Is your household ready if someone gets COVID-19?

Tē tōia, tē haumatia | Nothing can be achieved without a plan and a way of doing things  

It’s only a matter of time before a positive case of COVID-19 is in your community. The health care system will always be there for those who need help but most people who contract COVID-19 will not require hospitalisation and will be able to isolate safely at home. Everyone who tests positive for COVID-19 and their household needs to stay at home and avoid contact with others, including whānau. 

Being ready is about people, conversations, connections and knowing what to do. Being ready will mean your whānau and community can help each other if needed. 

Use the list below to have a kōrero and work out how ready you are to deal with COVID-19. 
Then, make a plan for your household. 

1. Make a plan 
Work out what you’ll do if someone gets māuiui/sick 

  • Identify people outside of your home who could help if your family is isolating, for example by dropping off food or supplies or for social support.  
  • 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. 
  • Are there people in your household who might need additional care or support? Talk to any in-home carers you have to make sure you agree in advance about what will happen if you need to isolate. Make plans if you have shared custody of a child or dependent. 
  • Talk to your school, work, community groups and networks to find out what their plan is – do they need anything from you? Will they be able to support you?  
  • Work out how to let people know your household is isolating – this could be a sign for your front door or fence. Set up a spot outside your front door with sanitiser and a pen and paper or QR code for people to record their details if they are helping with contactless drop off. 
  • 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 any household instructions someone else could easily follow if you get sick. Cover things like feeding pets, paying bills and watering plants. 
  • Think and talk about how you reduce the chances of COVID-19 spreading across your household. Can you reduce shared spaces, or increase cleaning? 

2. Have what you need 
Work out what you’ll need to help you and those around you  

  • Make a list of whānau information – include everyone’s names, ages, national health index numbers (NHI), any medical conditions and medication they normally take or medical supplies each person will need. Include emergency contact information like your Doctor’s clinic, afterhours, and any support agencies.  
  • Gather things you enjoy. What might help stop boredom if you’re isolating at home? 

3. Know and share your plan 
Make sure the people who matter know what they’ll 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’ll need them to do and how you can help each other. 

4. Reach out to friends and whānau 
We’re all in this together and we’ll get through together 

  • Stay connected – arrange regular catch-ups with your whānau, friends and community. If you’re 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?   

Plans and tools 

Use a separate piece of paper to make household plans so everyone knows in advance what to do and how to help. 

☐ Our emergency contacts 

☐ People who can help make isolating easier (e.g. by dropping off food) 

☐ Our care and support plans (e.g. for children, dependents) 

☐ How we’ll let people know we’re isolating 

☐ Household instructions (e.g. how to take care of pets and plants, household maintenance such as paying bills) 

Wellness kit – What everyone needs to look after their health and wellbeing will be different, but below are some general ideas. 

General hygiene checklist 

☐ Masks 

☐ Gloves 

☐ Tissues 

☐ Hand sanitizer 

☐ Rubbish bags 

☐ Cleaning products 

Note down what else you might need: 

Dealing with COVID-19 symptoms 

☐ Cough/throat/sinus 

Soothers such as Kawakawa or other balms, ice blocks, vapour rubs or eucalyptus for steaming, treatments for your nose and throat like sprays or lozenges.  

☐ Fever 

Things to help soothe temperature, like ice packs, hot water bottles, warm clothes and pain relief like paracetamol. 

☐ Aches 

Things to help keep you comfortable – like pillows and blankets. 

Note down what other medicines for family members you might need if isolating: 

Staying mentally well – It’s normal to feel anxious or stressed in times of difficulty. Don’t be afraid to reach out for help. For support with anxiety, distress or mental wellbeing, you can call or text 1737 to talk with a trained counsellor for free, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 

Some ideas to look after wellbeing include: 

  • Stay connected with friends and whānau 
  • Acknowledge your feelings – it’s normal to feel anxious or stressed 
  • Stick to routines where possible 
  • Limit your time online 

Note down what other things you think might help (e.g. things you enjoy and can do at home): 

Things to find out – What don’t you know about COVID-19? What do you need to find out to help you feel more prepared? is a good place to start. 

COVID-19 Support Services  

COVID-19 Healthline: 0800 358 5453 

Healthline: 0800 611 116 

Health advice about babies or children PlunketLine: 0800 933 922  

Family Services: 0800 211 211 

Work and Income: 0800 559 009  

Mental health support: call or text 1737 

Alcohol Drug Helpline: 0800 787 797 

Rural Support Trust: 0800 787 254 

Business support:  

North Island: 0800 500 362 

South Island: 0800 505 096 

Download the COVID-19 Readiness Checklist

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