As New Zealand heads back into Alert Level 4, the Asthma and Respiratory Foundation is reminding Kiwis how vital it is to follow the rules and keep each other safe.

"This is a very stressful and challenging time for the respiratory community," says ARFNZ Chief Executive Letitia Harding. "One in eight Kiwis lives with a respiratory
condition, and we know that this can put them at additional risk of serious illness from COVID-19."

If you are in an at-risk group, as some people with severe respiratory conditions are, it is particularly important for you to stay home if you possibly can. "If there is someone else in your household who can pick up supplies then that’s great," says Letitia. "If not, you can ask a friend or other family member to pick up what you need, so long as they leave it outside and keep a two-metre distance."

"Staying home is so important to stop the spread and save lives," adds ARFNZ Medical Director Dr James Fingleton. "It goes without saying that if you are feeling unwell,
please stay home, and get a COVID test if you have any symptoms. Even if you are feeling well, the only valid reasons to leave home at Level 4 are to get groceries, get some exercise, access healthcare or a COVID test, or to go to work if you are an essential worker and need to work outside the home. If you do need to leave the house, wearing a face covering is important, particularly if you are going somewhere where it will be hard to maintain a two-metre distance from other people. Whatever decision the government takes around mandating mask use, while at level 4 we recommend wearing a mask at all times when you are not at home.

"While we should all be staying home as far as possible, it’s important to remember that you can still get medical help if you need it," adds James. "Just be aware that if you need to see a doctor or other medical professional it's important that you call first, and most non-urgent consultations will be by phone or video call.

"You can also call Healthline for advice if you or someone in your bubble is unwell. Remember that Healthline is not for asking general questions about COVID-19; you
should be able to access the general information you need on the Unite against COVID-19 website."

COVID-19 vaccinations are on hold until the end of Thursday. If you have one scheduled in the next two days, you will be contacted to reschedule the appointment. 

Media Coverage

18/08/2021 - NZ Doctor


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