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Covid-19 Omicron Outbreak update

Posted by Practice Manager on 22 February 2022

With the community spread of COVID-19 in Christchurch, we now have to modify the way we operate to minimise the risk of infection for both staff and patients. Where possible, we are switching to phone and video consultations to reduce the numbers of people in the waiting room. We may even ask you to wait in the car before appointments and after vaccinations.  We ask for your understanding and co-operation as we navigate through this very challenging time.

We appreciate that the Omicron outbreak will be causing anxiety for many patients. We would like to remind you that we have a team of health improvement practitioners and a health coach if you require any social support or advice. They will be providing all their services via telehealth (phone and video).

Our website https://www.doctorsonriccarton.co.nz/ will be regularly updated as the situation evolves and we encourage you to keep referring to it to keep up to date with any changes or key communication.

Since the start of the Pandemic, we have been experiencing very high numbers of phone calls. While we have increased our reception/administration team, we are still unable to manage the sheer volume coming through. We wish to remind people that you can utilise the patient portal, MyIndici, for repeat prescriptions and looking at results. If you need a brief, non-urgent answer to a question, you can send a message to the nurse or administrator via the patient portal. The portal also has lots of useful resources for staying well. If you do not have access to the patient portal, please ring reception and they can register you and provide instructions.

We have temporarily turned off patient portal bookings to ensure we screen all patients for Covid-19. Therefore, if you need to make an appointment, you will have to phone us on 03 348 8989.

If you test positive for COVID-19

If you test positive for Covid-19, an automated text message will notify you of this result. The text will also send a link to an online questionnaire containing questions about contacts, symptoms and risk factors. Please make sure you answer this. If you are unable to access this, please give us a call.

If you have tested positive for Covid-19, please make sure you stay at home and isolate for 10 days. Your household contacts will also need to get tested and isolate for 10 days.

If you are an enrolled patient at our practice, we will also receive notification of your positive result. One of our doctors or nurses will contact you to do an initial assessment. If you do not hear from us, please ring the Practice.

Most patients will be able to self-manage at home. On the Patient Portal we have uploaded the Canterbury District Health Board’s Home Care Guide for how to stay safe when isolating at home with Covid-19. This is the link if you need it. https://www.cdhb.health.nz/wp-content/uploads/5e1385f1-care-in-the-community-home-care-guide-booklet.pdf

If you need extra care e.g. with welfare, medications or self-monitoring, this will be organised for you.

The following links provide more information on what to do if you test positive.

https://covid19.govt.nz/isolation-and-care/if-you-test-positive-for-covid-19/

https://www.health.govt.nz/covid-19-novel-coronavirus/covid-19-health-advice-public/advice-people-covid-19

COVID-19 testing

We are only testing for Covid-19 in limited situations due to lack of capacity. If you are symptomatic or a close contact and require a Covid-19 test, please attend one of the 3 local Community Based Assessment Centres (CBAC) for testing. Due to high demand at these testing stations, the Ministry of Health are advising that tests should only be for those who have symptoms, or are close contacts, or have been advised by health officials to get tested. While cases continue to grow, there will be long queues at these centres so make sure you bring some food and water.

  1. Orchard Road Covid-19 Testing Station
    174 Orchard Road
    Harewood, Christchurch (north of airport)
    9am to 4pm
  2. Whānau Ora Community Clinic CBAC
    250 Pages Road
    Wainoni, Christchurch
    9am to 3.30pm
  3. Old Wigram Fire Station
    cnr Mustang and Sioux Avenues
    10am to 3pm

Medical Certificates for work, school or preschool

The government advises that the text you receive informing that you have tested positive for Covid-19, or that you are a close contact, and the release text you receive at the end of your isolation period constitute a sufficient medical certificate for employers. Doctors on Riccarton will not be providing medical certificates.  

Appointments and Waiting Room

We encourage phone or video consultations where possible. All appointments must now be made by phoning us. There are still some consultations which require face-to-face appointments e.g. vaccinations, immigration medicals, dressings and physical exams. But if all other appointments are via telehealth, there will be less people in the waiting room and a better chance of social distancing, thus reducing the risk of a Covid-19 exposure.

Routine immunisations will continue and are encouraged, but all family members who attend must be well.  We will also continue to provide Covid-19 vaccinations but are limiting appointments. Remedy Pharmacy, adjacent to us at 107 Wainui Street, also provides Covid-19 vaccinations.

All patients with viral type symptoms who require a face-to-face appointment must be seen in the carpark.

If you come into our Practice, sign in with the Covid Tracer App and use the hand sanitiser

Windows around the building will be open if possible, so please make sure that if you are coming in to dress for the weather conditions.

Staff Illness

Throughout the pandemic we anticipate that we may have staff isolating with Covid-19 at home. This may impact our ability to provide care for routine services and affect continuity of care. We will do our best to minimise disruption but ultimately this will be out of our control.

Take care everyone, stay safe and look after each other

Ngā mihi
The team at Doctors on Riccarton