COVID-19

COVID-19 VACCINES 

We have limited availability for Covid vaccines in practice. Please phone for an appointment

We ask that you please adhere to the following protocols to help us ensure we can keep the clinic operational:

  • Do not enter the building if you have any cough / cold / flu symptoms
  • Wear a mask at all times
  • Keep 1m distance from others
  • Sanitize your hands at entry  
  • If you have mobility concerns we can vaccinate you in the car as long as you have a support person with you and you park in our carpark
  • People who have a support person with them will be allowed to complete their 15 minute observation period in their car 

COVID-19 Tests at DH

We encourage you to seek a COVID test if you meet the eligibility criteria set by the Ministry of Health

You must call us on 03 313 4659 to book a test, you cannot turn up without calling first

Costs:

Testing is free if you have COVID-19 symptoms or have been directed to take a test by a health official for example, if you work at the border, ports or in a managed isolation or quarantine facility, are a close contact of a confirmed case, or are crossing an Alert Level boundary.

If you require a PCR Test for air travel (domestically or internationally) or business requirements then there will be a cost of $150

DH Protocols during the COVID-19 pandemic

We need to able to be help everybody on the same day as they require care. We anticipate greatly increased demand for our services. Our usual process of 15 minute appointments will not be suitable for ensuring everyone gets care on the day that they need it

  • During the Omicron outbreak, you will not able to make your own appointment through the online booking system or by asking the receptionist to book you an appointment to see the doctor/nurse
  • You will be triaged by the nurse or doctor on “triage duty” – they will initially help you if you are unwell, or need medication, or need a consultation or other medical service
  • This service will be on a queue system – please call us on 03 313 4659 and you will be placed on a call back list 
  • A phone consult will be charged the same as a physical consult
  • We expect to be very busy during an Omicron outbreak so we will be unable set a specific time to call back but will try call back as soon as we can manage. If you need to be called back urgently, please tell the receptionist. 
  • The triage clinician will then help you with your medical need if it is possible to do so on the phone safely or book a face-to-face appointment for examination with the “examination doctor” or Covid swab in our daily swabbing clinic
  • There will be a roster for the doctors who will rotate days in clinic. We regret you may not be able to see your preferred doctor on the day as they may not be rostered on

How do I see nurse during the outbreak?

Please call reception on 03 313 4659  and ask for nurse to call you back. A short description that reception can tell nurse would be helpful eg child immunization, B12 or depo injection, wound dressing.

How do I get my regular scripts during the outbreak?

This will be done the same as before – either through the website or by calling reception on 03 313 4659

I haven’t been vaccinated – will I be discriminated against?

We do encourage everyone to take the vaccine, evidence shows that those who are vaccinated do become less unwell if they catch Covid-19. However, we respect your choice and will not treat you any differently if you have chosen not to take the vaccine. We do separate coughing/runny nose/unwell patients from those who are well in the practice, irrespective if they have been vaccinated or not

Is a booster necessary?

Yes, we recommend a booster for everyone who is eligible. This is due 3 months after your second dose. It is also due 3 months after your third dose if you are immunocompromised (eg cancer treatment, immunosuppressants, prednisone) and received three primary doses.

Click here for more information from Ministry of Health on boosters   

What should I do to prepare for isolating / catching COVID-19?

If someone tests positive for Omicron, everyone living in the same dwelling as the case will have to stay at home for the entire time they are isolating. Families in the same household are encouraged to have a meeting so everyone, including children, knows what to do if someone gets sick or has to go to hospital.

Click on this website link for useful information on how to prepare for a 10 day isolation

How can I manage COVID-19 at home?

Healthy adults and children with COVID illness can self-isolate at home, manage their symptoms with simple measures and will usually recover well. You do not need to seek medical care unless your symptoms are severe or increasing. Those at higher risk are those over 60 years; immunocompromised or significant conditions (eg heart, lung conditions etc), pregnant, or not-vaccinated. We will take special care for those who are high-risk and unwell with Covid-19.

Rest and keeping up fluids is important. Paracetamol, ibuprofen, and rehydration fluids are useful.

Someone from the practice will call you after your initial diagnosis and check you can safely self-manage and give instructions to call us if you need help or advice. If you are at higher risk, we will call you more often as required.

PLEASE CALL 111 if the following occurs:

  • You have severe trouble breathing or severe chest pain
  • You are very confused or not thinking clearly
  • You pass out (lose consciousness)

I did a RAT at home and it is positive, what do I do?

If you are very unwell, call us. If you are mildly unwell, please either load the positive RAT on your My Covid Record, or call 0800 222478. You will get a text explaining the next steps. We are unable to load your RAT onto the system for you. 

My RAT is negative but I still have a cough/runny nose/sore throat

The RAT may be negative early in the illness. Test again tomorrow or the next day. 

How can I expect to feel when I am ill with COVID-19?

Days 1-3 – you may have very mild symptoms or feel more unwell. You might feel a sore throat, cough, fever, headache. Sometimes you may have diarrhoea. You may feel tired and lose your sense of smell and taste.

Days 4-6 – these are important days to be more aware of your symptoms. This is when lung (respiratory) symptoms may start to get worse, especially if you have other conditions like high blood pressure, obesity, or diabetes. You may start to feel worse and may have aches, chills, cough and find it hard to get comfortable. Some younger people may develop rashes, including itchy red patches, swelling, or blistering on their toes or fingers.

Days 7-8 – For people with mild illness, the worst is generally over after a week. Some people may get worse at this point or start to feel better briefly then take a turn for the worse. If you start to feel worse, contact the health team on 0800 687 647 (free to call, 24 hours a day).

Days 8-12 – Continue to monitor your symptoms and record them in your diary.

Days 13-14 – Most people will feel better by now. Some people feel more tired than usual. A slow return to activity is advised.

I am worried about getting food, wages, looking after pets and other social needs

You can call 0800 687 647 (0800 OUR MIQ) who will help with social needs. For financial support click here

How do I get my regular medication if I am isolating due to Covid-19?

We can help you with this. Please call reception at 03 31304659. There are services that deliver medication, you may have family or friends who can pick up your meds for you, or your pharmacy may be able to deliver.

 

Behaviour inside Durham Health 

We continue to have strict protocols in place within the practice. Good hand hygiene, face masks and limiting contact will need to be adhered to at all times not only for Covid-19, but also all those other pesky seasonal viruses’ that are also extremely infectious.

Nobody is allowed inside the building with any cold/cough/flu/respiratory symtoms

We ask that once seated you remain so until called for your appointment. Children MUST NOT run around the practice and must be under parental / caregiver supervision at all times. Please do not take offence if you are asked to keep your children seated with you, a lot of people are still feeling very anxious and nervous about increased contact.

Children should only be present at Durham Health who have an appointment. The medical practice is NOT a good environment for healthy individuals especially children. We shall continue with the one appointment one-person (plus caregiver) policy. The toys will not be re-appearing as they are a great source of cross infection and most parents agree with this decision.

 

We would like to thank our staff, patients and the wider community for all their support over the past months, you have all been truly wonderful.