Key primary health services available during COVID-19 Alert Level 2

The WBOP PHO’s Health and Wellness Centre in First Avenue West is closed as of Wednesday 25 March but nurses who usually work out of the centre will be assisting doctors’ surgeries across the Western Bay of Plenty to give flu vaccines to patients.

Priority groups – people over 65, pregnant women, people with chronic conditions, and young children with a history of respiratory illness – are currently being vaccinated, followed by the general public from 27 April.


The WBOP PHO’s 31 general practices from Katikati to Whakatāne are also providing essential medical services during COVID-19 Alert Level 2, with GPs consulting patients by phone, email and video where possible to help reduce the spread of the virus.

People who are unwell and require face-to-face GP appointments will get them, but non-urgent appointments will be done remotely or, in some cases, deferred.

Flu vaccinations will continue to be available but delivered in a way that will avoid unnecessary interaction between patients.


Ngāi te Rangi and Ngāti Ranginui are continuing to support their communities with essential health services and support, including home-based support for people with high needs. Health promotion, education, and counselling services are continuing online or by phone. Flu vaccination for kaumatua is under way, including on Motiti and Matakana Islands.

Te Runanga o Ngāti Ranginui has a dedicated COVID-19 page on its website and a freephone number for help and advice 0800 494 6262. You can also stay in touch via Facebook.




The PHO is responsible for contacting people in the region who have been tested for COVID-19 to inform them of their results. We ask that people be patient and wait for a call rather than call their general practice.

While you wait for the result you need to continue to self-isolate at home, or in another suitable place where you can stay on your own. You will have been given a leaflet which explains self-isolation.

You must self-isolate until:

• you get a negative swab result (for those people whose contact/travel was more than 14 days ago)

• 14 days after you returned to NZ or had contact with a suspected case.

If you test positive, the public health team will contact you.

If your test is negative, you may have another virus. You should avoid spreading this to others by self-isolation until your symptoms are gone.

If you feel your condition is getting worse you should call Healthline 0800 358 5453 as they may ask you to present. No matter what – it is important to complete your self-isolation.

Symptoms from non-COVID-19 viral infections can take a week or two to settle. During that time it is advised you rest and get plenty of sleep. You should also drink fluids and eat as you feel able.


Access to School Health Services is available by telephone from Thursday 26 March on 0800 515 919 and will be available Monday to Friday from 8.30am-5pm. If a face-to-face consult is required, that will be arranged.

The service will be run by two registered nurses, and a GP when required. General health, mental health and sexual health will be covered, however students who have COVID-19 health-related questions should call Healthline on the dedicated COVID-19 number 0800 358 5453.


Primary mental health support groups are suspended until after the Alert Level 3 is lifted. However phone and video support (where possible) will continue to be available to existing primary mental healthcare patients.

The Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand has created a new section on its website specifically related to COVID-19 and mental wellbeing. also has useful information for managing the lockdown.

If you, or anyone you know needs extra mental health support at this time, visit the Mental Health Foundation website in the first instance or contact the 1737 – Need to Talk?’ telehealth mental health service. Anyone in New Zealand can call or text 1737 for free, any time, to talk to a trained counsellor.


Outreach immunisation services will continue for those families who are unable to get into their general practice to meet childhood immunisation milestones.


Support for people with diabetes will be available from a specialist diabetes nurse from Thursday 26 March on 0800 920 033 and will be available Monday to Friday from 8.30am-4.30pm. Anyone with COVID-19 health-related questions should call Healthline on the dedicated COVID-19 number 0800 358 5453.


School-based throat-swabbing for rheumatic fever will not continue during COVID-19 Alert Level 3 while schools are closed. Parents and caregivers with concerns about children’s sore throats should contact their general practice in the meantime.