COVID-19: Personal protective equipment for workers

Information to help keep safe at work and at home.

Last updated: 10 June 2020

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:

  • cough or sneeze into your elbow or by covering your mouth and nose with tissues
  • put used tissues in the bin or a bag immediately
  • wash your hands with soap and water often (for at least 20 seconds)
  • avoid close contact with people who are unwell
  • don’t touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean
  • 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:

  • district health boards (DHBs) and a number of organisations with wide national reach, order directly through the national distribution
  • 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
  • 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.

Responsible use of PPE, coupled with a well-managed national distribution system, will ensure PPE is available where it is needed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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