In metro Auckland today, the Northern Region Health Coordination Centre (NRHCC) is coordinating the support of 1,441 COVID-19 positive cases to safely isolate at home. As the number of people isolating at home in Auckland will increase over the coming months, the NRHCC is reminding anyone in Community-SIQ to seek help quickly if they need it.
“We acknowledge it can be difficult to make decisions about your health or the health of your whānau when isolating at home, especially during such a stressful and uncertain time,” says Northern Region Health Coordination Centre Lead (and Counties Manukau Health CEO) Fepulea’I Margie Apa.
“We are urging anyone who is isolating at home to seek help without delay if they are concerned about their health.”
Anyone isolating at home who has questions or is worried about their symptoms – even mild ones – should seek help from a health professional on the dedicated 0800 number provided to them, or call their GP. The dedicated 0800 phone number is available 24 hours-a-day, seven days-a-week and has clinical people available to help. The COVID-19 Healthline number 0800 358 5453 is also available for general advice.
- new or worsening cough
- sore throat
- shortness of breath
- sneezing and runny nose
- temporary loss of smell or altered sense of taste
“If you are isolating at home and it’s an emergency, like chest pain or shortness of breath, call 111 immediately – ambulances are free for people with COVID-19,” says Ms Apa. “You do not need to wait for your tele-health check or to inform Healthline – we just want to make sure you get the help you need as soon as possible.”
Pulse oximeters, alongside regular tele-health checks with the person and whānau, are one of a number of measures used to ensure COVID-19 cases can safely isolate at home – it’s important to note that all of these are important when monitoring health.
In the vast majority of cases, COVID-19 positive cases isolating at home in Auckland receive a home isolation information pack, including a pulse oximeter, within 24 hours of their referral to home isolation.
“We acknowledge there have been a small number of delays in these packs being delivered including instances where the address is incorrect or the person is unable to be contacted,” says Ms Apa. “People need to provide the correct address where they are isolating, give us their current phone number and answer our calls so we can make sure the pack reaches the right people.”
“We are reviewing our processes and procedures to identify how they can be improved to ensure pulse oximeters are received within 24 hours of referral to home isolation.”
“Anyone who is experiencing delays in receiving their pulse oximeter should call Healthline or their GP.”