level 3 and what it means for seeing your GP

Level 3 what it means for visiting your GP

Moving into Level 3

Phew! We got through Level 4 lockdown, and now you might be about Level 3 and what it means for seeing your GP. As of Wednesday morning, we’ll be operating under Level 3 rules, but of course at Botany Junction, our team has continued providing essential healthcare for people over telephone and video throughout. People that require an in-person appointment are seen after an initial telephone assessment, in our dedicated area at the back of the clinic with all the appropriate COVID-19 safety precautions. This will stay in place to ensure we keep everyone safe.

As we finally transition to Level 3, we know you’ll all be taking a deep breath and doing all you can to help stamp out this latest outbreak. Our East Tāmaki community have been amazing not becoming complacent. You’ve been doing everything possible to cut off any new lines of transmission. I’ve compiled some answers to some of the more common questions that people have asked.

Why is Delta different?

The Delta variant is highly infectious and transmits more easily when compared with the original version of COVID-19.  

This means that a large number of people have become infected despite the strict lockdown measures, but even more people would have been infected by now if we had not had a lock-down. Typically, if one household member gets COVID-19, everyone living in the same house will get it, the lock-down is there to prevent spread outside of the household bubble.  

This is the way we protect ourselves, our whānau and especially the vulnerable members of our community like the elderly, those with diabetes and other health conditions which make them more at risk if they become infected with Covid-19.  For some straightforward information about how Delta is different, check out Siouxsie Wiles’ article.

If you are not an essential worker, please stay at home, unless you are getting medical attention, a vaccination, buying food, going to a chemist or petrol station. Always use the Covid Tracer App or sign in. You can also go out for exercise but please stay local.

Got Covid-like symptoms? Here’s what to do. 

If you feel unwell at all, even if it is just a runny nose or tickly throat, please call us on 09 265 0321  to arrange a booked appointment for a free Covid-19 swab. Have a look at the handy Covid-19 symptom checker if you are not sure if it could be Covid.

If you have been in contact with a person who has tested positive for Covid 19,  or been at a place of interest, please isolate at home and phone Healthline on 0800 358 5453 for advice on what to do next. 

While you are waiting for the result of your Covid-19 test, it is very important to stay at home, in isolation. If you are unwell and need medical help, please ring the clinic as we are here to help and a consultation can be arranged over the phone or by a video link. 

Why should I wear a mask?

We understand that wearing a mask is not the most natural, or comfortable thing for anyone to do. However, it is really important, as it helps to reduce the chance of you catching Covid 19Covid-19 and also protects other members of our community. None of us can be sure if we have been exposed to Covid, so wearing a mask protects others. You can be infectious and spread Covid-19 before you develop any symptoms. Although vaccinated people are much less infectious, they can still spread Covid-19 so it is important to wear a face mask even after you’ve been vaccinated.

Covid-19 is spread by small droplets in the air and when a person is coughing and sneezing, these small droplets can spread far.  This is why it is recommended to keep two meters away from other people and wear your mask correctly.  Advice on the safe wearing, disposal and washing of reusable face coverings is on the Ministry of Health site health.govt.nz 

All exposure sites are listed on The Ministry of Health website and the Contact tracing locations of interest. 

Getting vaccinated will significantly reduce symptoms if you get exposed to Covid

Finally, the very best thing all of us can do to get back to seeing our loved ones and friends and preventing lockdowns in the future is to get vaccinated. All of us in New Zealand over the age of 12 are now eligible for a FREE vaccination. Don’t wait, book an appointment to be vaccinated at our branch in Ormiston Medical through the National Booking system  

As always, we are here to help you with your health questions. Call us or use the patient portal to reorder your regular prescriptions and don’t put off getting support for other aspects of your health. If you need a consultation with our doctors this is possible with a phone or video consultation, or you can be seen in the clinic if needed.  Keep up the good work. Together we will get to the end of this outbreak. 

Dr Daniel Calder is Group Clinical Director at Botany Junction Medical.