The Prime Minister has announced that Auckland will move to COVID-19 alert level 3 from midday Wednesday 12 August until midnight Friday 14 August. The rest of New Zealand will move to alert level 2 during this time.
What does this mean for oral health practitioners?
If you practise in the Auckland supercity region (Auckland Council Area), you will move from COVID-19 alert level 1 to alert level 3. The COVID-19 alert level 3 guidelines for oral health services will apply to these practitioners from midday Wednesday 12 August until midnight Friday 14 August.
This means all routine oral health treatment should be deferred and your practice should only open to provide urgent and emergency dental care following patient triage by phone.
For practitioners in other parts of the country, you will move to alert level 2 and the COVID-19 alert level 2 guidelines for oral health services will apply from midday Wednesday 12 August until midnight Friday 14 August.
This means you can provide routine dental care and urgent or emergency dental care for those patients who fall into the low risk category as defined in the guidelines. You can provide only urgent or emergency care for patients who fall into the high risk category as defined in the guidelines.
IMPORTANT CHANGES TO NOTE
Please note that the alert level 3 and alert level 2 guidelines that will apply from midday tomorrow have been updated from the guidelines for these alert levels that were previously published. The key change is to the risk assessment questions to reflect the current Ministry of Health (Ministry) risk assessments.
The risk categories, PPE and room requirements have not changed from the earlier alert level guidelines. However, please read the updated guidelines carefully to familiarise yourself with the updated risk assessment questions to ensure the appropriate patient management.