Caring for people with COVID-19 in the community

As Aotearoa New Zealand’s vaccination rate increases, we are moving into a new phase where we will be supporting people with COVID-19 and their households in the community.

Last updated: 22 March 2022

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The COVID-19 Care in the Community Framework

Under the government’s minimisation and protection strategy, people with COVID-19 will still need to isolate to contain the spread of the virus, keeping our community safe.

As Aotearoa New Zealand has a highly vaccinated population, many people with COVID-19 will only have mild symptoms and will be able to safely self-isolate in the community. This will ensure our hospitals will be available for those who really need it – whether because of COVID-19 or those requiring acute or planned care. 

The Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Social Development developed the COVID-19 Care in the Community Framework to set expectations and provide central guidance to ensure people with COVID-19 receive the support they need. 

The Framework supports a regionally coordinated, locally-led approach to managing COVID-19 patients and their whānau, understanding that local health and welfare providers know their communities best.

Care Coordination Hubs in each region bring together local providers of public health and welfare support, including district health boards, public health teams, general practice teams, Ministry of Social Development, welfare providers, iwi, Māori and Pacific providers. 

This approach envisages that welfare and wellbeing support will be tailored to each individual and the needs of the household. 

Who the Framework is for

The Framework sets expectations and provides central guidance for those providing regionally co-ordinated locally-led services such as:

  • general practitioners
  • iwi and Pacific providers
  • district health boards and public health units
  • other providers of health, welfare and wellbeing support to people in the community.

Information for people and whānau with COVID-19 and how to care for them is on the Unite Against COVID-19 website.

How the Framework was developed 

The Ministry of Health worked with the health and welfare sectors to develop the initial Framework, directly informed by engagement with clinicians in the sector and their recent experience with the interim community-based case model in Auckland in 2021.

The Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Social Development continue to work with the health and welfare sectors to maintain and update the Framework.

Download the Framework

The latest version of the Framework is version 2.0 and was released on 20 December 2021 and should be read together with the interim updates below.

We expect to release the next version next year.

Framework updates

The latest version of the Framework should be read together with the following interim updates:

Omicron Update to the Framework (21 March 2022)

The Omicron Update reflects how the high volume of cases is being managed now in the current Omicron outbreak.

Clinical Governance update (section 4 and appendix C in version 2.0)

Adverse Event Review Guide update (appendix D in version 2.0)

Get notified of Framework updates

Updates to the Framework are notified in:

More information

More information about what to expect if you or someone in your household is diagnosed with COVID-19 can be found on the Unite Against COVID-19 website.

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