COVID Fast Facts

20 August 2021
Kia ora koutou
Firstly, the biggest THANK YOU to you all for stepping up and doing some massive heavy lifting this week to swab, vaccinate and care for patients during this Alert Level 4 Lockdown.  It’s hard to predict where this latest outbreak is going and the response to it, particularly in light of all three hospitals in Auckland being compromised. 

We have planned our second Auckland PHO Network zoom for 6pm tonight, for an update on the day as it unfolded with the latest information. Zoom link here

We are also preparing your SLM Incentive funding and this is expected to be in practice bank accounts by next Wednesday or Thursday.

Have a well deserved break over the weekend everybody and remember, to phone the Auckland PHO phone 379 4022 for any questions you have.

Kia kaha
Barb and the Auckland PHO team

Primary Care Response Framework
Key implications of a change to Response Level Red are and other points to consider: Please remember all the information provider is Interim and may or will change rapidly
  • Keep red and green streams completely separate; maintain swabbing/testing of patients OUTSIDE where it is best ventilated.
  • Ideally your RED Stream should be:
    • Separate workforce
    • Separate entry/exit
    • Separate bathroom/break rooms
  • Please remember to triage and screen EVERY patient considering Covid-19 symptoms (including atypicals) AND HIS and Contact questions 
  • Use telehealth as much as possible;
  • For ALL patient interactions wear FULL PPE (that is for symptomatic, asymptomatic, assessments, swabbing etc) whether indoors or outdoors;
  • Please supply all patients who need to be seen face to face with a medical mask on entry, whether or not they have symptoms;
  • At Alert L4 all symptomatic children should be recommended to be tested for SARS-COV-2.
  • A nasopharyngeal swab (NPS) placed into a viral transport media (VTM) is the preferred specimen. If the person is frail or unable to tolerate a nasopharyngeal swab, then offer to take both an oropharyngeal and a bilateral anterior nasal swab instead. NB(Oropharyngeal specimens should not be taken on their own for COVID-19 as they are unlikely to collect an adequate amount of virus).
  • Take an oropharyngeal swab and consider treating people with sore throat who are at risk of rheumatic fever empirically with antibiotics
  • All up to date information can be found in the Primary Care Quick Reference Guide (MoH) and on Auckland Regional Healthpathways
N95/P2 Respirator Use
Table taken from the Primary Care Quick Reference Guide

Please be aware that MoH has activated an exemption to fit testing requirements nationwide for GP and Urgent Care during the outbreak. Practices should be able to order P2/N95 via onelink. NRHCC encourage practices to familiarise themselves with the Practical ‘how to’ information for N95/P2 respirator implementation in General practice and Urgent Care. For practices that have not yet being fit tested, please look at Appendix One in this document on guidance for use of N95/P2 respiratory in the absence of fit testing.   This is found on Auckland Regional Healthpathways.
PLEASE NOTE: The National Clinical Directors and NRHCC are working with the MoH on clarifying the use of N95s and because of the high infectious risk of Delta and the concern over our poorly ventilated areas which INCLUDES CARS, we are supporting the use of N95/P2 Respirators to be used instead of the medical mask for assessment and swabbing.
This advice will be clarified and expanded to give step by step guidance (including more detailed PPE guidance for asymptomatic HIS and asymptomatic patients).


COVID-19 Update – North Shore Hospital Emergency Department Update

As of today (20 August) 12pm, North Shore Hospital ED and Short Stay Ward is closed to new admissions while staff and patients who may have been exposed are contacted.

A person who presented to Waitakere Hospital last night was diagnosed as a confirmed COVID-positive patient. The patient had an earlier admission to North Shore Hospital over August 17th – 18th and may have been infectious during that admission. Potentially exposed patients will be notified and advised to isolate and seek a COVID test.

Please note this is the current information. We will issue further information as the situation develops.

To send feedback, please reply to this email, or email

New SURV Code for Northcote College

The SURV code for Northcote College is SURV-TM18SC2

Previously released Surveillance codes are:

Close and casual contacts


Auckland Hospital Patients and Visitors


Auckland District Health Board Staff


Avondale College


Please continue to update yourself on changes on the Locations of Interest page.

To send feedback, please email

COVID-19 vaccination programme update – Cabinet approve vaccine use for 12-15-year olds

What’s changing?

Cabinet has now approved the use of the vaccine for 12-15-year olds. This follows Medsafe’s provisional approval for the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine for 12 to 15-year-olds in NZ in June.

What does this mean?

From today, as parents or guardians become eligible to book for a vaccination, they can also book a vaccination for any 12-15-year olds in their whānau. This will make it more convenient for whole families to be vaccinated at the same time.

If people have already booked, they can take any 12-15-year old in their whānau along to their vaccination appointment and get them vaccinated at the same time.

How to book?

Bookings can be made by visiting

Where can they get vaccinated?

Young people aged 12–15-years will be able to access the vaccine through a variety of ways most convenient to them and their family/whānau. For example:

  • At their general practice or community pharmacy.
  • At a community vaccination centre.
  • At other community-based sites, such as faith-based locations or marae.

Who can give informed consent? 

Those aged between 12 and 15-years can provide informed consent for the vaccine, if deemed competent to do so. A parent or caregiver is also able to give informed consent on behalf of the young person.

How many are in this age bracket?

There is an estimated 265,000 people in the 12–15 years age bracket. There is enough Pfizer vaccine for everyone, including the 12–15-year-old age group.

View this message on Medinz.

Please send feedback to


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Auckland PHO · 210 Khyber Pass Road · Grafton · Auckland, Auckland 1023 · New Zealand