COVID-19 alert level 4 remains in place
The Prime Minister has announced that:
- Auckland will remain at COVID-19 alert level 4 until 11.59pm on Tuesday, 31 August 2021
- The rest of New Zealand will remain at COVID-19 alert level 4 until 11:59pm on Friday, 27 August.
During this time, the guidelines for oral health services at COVID-19 alert level 4 remain in place.
Updates to alert level 4 patient risk assessment questions
The Ministry of Health has recently updated its risk assessment questions for patients with an unknown COVID-19 status, and the criteria for a higher index of suspicion. The updates are to strengthen those areas where people may have a higher potential risk of being infectious due to their nature of work or recent movements.
We have incorporated these changes into the guidelines for oral health services for alert level 4.
The updated patient risk assessment now includes new questions relating to the following risk factors -
Has the patient:
- been at a current contact tracing location of interest – identified by the Ministry of Health?
- travelled from an area with an evolving COVID-19 community outbreak (including in New Zealand and in any other country/area with which New Zealand has quarantine free travel (QFT) in the last 14 days)?
- exited an MIQ facility in the last 14 days (excluding recovered COVID-19 cases)?
- had direct contact with someone who is a member of an international shipping crew in the last 14 days?
- cleaned at an international airport or maritime port in areas/conveniences visited by international arrivals (excluding areas/conveniences for travellers by air from countries/areas with which New Zealand has QFT)?
- worked in cold storage areas of facilities that receive imported chilled/frozen goods directly from an international airport or maritime port in the last 14 days?
These changes are reflected in the guidelines across pages 5-16, which includes a new overview diagram and table in Appendix 1 - summarising the patient risk groups and associated PPE and room requirements.
We trust that these updates will alleviate the recent concern expressed about some of the potential increased risk areas in this forever-changing environment.
We know that this continues to be a difficult time for practitioners, your whānau and staff. Please take care of yourself and those close to you.
Kia noho haumaru, stay safe!
Andrew Gray(Chair) & Marie Warner(CE)