23 March 2020 Ministry of Health, Dental Council and Professional Associations’ joint statement: COVID-19 update*
As you will be aware the Prime Minister has announced New Zealand is now at Level 3 for COVID-19 alert, Restrict – Heightened risk that disease is not contained. This includes probable community transmission occurring and possible multiple clusters break out. Measures needed locally and nationally include:
· Alternative ways of working required
· Some non-essential businesses closures
· Non face-to-face primary care consultations, and
· Non acute (elective) services and procedures in hospitals deferred and healthcare staff reprioritised.
The Prime Minister has also announced New Zealand’s COVID-19 alert will increase to Level 4 by 1pm Wednesday 25 March, Eliminate – Likely that disease is not contained. Measures needed locally and nationally include:
· People instructed to stay home
· Educational facilities closed
· Businesses closed except for essential services
· Rationing of supplies and requisitioning of facilities
· Travel severely limited
· Major reprioritisation of healthcare services.
Therefore the Ministry of Health, Dental Council and the New Zealand Dental Association require all non-essential and elective dental services be suspended immediately to reduce community spread, including to yourself, your staff and your patients. All emergency treatment** and relief of pain which cannot be managed by medications, should continue with appropriate precautions taken.
The Ministry of Health, Dental Council and the New Zealand Dental Association will require all oral health practitioners to transition fully to all applicable Level 4 measures by 1pm Wednesday 25 March.
*This message is supported by:
- New Zealand Dental Association
- New Zealand Dental & Oral Health Therapists Association
- New Zealand Dental Hygienist’s Association
- New Zealand Institute of Dental Technologists
- New Zealand Association of Orthodontists
**Emergency treatment includes oral-facial trauma, significant infection, prolonged bleeding or pain which cannot be managed by medications.
Phone: +64 4 499 4820