To :The Disability Community and Sector / Disability Providers / NASCs

From: Adri Isbister, Deputy Director General, Disability, Ministry of Health

Kia ora koutou

As you will be aware, as of midday today (Wednesday August 12) the Auckland Council area has moved to Alert Level 3 for 3 days until at least midnight on Friday 14 August. The rest of New Zealand is at Alert Level 2.

One of the differences this time is a regional and national response. What we do now is generally the same as last time we were in levels 2 and 3.

We know that it is disappointing and unsettling to have community transmission and to be going back to Alert Level 2 and 3 but the important thing now is that we don’t let the virus spread and we stamp it out.

Disability support services will function like last time we were in Level 3 (for Auckland) and Level 2 (for the rest of the country). Please find attached more details about what this means for disability services.

Disability providers: Please make sure your COVID business continuity / response plan and your infection prevention and control practices are in place.

Accessible information in alternate formats – accessible information will be converted into alternative formats as fast as possible. These formats will be in Easy Read, New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL), braille, audio and large print. We want to encourage you to help people who do not have access to the internet to either print off the formats or help share public information to them. For more information, please have a look at the following link which will host the Accessible information in alternate formats: https://covid19.govt.nz/updates-and-resources/accessible-information/

Personal Protective Equipment
·         New Zealand is well stocked with PPE (such as masks and gloves). A distribution model is in place.
·         Apart from the larger disability providers who can order PPE directly from the Ministry, all disability support providers should contact their local DHB in the first instance, as they did last time.
·         Follow the guidance on the Ministry of Health website on when and how to use PPE https://www.health.govt.nz/our-work/diseases-and-conditions/covid-19-novel-coronavirus/covid-19-information-specific-audiences/covid-19-personal-protective-equipment-workers/personal-protective-equipment-use-health-and-disability-care-settings
These are things that every person in Auckland needs to do now:
·         stay at home in your bubble, other than for essential movements, such as going to the supermarket or for local recreation
·         maintain physical distancing of 2 metres outside your home, including on public transport. It is highly recommended that you wear a mask if you are out and about
·         contact tracing teams will be getting in touch with anyone identified as being a contact of these new cases. Please be responsive if you are contacted – return the call.
·         we highly recommend wearing a mask or face covering in public when you are out in public

There are things that every single New Zealander needs to do now:
·         continue good hand hygiene and sneeze and cough into your elbow
·         if you or a family member are unwell stay home and contact Healthline (free on 0800 358 5453) or your GP about getting a test
·         practice physical distancing of two meters wherever possible when outdoors
·         if you cannot maintain physical distancing, e.g. while delivering or receiving essential services, wear appropriate PPE.
·         outside Auckland, consider wearing a mask in public spaces or places where it is hard to physically distance.
·         keep a record of where you go each day. Download the NZ COVID Tracer app and use it to help with contact tracing. This will give the Ministry your up to date contact details, so if we need to get in touch with you for contact tracing purposes, we can do so quickly.
·         wear a mask or face covering in public spaces where physical distancing is hard to maintain in the rest of New Zealand. You can find advice on how to properly wear masks on the Ministry’s website .

Further information
We will continue to share information as it becomes available. In the meantime, stay calm, care for yourselves and others, and keep doing the core healthy activities, including checking the main websites:
·        https://covid19.govt.nz/
·        https://www.health.govt.nz/

The Disability Directorate will provide additional information and advice for the disability sector and carers when this is available. For queries about disability support services contact your local NASC or email Disability@health.govt.nz

check out Alert Level 2 and Alert Level 3 guidelines for disability support services.

We will be in contact again soon. Thank you for your efforts during this challenging time.

Ngâ mihi nui

Adri

Print Friendly, PDF & Email