The COVID-19 outbreak is a reminder to us about how we can help keep ourselves and everyone around us healthy.
- If you have respiratory symptoms (such as coughing, difficulty in breathing and a fever) in the first instance please call (do not to visit the health centre). Phone on +64 3369 4444 and visit the website for more information.
- If you have been travelling, in contact with someone with COVID-19, or have concerns you may have COVID-19 please firstly phone the Healthline 0800 358 5453. If they advise you to go to your GP, then please ring the Health Centre to advise them of your attendance +64 3369 4444.
- You are encouraged to stay away from classes and events if you are unwell.
- Given the unique set of circumstances we are facing we are trying to minimise wait times at the health centre. For simple things like prescription repeats or short term illness the medical centre can arrange over the phone consultations and medical certificates. Phone for an appointment, and then you will receive a call from the Doctor and an email of your certificate.
- It seems simple, but regularly washing your hands with soap and drying thoroughly will help prevent the transfer of germs.
- Our clever product design students are working on hand sanitiser to sell right here on campus. Stay tuned!
The Ministry of Health provides this great summary of health tips on how to protect yourself and others:
– Cough or sneeze into your elbow or by covering your mouth and nose with tissues.
– Put used tissues in the bin or a bag immediately.
– Wash your hands with soap and water often.
– Try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell.
– Don’t touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean.
– Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects, such as doorknobs.
– Stay home if you feel unwell and call Healthline on 0800 358 5453
UC Medical Director, Dr Allardyce shares information with us about taking sensible precautions to keep you safe. She also advises that we take our lead from reputable information sources like the WHO and Ministry of Health (not Karen on Facebook!)
When to use a facemask
If you have a cough, wearing a face mask can protect people who are near you, but the mask isn’t going to be effective for very long; probably not more than half an hour. They are useful for the duration of a visit to your doctor which is why doctors’ surgeries encourage you to wear them if you have a cough. It is more useful to keep your distance. 2 metres is good. And cough into the crook of your elbow to stop the spread of droplets.
Face masks do act as a signal to others to steer clear of you because you have an infection, and when you are wearing one you can’t put your hands near your mouth and nose. Keeping your hands away from your face prevents the bugs getting into you, as does keeping your hands regularly sanitised by thorough washing or use of sanitiser gels. WHO has many resources about face mask use that can help inform you. It’s a choice that each individual makes for themselves.
WHO recommends standard hygiene precautions (hand and respiratory hygiene, and safe food practices) as the preferred method for limiting the spread of viruses. It is unlikely that masks will be used as a preventative measure with general UC staff, however masks have been made available to staff if they choose to use them.
Finally, we wholeheartedly support this two step guide to COVID-19:
Are you living in a Halls of Residence? Meningitis ACWY (Menactra) vaccine is fully funded for New Zealand residents up to the age of 25 entering Halls of Residence (not limited to 1st year students – also available until 1 November 2020 for NZ Domestic Students already in a Halls of Residence).
Many Halls residents will have already had their meningococcal vaccines from the GP prior to coming to UC.
2 vaccines are available – we strongly recommend both vaccines to provide optimal protection for all strains:
- ACWY (Menactra) – fully funded for NZ Domestic students (see above for eligiblity)
- ‘B” (Bexsero) – unfunded, 2 vaccines required one month apart. Cost: $120 each.
If you wish to have the vaccine(s) or if you have any general queries:
- For students enrolled at UC Health Centre – ring 369 4444 to speak with a Nurse and she will then book you an appointment (you may be put on a phone-back list during peak times)
- For students enrolled elsewhere – ring your regular GP practice
- HealthLine – phone 0800 611 116
- Further information regarding meningococcal disease and vaccines visit: https://www.immune.org.nz/resources/written-resources