26 June 2020
Change to COVID-19 case definition – more information
This message confirms the COVID-19 swabbing advice outlined in the Medinz message on 25 June 2020, regarding the new case definition. This position is supported by the Ministry of Health, and is consistent with current evidence that there is no community transmission of COVID-19. It is as follows:
People with COVID-19 symptoms, including atypical symptoms with no other likely diagnosis, AND Higher Index of Suspicion (HIS) criteria, OR requested by the local Medical Officer of Health are the highest priority to be swabbed for COVID-19.
For people who do not meet the HIS criteria and have COVID-19 like symptoms, general practice should provide routine care, and only swab, or refer for swabbing, if clinically indicated (e.g. a person with community acquired pneumonia in an aged residential care facility). Please see MoH Alert Level 1 PPE and IPC guidance (see attachment).
When a COVID-19 swab is being taken:
MoH recommend full PPE
- do an e-notification – use the ‘Essential worker’ field to detail the HIS criteria
- lab request form – mark HIS and detail criteria, or add SURV code, if appropriate
- Please note all symptomatic people are required to self-isolate while awaiting swab results.
- There are no PPE supply issues at present, and PPE will continue to be managed centrally
- PPE will also continue to be supplied free of charge until further notice
- There are adequate supplies of swabs to meet current demand
- The e-notification process remains unchanged, and there will continue to be automated text messages sent to patients who have tested as negative
- To meet current testing demand, CBAC hours have been extended (see attached document). Please continue to refer patients to CBACs if they meet the revised case definition and you are not able to swab at your practice.