Keeping safe at work and at home
To protect yourself and those you live with you should follow basic hygiene measures at home and at work. This is the best defence against COVID-19.
Basic hygiene measures include remembering to:
1.cough or sneeze into your elbow or by covering your mouth and nose with tissues
2.put used tissues in the bin or a bag immediately
3.wash your hands with soap and water often (for at least 20 seconds)
4.avoid close contact with people who are unwell
5.don’t touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean
6.clean surfaces regularly such as touch screens, petrol pumps, EFTPOS machines, conveyer belts and self-checkouts.
Using personal protective equipment
You should also follow guidelines for the use of personal protective equipment (PPE). See more on the health care workers or non-health workers pages.
PPE supply and distribution
PPE for New Zealand's publicly-funded health workers is ordered and distributed through a national approach to coordination managed by the Ministry of Health. This enables stocktaking and management of supplies at a national level, so PPE can be available where it is needed.
Under this system:
1.district health boards (DHBs), general practices, pharmacies, and several organisations with wide national reach, receive stock directly from the central supply in line with the principles for supply
2.district health boards order and distribute PPE on behalf of their local health and disability service providers
depending on the alert level and the organisation, PPE that is ordered through this national distribution model may be charged for
3.private providers use their own networks to source and purchase PPE, unless identified by their DHB as requiring assistance for the provision of urgent health services within their region.
The current guidance for the supply of PPE is outlined in the table below. Note that there will be exceptions to the guidance, and the overarching principle is that PPE will be available to those who require it. Any situations where organisations are being supplied outside of the matrix will continue for the time being.
Principles for supply
1.The central health supply enables PPE to be sourced to meet demand from essential publicly funded services that are in scope.
2.PPE for non-publicly funded services should be sourced from commercial or retail suppliers. The Ministry may provide PPE if commercial or retail suppliers are unable to source it, and it does not jeopardise the central supply.
3.The ability to pay is not a consideration in prioritising distribution from the central supply.
4.PPE from the health supply must be used according to the relevant IPC guidance and processes published by the Ministry, and any orders from providers must be reasonable, evidence based and proportionate to demand.
5.In times of increased demand, decision-making criteria are used to understand where PPE is to be distributed first, based on the following:
-the type of service that requires the PPE (criticality of the service, eg hospitals, CBAC)
-vulnerability of the community for whom the service is intended (high risk populations)
-the level of inventory: stock on order, on hand and consumption rates (manage risk with early identification of supply shortage)
-urgency of need across the country (balancing competing demand).