The move from Alert Level 3 to Alert Level 2
Alert Level 2 commences at 11.59pm Wednesday 13 May 2020.
In Alert Level 2 the following guidance:
Before opening your clinic during alert level 2, you must read the Board’s Pandemic Alert 2 policy and guidelines
Under Alert Level 2 the Ministry of Health has stated for community allied health, scientific and technical providers:
‘When the country does move into Alert Level 2 the following changes can occur:
Please note ‘telehealth and virtual appointments are still the preferred option in Alert Level 2. Please exercise extra caution when treating vulnerable groups.
Practitioners will be able to see patients in person if the following processes are in place:
Screening for COVID-19 symptoms prior to in person appointment
Physical distancing measures
Infection prevention control measures including PPE where required
Practitioners will be able to travel within and to the neighbouring regions to provide care to patients and receive training.’
Your clinic can reopen for routine face-to-face consultations under Alert Level 2.
Protocols must be implemented to maximise patient and staff safety, including ongoing risk assessment and appropriate infection prevention control procedures. Despite the easing for face-to-face consultations under Alert Level 2, telehealth should still be considered especially for vulnerable patient groups.
Overarching Requirements at Alert Level 2
- be aware that under Alert Level 2, there may still be some community transmission of Covid-19. An extremely high level of vigilance is required. You must use a high level of clinical judgement at all times when assessing and treating patients in order to keep themselves and the public safe
- have knowledge of and understand the most current Health and Safety procedures, and the latest advice from Ministry of Health
- consider your own safety and that of your own bubble as well as your patient’s safety
- screen patients for COVID-19 signs or symptoms when making the appointment and again on arrival. If they are deemed to be a risk, do not allow them into the clinic or see them in the community until they have medical clearance. Consider using telehealth services
- carry out a risk assessment and have a plan in place for the premises you are working in whether that be in a clinic or the community. Risk assessment during Alert Level 2 should be ongoing and continuous
- maintain a log of all patient and staff contacts in case contact tracing is required
- adapt your working practises to allow enough time between appointments to carry out necessary duties including cleaning equipment, surfaces and your own hands before another patient is brought into the treatment room
- if patients are 70 years of age or over or have significant comorbidities or vulnerabilities, carefully assess the risks and benefits of a face-to-face consultation. Consider using telehealth services.