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Coronavirus Covid-19 Update March 2020

Coronavirus COVID-19 Update - March 2020

With all of the news about Coronavirus, we wanted to take a moment to clarify what we’re doing in our workplace health centres to ensure the health and safety of your staff.

At Habit Group we take health and wellbeing very seriously and are following Ministry of Health guidelines, taking all reasonable precautions to reduce the risk of cross-contamination. We continue to monitor the situation with MOH and will update our response as required. 

Over the last week, we have been fielding a lot of questions about Covid19 – the three questions which keep coming up are:

Under what circumstances should I not attend my appointment?

As per Ministry of Health guidelines, please do not attend an appointment if:

  • You have recently returned from overseas (within the last 14 days)
  • You have a temperature, sore throat, or any cold/flu type symptoms 

If you are however healthy and well, come on in.
 

Will I be put at risk by coming into one of your clinics?

In most of our locations, we are not situated in a medical centre where there is a reception area full of sick people. We are lucky enough to spend our days working with well people, so there is no additional risk to you in visiting our clinics.
 

Will the Influenza Vaccination protect me against Covid19?

No, but it is highly recommended that you have your Flu Vaccination this year – while there is currently no vaccine for Covid19 you are wise to protect yourself against as many other illnesses which may compromise your immune system as possible.

Here are a few key points regarding the virus and the precautions we are taking to ensure the safety of both your staff and ours:
 

Healthy Staff

As a standard practice, we encourage our staff to stay home if they are unwell. In response to the outbreak, we are enforcing that directive to all OK Health and Habit Group employees. Any staff returning from overseas are required to self-isolate for 14 days.
 

Making an Appointment 

Please don’t be offended when you call to make your appointment if our administration team ask you if you are currently unwell or have recently travelled. In order to keep our staff and other clients safe, we are asking that anyone who has recently travelled overseas (within the past 14 days) or is experiencing cold or flu-like symptoms, to please follow the MoH guidelines and stay home.
 

Hygiene and Cleanliness

The World Health Organisation informs us that Coronavirus is spread person-to-person via respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs, sneezes or exhales.   
 
As a health provider, any equipment we use with clients is sterilised, and staff actively practise hygiene to prevent cross-contamination. However, we have now also increased our cleaning procedures to ensure that all surfaces are regularly disinfected throughout the day
 
We recommend the following practices to minimise risk:

  • Regular handwashing with soap (for at least 20 seconds).  In situations where you do not have access to soap and water you should use hand sanitiser instead, washing your hands as soon as possible
  • Cover coughing or sneezing with a tissue or elbow (not your hand)
  • Avoid touching of eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands
     

Keeping a Level Head

We know that all of the news and information, guidelines, and requirements can get overwhelming, and we want to remind everyone to stay calm and to keep things in perspective. While Coronavirus has been very infectious overseas, the Ministry of Health stands by their assessment that the risk for an outbreak in New Zealand is low. We are taking these preventative measures to reduce that risk further.
 

Additional Resources from Ministry of Health

COVID-19 Self-Isolation Guidance for People Returning to New Zealand

COVID-19 Questions and Answers

COVID-19 Additional Resources