The following is a special Covid-19 update from the Optometrists and Dispensing Opticians Board (ODOB)
FROM THE ODOB BOARD
Following on from the Board’s recent communication regarding Covid-19, you would be aware of the upcoming Alert Level changes in the Auckland region.
Auckland will stay at Alert Level 3 until 11:59pm on 30 August 2020 and then move to Alert Level 2
As Auckland joins the rest of the country at Alert Level 2 the Board would like to remind you of the importance in taking measures to protect the health and safety of the public.
The previous advice from the Ministry of Health regarding Alert Level 2 remains:
“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 appointments
- Physical distancing measures
- Infection prevention control measures including PPE where required
- 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.”
While practices in the Auckland region can reopen for routine face-to-face consultations/dispensing 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.
The Board recognises it has been a challenging period for practitioners in the Auckland region and thank you for adhering to the Alert Level 3 guidelines.
For the time being:
- Those in the Auckland region must continue to follow Alert Level 3 requirements until Alert Level 2 officially commences
- Those outside of the Auckland region must continue to follow Alert Level 2 requirements
- Continue to work collaboratively with your DHBs
- Stay in contact with your professional body including NZAO and ADONZ
As always, the Board will advise you of any further updates.
Noho ora mai / stay well
Jayesh Chouhan, ODOB Board chair and Antony McFelin, ODOB registrar