The following is a special Covid-19 update from the Optometrists and Dispensing Opticians Board (ODOB)
FROM THE ODOB BOARD (21 Sept 2020)
As you will be aware the government has indicated another Covid-19 Alert Level move.
- The Auckland region will move to the standard Alert Level 2 as of 11.59pm Wednesday 23 September 2020.
- The rest of the country will move to Alert Level 1 as of 11.59pm Monday 21 September 2020.
The Board has not been informed of any modifications or changes to the Ministry of Health - Allied Health advice on Covid-19 Alert Levels, therefore the previous advice remains.
Alert Level 2:
“Telehealth and virtual appointments are still the preferred option in Alert Level 2. Please exercise extra caution when treating vulnerable groups.
Clinicians will be able to see patients face to face if the following processes are in place:
- Screening for COVID-19 symptoms prior to face to face appointment
- Physical distancing measures
- Infection prevention control measures including PPE where require
Clinicians will be able to travel within and to neighbouring regions to provide care to patients and receive training.
Group treatment (eg. exercise classes) can occur so long as physical distancing is in place
It is expected that your professional bodies as well as employers will operationalise the Alert Level 2 guidance to their local context.”
Under Alert Level 2, protocols must be implemented by optometrists and dispensing opticians to maximise patient safety including ongoing risk assessment and appropriate infection prevention control procedures.
Further information regarding Alert Level 2, which includes screening, physical distancing, infection prevention control measures and PPE, contact tracing and working with high risk groups can be found here.
Alert Level 1:
“Community allied health services can return to normal with the following recommendations:
- Enable contact tracing eg. NZ Covid-19 tracer app.
- Discouraging patients to attend appointments when they are sick e.g. screening prior to appointment, public messaging
- Good infection prevention control measures are in place such as frequent hand washing and cleaning
- Physical distancing is not required but is encouraged where possible."
As a reminder, the best defence against COVID-19 are basic hygiene measures, which include:
- Cough or sneeze into your elbow or by covering your mouth and nose with tissues
- Put used tissues in the bin or a bag immediately
- Wash your hands with soap and water often (for at least 20 seconds)
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth
- Clean surfaces regularly
The Board would like to remind you of the importance in taking measures to protect the health and safety of the public and thank you for your ongoing efforts.
We will communicate any further updates if/as soon as they become available.
Noho ora mai / stay well
Jayesh Chouhan, board chair and Antony McFelin, registrar