COVID-19: Aged care, disability and hospice care providers

Information and guidance on COVID-19 for aged care, disability support and hospice care providers.

Last updated: 4 April 2022

In this section you’ll find information related to the type of care you provide to ensure you protect against COVID-19 and prevent future spread. Please read further details for the aged care and disability care sector in the linked pages. Further COVID-19 advice for hospice care providers is found on the Hospice New Zealand website.

Āwhina app

Health workers can download the Āwhina app to stay up-to-date on the latest information relevant to COVID-19 and the health and disability sector.

Vaccination advice

Getting a COVID-19 vaccination is an important step you can take to protect yourself and others from the effects of the virus.  Being vaccinated helps reduce the risk of you getting infected, falling seriously ill and transmitting the virus to others. You could also have much fewer, milder symptoms and recover faster. We recognise that despite high vaccination rates, some people will still remain concerned about the risk. Read more about COVID-19 vaccination.

Personal protective equipment

Find out about personal protective equipment (PPE) in health care. This section has information about the type of PPE you may need to use, and when you need to use it, as well as how to put it on and take it off correctly. This includes is guidance for P2/N95 particulate respirators in the absence of fit testing.

Guidance for critical health services during an Omicron outbreak

All health and disability services continue to operate in the COVID-19 Protection Framework, also known as the ‘traffic light’ system. This remains true at all levels - Green, Orange, and Red.

If the community spread of Omicron causes significant disruptions to services, we have defined critical health services that will be required to ensure their critical workers follow guidance at each phase of the response to Omicron. This guidance will be in relation to periods of self-isolation and rapid antigen tests (RATs). Where operational changes need to be made, these will only apply to critical workers where face-to-face service delivery is required.

Find full details on the Guidance for critical health services during an Omicron outbreak page.

People who are more at risk

COVID-19 is a viral disease that can affect your lungs and airways. Like the flu it can be spread from person to person. When a person who has COVID-19 coughs, sneezes or talks, they may spread droplets containing the virus.

The risk of exposure to COVID-19 is now very low. However, we need to remain vigilant as it is still uncontrolled overseas and may re-emerge in New Zealand. Some people may be more at risk of severe illness from COVID-19 infection such as people with underlying health conditions, and older people.

Read more about those at higher risk of COVID-19

Rapid antigen testing

COVID-19 Community Response Framework

The COVID-19 Community Response Framework provides some guidance and considerations for primary care, community-based health services, residential care, community pharmacy, maternity, population health services and ambulance services.

The Framework has been updated following the introduction of the Government traffic light system on 3 December 2021. It recognises that 100 percent of the health workforce and almost 90 percent of the country are vaccinated against COVID-19.

It is important that health services continue to be delivered at all levels, with the least restrictions and in a safe environment. 

Find full details on the COVID-19 Community Response Framework page.

COVID-19: Disability providers

Omicron Updates

These updates are intended to collate and provide new information as it is provided.

This guidance is disabled people who employ their own support workers in Phase 3 of the Omicron response plan.

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