COVID-19 information to support members
Following the Prime Minister’s announcement on 23 March the situation is changing rapidly. We will endeavour to keep you up to date with the latest advice as quickly as possible. In the meantime keep yourselves and your whānau safe and follow any official Government advice given on the official website www.covid19.govt.nz
The Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 is clear that employers must ensure the health and safety of their employees but it also places obligations on employees to ensure the wellbeing of themselves and others. This page provides links to information useful to midwives. If you have concerns about employment-related issues arising from COVID-19, please contact us.
You are encouraged to keep yourself up-to-date with the latest infection control recommendations and guidelines. The COVID-19 situation in New Zealand is evolving and we are still learning. The links and documents will be updated regularly as more is learned.
The Ministry of Health is requiring those who have returned from overseas within the past two weeks to self-isolate for 14 days. If you have symptoms of COVID-19 or you have been in contact with someone who has symptoms, phone Healthline’s dedicated COVID-19 number 0800 358 5453.
LATEST DOCUMENTS ADDED:
Guidance on PPE
Ministry of Health advice on PPE:
- Personal protective equipment (PPE) used by community-based midwives for prevention of COVID-19 – 31 March 2020
- Personal protective equipment (PPE): A guide for staff caring for COVID-19 positive people in hospital (PDF, 184 KB) – 28 March 2020
- Personal protective equipment (PPE) used by community care providers for prevention of COVID-19 (PDF, 200 KB) – 28 March 2020
If the above links to specific documents do not work they may have been updated very recently (this is a rapidly evolving area). You can find all the latest MOH advice on PPE here:
MERAS and other unions have been working with the District Health Boards to agree a consistent approach to leave arrangements arising from the spread of COVID-19, including payment in the event that you or your family require self-isolation. These are the current guidelines below and we will advise members if any changes are made: COVID-19 Employee Related and General FAQs – ALL DHBS – updated 27 March
COVID-19 National Hospital Response Framework – This document provides high level, nationally consistent guidance to support your DHBs’ own emergency response procedures that will need to be deployed at each level. These escalation levels are specifically for hospitals and are different to the Pandemic Plan Levels and the National Alert Levels (announced by the Prime Minister on 21 March 2020) but are aligned.
The Ministry of Health has published guidance for community midwifery care on its website in its section on Resources for Health Professionals under the heading Maternity.
The three documents for midwives can be found here:
- Information for community based midwives
- Table 1: Advice for community-based midwives caring for women who are in self-isolation after potential COVID-19 exposure
- Table 2: Advice for community-based midwives caring for women who have confirmed or suspected COVID-19
Please read these documents carefully as they contain the official recommendations from the Ministry of Health for midwifery care in the community and they supersede any other documents that may have previously been produced by other organisations.
Occupational Health Assessment Framework for Vulnerable Workers
National guidance for the assessment of COVID-19 vulnerable or at-risk workers has been produced. This guidance [published 23 March] has been developed by occupational health physicians from across New Zealand, and with input from senior medical officers from infection prevention and control; infectious diseases; and microbiology.
3. COVID-19 DHB Occupational Health Assessment Tool for Vulnerable Workers 27 March 2020 v2.0 – NB: The revised advice contains new guidance for pregnancy [page 11] and for those aged 70 and over [page 11].
DHB staff should receive email updates from your local DHB notifying you of the steps they’re taking to identify and protect staff at risk from COVID-19 exposure. You will need to refer to your DHB self-assessment tool for further guidance.
Other helpful information:
– the above page should have everything New Zealanders need to know about COVID-19 in one place