New measures are being rolled out to help tackle COVID-19 and flu to reduce pressure on the health system and health workers.
There has been a significant increase in cases over the past two weeks. The biggest jump is in cases amongst those aged 65 and over. That in turn has led to an increase in hospital occupancy.
Everyone should do three things to stay safe and reduce the spread of the virus over the rest of winter: get vaccinated if you haven’t already, wear a mask in indoor settings and crowded places and isolate when sick.
In addition, these changes will be made to help keep people safe:
Antiviral medications can reduce the seriousness of COVID-19. At-risk patients for acute respiratory illnesses can be pre-approved and have their prescription ready should they become unwell and need the medicine immediately.
RATs and Masks
Packs of medical masks will be provided free along with free RATs for everyone from all current community providers, including marae, testing stations, and some local pharmacies.
There are no criteria, you don’t need to be unwell or have symptoms. P2/N95 masks will be available for clinically vulnerable and high risk individuals.
Schools will be provided with mask supplies and more support for ventilation and winter heating costs
Up to 30,000 masks a week for all other students and school staff.