deaf Aotearoa. People can request an exemption if they have a disability or a health condition that makes wearing a face covering unsuitable.
On the day of your appointment
- If you are unwell (eg, cough, runny nose), please contact the department so alternative arrangements can be made.
- Entering the hospital: We are currently screening patients on arrival. Screening consists of a asking you a list of questions which allow us to understand any COVID-19 risk and make appropriate plans.
- If you are attending the hospital for a procedure, you may also have to undertake a Rapid Antigen Test (RAT).
- If your RAT is positive, you will be guided through the next steps of what you need to do by staff. In some cases the appointment can continue, otherwise it may be postponed. This is decided by clinical staff on the day.
- If the test is negative, you’ll get your paperwork and move to the next stage of your procedure. You may be asked the screening questions again by the department. This is an appropriate measure to ensure consistency and accuracy of the information provided. Your patience in answering these questions is appreciated.
- Support people:
- Based on screening questions, if support people screen at-risk, alternative arrangements may need to be made.
- Public health measures: You will need to follow public health measures while at the hospital. This includes wearing a mask, maintaining physical distancing of 2 metres, cough etiquette and using hand sanitisers/hand washing. We also recommend scanning-in or recording your attendance.
- Sorry, no café: With access restrictions in place at the hospital, the café is currently closed to the public.
If you stay overnight
- If you stay overnight in hospital you will be able to nominate one person to attend during visiting hours. As a visitor, this person will be required to wear a mask. You can find further information about visitor restrictions here.
Visiting information is found on the visiting hours and guidelines page.
It's ok to ask for help. As we work through this together, there are people and agencies here to support you.
Go to the main Unite Against COVID-19 website to find out what specific COVID-19 support is available for isolation.
Health and wellbeing helplines
Free apps, toolkits, and other digital resources are also available to help you look after your mental wellbeing. Choose one that works for you from the selection listed on this webpage.
- Call your doctor or contact Healthline for free advice about your mental or physical health: 0800 611 116
- Call or text 1737 for free mental health or addictions support
- Depression Helpline: 0800 111 757
- Alcohol & Drug Helpline: 0800 787 797
For health advice about babies and children
Speak to a nurse via the free Plunket helpline, for all families, whānau and caregivers: 0800 933 922
For support with family violence or sexual violence
- Call 111 if you or someone else is in immediate danger of being harmed or harming themselves
- Find local support services: 0800 211 211 or www.familyservices.govt.nz/directory
- Call Women's Refuge for advice, support and safe accommodation: 0800 733 843
- Call the free Elder Abuse Helpline if you, or someone you know, is experiencing elder abuse: 0800 32 668 65
For concerns about the wellbeing or safety of a child
Call Oranga Tamariki if a child or young person is unsafe, not being cared for, or separated from their parents or caregivers: 0508 326 459
For employment advice and support
The Connected.govt.nz website connects New Zealanders to the wide range of supports and advice available from government agencies to help workers and businesses deal with the impact of COVID-19.
There is information on apprenticeships, job hunting, training and business support.
Everyday toolkit (source: covid.19.govt.nz)
A range of posters are available, including posters on:
Page last updated: 13/04/2022