KOWHEORI-19

COVID-19

Visit the Aotearoa New Zealand Government COVID-19 information page for updates.

Te Poari o ngā Kaihaumanu Hinengaro o Aotearoa (the Board) thanks all psychotherapists for the essential services they are providing to help Aotearoa New Zealand during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Psychotherapists have and continue to manage the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic while supporting the well-being of their clients. 

Aotearoa New Zealand is currently at Alert Level 1 – Prepare

Alert Level 1 – Prepare

 

The disease is contained in Aotearoa New Zealand.

  • stay home if you’re sick

  • report flu-like symptoms

  • wash and dry hands, cough into elbow, don’t touch your face

  • no restrictions on domestic transport – avoid public transport or travel if sick

  • no restrictions on workplaces or services but they are encouraged to maintain records to enable contact tracing

  • QR codes issued by the NZ Government must be displayed in workplaces and on public transport to enable use of the NZ COVID Tracer App for contact tracing

  • follow Government advice.

Alert Level 2 – Reduce

The disease is contained, but the risk of community transmission remains.

What does this mean for psychotherapists?

Alert Level 2 focuses on being vigilant with physical distancing, contact tracing and maintaining hygiene standards.

This means virtual, non-contact consultations are preferred. Please exercise extra caution when treating vulnerable groups. However, businesses can open if they are able to do so safely.

This means that psychotherapists will be able to meet with clients kanohi ki te kanohi. Any kanohi-ki-te-kanohi/face to face appointments require psychotherapists to ensure they have in place:

  • screening for COVID-19 symptoms prior to kanohi-ki-te-kanohi appointments

  • physical distancing measures – 1 metre in controlled environments

  • infection control measures including PPE where required – it is suggested that masks should be worn in situations where physical distancing is not possible

  • measure to continue to keep accurate clinical notes to aid contact tracing measures.

Follow Government advice about facemasks.

Alert Level 3 – Restrict

High risk the disease is not contained.

Alert Level 3 focuses on limiting contact between people. What does this mean for psychotherapists?

This means psychotherapists will use virtual, non-contact consultations where possible. Kanohi-ki-te-kanohi/face to face mahi/work is for urgent care only.

Urgent care for community allied health professionals has been defined as:

  • a condition that is life or limb threatening or

  • treatment that is required to maintain the basic necessities of life or

  • treatment that cannot be delayed or carried out remotely without risk of significant harm or permanent and/or significant disability; and

  • treatment that cannot be delivered by a service that is currently operating or by health professionals that are already in contact with the patient.

  • Kanohi-ki-te-kanohi decision tree 

Alert Level 4 – Eliminate

 

It is likely COVID-19 is not contained.

Alert Level 4 focuses on limiting contact between people. What does this mean for psychotherapists?

This means psychotherapists will use virtual, non-contact consultations where possible.

Kanohi-ki-te-kanohi/face to face mahi/work is for urgent care only.

Urgent care for community allied health professionals has been defined as:

  • a condition that is life or limb threatening or

  • treatment that is required to maintain the basic necessities of life or

  • treatment that cannot be delayed or carried out remotely without risk of significant harm or permanent and/or significant disability; and

  • treatment that cannot be delivered by a service that is currently operating or by health professionals that are already in contact with the patient.

Contract tracing reminder 

Contact tracing is a critical tool.

All health practitioners engaging in kanohi-ki-te-kanohi mahi (following careful decision-making processes) are required to keep clear records for the purposes of contact tracing. In addition to good contact tracing, continue to practise good infection prevention/control procedures and use appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE).

Unique QR codes to assist tracing

The Ministry of Health is encouraging use of the COVID-19 Tracer app to record movements. Health practitioners including psychotherapists are required by the Ministry of Health to create a unique QR code for their business. .

Āwhina app

The Āwhina app provides updates and resources for healthcare providers.

Telehealth guidance