24 February 2022
With COVID-19 in our community, Ruapehu Health general practice has changed the way their front door operates, to maintain the safety of the staff and wider district. When people arrive for their appointment, they knock on the door and have their temperature checked, before being directed to seating that supports social distancing. This process has been in place since last year’s lockdown and is also being followed by many other health clinics, including the neighbouring Waimarino Health Centre.
“We really appreciate the community supporting the changes that have had to be made in the practice. Temperature checks are a simple process and we use two methods. Either a scan of your forehead or behind your ear, which is a contactless check or the other option of placing the thermometer in your ear to get a reading. During COVID, we are doing everything we can to keep you and your whānau safe,” says Ruapehu Health Clinical Practice Lead, Tracy Mitchell.
General practices in the region are following similar processes, dependent on the setup of their facilities. For the last few months, Gonville Health has been checking the temperature of everyone who comes into the building and have adjusted their front door process for patients, changing the way their waiting room operates, to seeing patients in their cars. Taihape Health directs symptomatic people to their cars and offers an isolation room if they need to be seen for assessment. Practices have also limited numbers in their waiting rooms.
Protecting your whānau against COVID-19 disease also includes protecting our precious tamariki and kaumātua. The more people immunised in your whare lessens the chance of others getting very unwell. The paediatric Pfizer vaccine has been rigorously tested and only met approval for use in New Zealand after strict safety checks. Five to 11-year-olds get a smaller dose of the vaccine, with a smaller needle.
“COVID vaccines are available at the practice for adults and children. Walk-in clinics are held on Tuesdays from 4-6pm in the community space, behind the tent. Otherwise contact the practice for an appointment,” says Ms Mitchell.
It is normal to have questions and concerns regarding the vaccine, so please talk to healthcare professional or call the COVID Healthline on 0800 358 5453 for advice.
For further comment please contact WRHN Communications & Technology Coordinator, Karen Veldhoen on (06) 348 0109 extn 708