How to prepare your household for COVID-19
It is only a matter of time before a positive case of COVID-19 is in your community. Most people who get COVID-19 will have a mild to moderate illness, and will fully recover in their own home. For those who need help, the healthcare system will always be available.
Being ready for getting COVID-19 is about making sure you and your household have a plan and know what to do. It will mean your whānau and community can help each other if needed.
1. Make a plan
You need to work out what you will do if someone in your household tests positive for COVID-19 — the entire household will need to stay home.
Who can help you
Identify people outside of your home who could help if your household is isolating, for example by dropping off food or supplies. Services like The Student Volunteer Army might be able to help with drop offs and Work and Income may be able to help with costs.
Will you need extra support
Are there people in your household who might need extra care or support? Talk to any in-home carers you have and agree in advance about what will happen if you need to isolate. Make plans if you have shared custody of a child or dependant.
What are your work and school plans
Talk to your employer, your child’s school, and community groups to find out what their plans are. Do they need anything from you? Will they be able to support you? Will you and your children be able to work or learn from home?
Let people know you are isolating
Work out how to let people know your household is isolating — this could be a sign for your front door or fence and having a QR code poster so people can keep track of where they have been. If people are helping with contactless drop offs, do you want them to text or message before they arrive? Beep the car horn from the gate? Use an agreed entrance?
Write down instructions
Write down any household instructions someone else could easily follow if you get sick and have to go into managed isolation or hospital. Cover things like feeding pets, paying bills and watering plants.
How will you minimise the spread
Think about how you could set up your home to minimise COVID-19 spreading. Draw a map of your home and mark out your zones, for example shared areas, isolation areas, and a sanitising station.
2. Have what you need
Work out what you will need to help yourself and those around you.
- Make a list of whānau information — include everyone's names, ages, NHI numbers, any medical conditions and medication they normally take or medical supplies each person will need. Include emergency contact information like your doctor, afterhours, and any support agencies.
- Gather things you enjoy. What might help stop boredom if you are isolating at home?
- Put together a wellness kit — face masks, hand sanitiser, gloves, tissues, rubbish bags, cleaning products.
- Make sure you have things to help you with COVID-19 symptoms — like pain relief such as ibuprofen, nasal spray, throat lozenges, cough medicine, ice blocks, vapour rubs.
3. Know and share your plan
Make sure the people who matter know what they will need to do.
- Have a house meeting so everyone (including younger ones) knows what to do, how to support each other and who to contact if someone gets sick or has to go to hospital.
- Share your plan with wider whānau, neighbours and regular manuhiri/visitors and talk to them about what you will need them to do and how you can help each other.
4. Reach out to friends and whānau
We are all in this together and we will get through together.
- Stay connected — arrange regular catch-ups with your whānau, friends and community. If you are isolating, make sure these are online or by phone.
- Support your friends, whānau and workmates to make their own plans to get ready.
- Find out what your community is doing — is there a group making meals to freeze, sharing planning tips or just staying in the know?
Get your work ready for COVID-19
If you are a business owner or manager, now is the time to start thinking about what steps you can take to protect your staff and customers, if there is a positive case of COVID-19 in your workplace.
Use the step by step guide on business.govt.nz to develop a plan for your business.
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