Your Warkworth Family Doctors
Dear Kowhai Surgery Patients:
On Saturday March 21st Medical Centres across New Zealand were advised to take urgent action to slow down the spread of Covid19. We were asked to do the following;
The College of GP’s made an urgent and essential request to all Practices to immediately switch to virtual consultations (phone, email or video). Please contact us on 09 425 7358 to make an appointment. – No walk ins.
WE ARE CURRENTLY NOT OPEN FOR LATE NIGHT CLINICS ON TUESDAY UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE – HOWEVER, WE WILL BE OPEN EASTER MONDAY FROM 9am – 12pm FOR EMERGENCY VIRTUAL APPOINTMENTS.
We are continuing with administering Flu Vaccines for our enrolled patients, however these will be prioritised at this stage to:
People aged 65 and over, pregnant women, people with certain chronic conditions and young children with a history of severe respiratory illness.
Healthcare and other frontline workers, which includes emergency services, social services, police, defence and border control but not supermarket workers.
We must protect our vulnerable patients. We need to reduce the number of sick and vulnerable people gathering in our practices and healthcare centres.
If you suspect you have Covid 19, where you have a high temp over 38, a sore throat, dry cough and shortness of breath and where you have recently travelled or been in contact with someone who has the virus, and you are concerned you may have it. Please phone the Covid Healthline number on 0800 3585453. For further information on COVID-19 please visit the Ministry of Health website https://www.health.govt.nz/
Please phone ahead with any questions and to book appointments as we are not offering walk in appointments due to the screening measures.
Be kind, stay safe and remember we are here if you need us.
From the team at Kowhai Surgery
Current recommendation is to swab anyone who fulfils below criteria:
Current as of 17 March 2020 ( updated on 14 March )
COVID-19 case definitions https://www.health.govt.nz/our-work/diseases-and-conditions/covid-19-novel-coronavirus/covid-19-novel-coronavirus-information-specific-audiences/covid-19-novel-coronavirus-resources-health-professionals/case-definition-covid-19-infection
3 APRIL 2020
The Ministry of Health has developed the following case definitions for COVID-19 based on expert advice from our Technical Advisory Group. The case definitions take into account New Zealand’s current aim to eliminate COVID-19. This means that our suspect case definition needs to be broad enough to capture all those who may have the disease. As the symptoms of COVID-19 are similar to other viruses, many of those who meet the suspect case definition will not have COVID-19.
However, it is critical for our elimination goal that all people meeting the suspect, under investigation, probable or confirmed case definitions isolate themselves to reduce the risk to others.
A suspect case satisfies the following clinical criteria:
Symptomatic close contacts of suspect or probable cases should be considered suspect cases.
 Coryza – head cold e.g. runny nose, sneezing, post-nasal drip
 Anosmia – loss of sense of smell
Ideally all people meeting the suspect case definition for COVID-19, or where the clinician has a high degree of suspicion, would be tested to confirm or exclude a diagnosis. The following groups of people have been prioritised for testing at this stage.
Priority groups for investigation and testing
Suspect cases, where they or one or more of their household/bubble, meet one or more of the following criteria should be tested:
- people meeting the clinical criteria who have travelled overseas in the last 14 days, or have had contact, in the last 14 days, with someone else who has recently travelled overseas
- hospital inpatients who meet the clinical criteria
- health care workers meeting the clinical criteria
- other essential workers meeting the clinical criteria if they have had close or casual contact with a probable or confirmed COVID-19 case
- people meeting the clinical criteria who reside in (or are being admitted into) a vulnerable communal environment including aged residential care, or large extended families in confined household/ living conditions
 Some people may not meet the suspect case definition but may present with symptoms such as only: fever, diarrhoea, headache, myalgia, nausea/vomiting, or confusion/irritability. If there is not another likely diagnosis, and they have a link to a recent traveller, a confirmed, or probable case, consider testing.
- people meeting the clinical criteria who may expose a large number of contacts to infection (including barracks, hostels, halls of residence, shelters etc)
In addition, testing may be required
- on advice from the local Medical Officer of Health, when an outbreak or cluster is suspected, or being investigated
As local testing capacity allows:
- consider suspect cases presenting with new or worsening cough.
Testing of individuals who are asymptomatic is NOT recommended unless requested by the local Medical Officer of Health.
Note that close contacts of confirmed cases that meet the clinical criteria for a suspect case should be considered a probable case (epi-link to a case), and managed appropriately, including any contact tracing as appropriate, and therefore don’t need to be tested. However, healthcare workers meeting the clinical criteria who are close contacts of confirmed cases should continue to be tested.