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Source: New Zealand Plunket Society

Kia ora,

Plunket is mindful of the current COVID-19 pandemic, and wanted to assure you we’re taking all precautions necessary to protect you and your whānau during this worrying time.

We also wanted to let you know what Plunket is doing, and to give you some helpful advice on how to keep yourself, tamariki and wider whānau safe.

How we can help

Your local Plunket nurse is there to help so if you have any questions or concerns, please send them a text or give them a call in the first instance. 

We will check in with you before a visit or group session Our staff are now checking with you  before a planned home or clinic visit and before Plunket Playgroups, ECEs, whānau groups, and parenting education programme sessions to ask if you have:

  • Returned from overseas in the past 14 days.
  • Been in close contact with someone confirmed with COVID-19.
  • A temperature, cough, difficulty breathing or a sore throat. 
  • A household member with any of the above symptoms. 

If any of the above apply to you, you’ll be asked not to attend your clinic or group session and to postpone your home visit. Our staff will then support you by discussing your needs so we can provide you with information, advice, referrals or alternative options (such as phone or videoconferencing services) and rescheduling your appointments.

At this stage, group sessions will be decided on a case-by-case basis, and we’ll update you of any developments.

Our teams are working on a range of opportunities to ensure we can continue to support and connect with you if increasing social distancing occurs.

Helpful updates for you

We started a number of live chats on Facebook to support queries related to COVID-19. You can catch up on our most recent Live Chat below. 

We will also be updating the Plunket New Zealand website on any changes to our services, so please keep an eye on our website. This page also offers some helpful advice and the latest frequently asked questions.

Plunket staff

Our Plunket people are taking all practical proactive steps to keep themselves, you and your whānau safe. This includes championing good hygiene practices, and staying away from work if they’re feeling sick – as well as following the below steps themselves.

Protecting yourself and your whānau

Health officials don’t yet know how long symptoms take to show after a person has been infected. World Health Organization (WHO) assessments suggest that it is 2-10 days.

Symptoms of coronavirus are similar to a range of other illnesses such as the flu. Having these symptoms does not necessarily mean that your children or you have coronavirus. Symptoms of the new virus include:

  • a cough
  • a high temperature (at least 38 degrees)
  • shortness of breath. 

There are simple steps to take to help reduce the risk of COVID-19 spreading through your family and community:

  • Regularly wash hands (for at least 20 seconds with warm water and
  • soap and dry thoroughly)
  • Before eating or handling food
  • After using the toilet
  • After coughing, sneezing, blowing your nose or wiping children’s
  • noses
  • After caring for sick people
  • Stay home if you or your child are sick
  • Avoid close contact with anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms 
  • Stay away from public gatherings and events if you or your child feels unwell. 

Healthline has a dedicated COVID-19 number 0800 358 5453, which you
should call:

  • to register if you have self-isolated yourself
  • for any coronavirus health advice and information and any questions you have about coronavirus, self-isolation etc.

People calling that line will be able to talk with a member of the National Telehealth Service. They have access to interpreters.

Things are changing quickly, so Plunket is continuing to monitor Ministry of Health updates and will be in touch if anything changes, but please also keep an eye on our website for further updates.

Plunket remains committed to looking after the health, safety and wellbeing of you and your whānau, and encourage you to let us know if you have any questions or concerns.

Ngā mihi nui,

Amanda Malu, 

Plunket Chief Executive 

19 March 2020