In January 2020 Chinese authorities confirmed a new type of coronavirus, known as COVID-19, which affects the respiratory system.
If you have concerns about your health or the health of others please call the national COVID-19 hotline on 0800 358 5453
What is novel coronavirus (COVID-19)?
Coronaviruses are a large and diverse family of viruses which includes the common cold, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS).
It isn't yet known how COVID-19 is transmitted to people, but it’s likely that it comes from an animal. There is evidence that COVID-19 can spread from person to person in the community and in healthcare settings. There have been cases of COVID-19 reported around the world. The World Health Organisations has declared COVID-19 a pandemic.
For the most up-to-date Coronavirus information, please see the Ministry of Health website.
Signs and symptoms
Symptoms of COVID-19 are similar to a range of other illnesses such as influenza and do not necessarily mean that you have COVID-19. Symptoms include fever, sore throat, short of breath or coughing.
How do I protect myself and my family?
Everyone should protect themselves from the virus, as you would for the flu. The most important thing to stop COVID-19 reaching Te Tairawhiti is community vigilance
- If you are sick, stay home
- Try to avoid close contact with unwell people.
- Wash your hands with soap and water often (for at least 20 seconds).
- 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.
- Don’t touch your face - eyes, nose or mouth - if your hands are not clean.
- Avoid kissing, hugging, hongi, handshakes, sharing cups or food with people you don’t know (or people who are sick)
- If you have travelled overseas in the last 14 days.
have a fever, sore throat, cough or shortness of breath
have been in contact with someone with a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19,
call your GP or Healthline 0800 358 5453. They are available 24/7 including interpreters.
- Do not come into the hospital or your medical centre without calling ahead first.
Resources for health professionals
Novel coronavirus fact sheets and guidance are on the Ministry of Health website. See the resources for health professionals page
Advice for travellers
As of Monday 16 March, most travellers arriving in New Zealand are now required to self isolate for 14 days. See the Advice for travellers page. For people travelling outside of New Zealand, please see the government's SafeTravel website.
Advice for schools
For current advice for schools, please see this Ministry of Education webpage.
Preparing Tairawhiti for a possible outbreak of novel coronavirus