COVID-19 Staff FAQ

Last updated: 15 September 2022

Current Situation

Click below to find out the latest situation and restriction levels in your area.

Important information

We hope everyone is continuing to keep safe and well out there. Please read the following information carefully as we make regular updates, and let us know if you have any questions. 

If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed by everything, take a few deep breaths, and remember you’re doing an amazing job under extraordinary circumstances.  

In this article, we cover: 


Household contact and COVID-19 positive staff requirements

Household Contacts

Staff identified as a household contact can continue to deliver services by performing a self-test daily for COVID-19 before going to work for five days from the time your household contact showed symptoms or tested positive.   If you test positive at any stage or develop symptoms please self-isolate and notify us.

How does this work?  

  • You can pick up RAT kits at any MOH identified location and test per the instructions before leaving for your place of work. 
  • As long as a negative test is returned and you have no symptoms you may go about your normal work and other activities. 
  • If you choose not to work you will have to take sick leave. 

What do I do if I am COVID-19 positive

For frontline staff (e.g. support workers)

  • Notify us and your manager immediately.  
  • You have to isolate for 7 days from the time you developed symptoms.
  • You can return to work on day 8 (from the time you originally tested positive or developed symptoms) and if asymptomatic or have mild symptoms

For salaried staff that cannot work from home or are client facing

  • Notify us and your manager immediately.  
  • You will receive normal pay from the day of the test until 7 days after you developed symptoms
  • You must complete an incident report and ensure that your manager informs the relevant payroll team of the dates that you are unable to work until day 7 so that we can apply for the funding from MSD.

For salaried staff that can work from home

Please follow the directions in the Ministry of Health guideline and immediately advise your Manager if you test positive.  If advised to take a test, please take the test, stay at home, isolate and immediately advise your Manager and send a notification to either: 

HealthCare NZ:  [email protected]  or 0800 001 995

Geneva Healthcare:   [email protected] or 0800 001 995. 

  • If your work can be performed from home, continue to work as normal. If you decide not to work as you are unwell, you will need to apply for sick leave.  
  • If your circumstances change and you can no longer work from home (see process above). 
  • If you have a household contact that is positive and requires support and you can work from home but need to support them, then you will need to apply for sick leave. 

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) questions

How do I wear my PPE?

Our training partners at MySkill have a number of courses for you to self-enrol into relating to COVID-19 and PPE.

For a very quick PPE overview click here for Geneva Healthcare staff, click here for HealthCare NZ staff.

For more in-depth learning.  Click here to go to the article on what training is available. 

How often should I change a mask?

A surgical/medical grade mask should be changed when:

  • It is damp, soiled or damaged.
  • In between clients unless used in a cohort situation or during sessional use.
  • The same mask should not be worn across multiple home visits (where there are more likely to be contamination risks between patients/clients).

How can I order PPE?

HealthCare NZ staff can now order their PPE via their Kahu mobile app.  These requests will be sent to [email protected] to process your order. Orders will be dispatched within 5 working days to your home address on file.  Simply follow the steps below on your Kahu app.

  1. Click on “Forms”
  2. Click on “Order PPE”
  3. Enter the PPE equipment required
  4. Click Submit

You can also email your requests, masks, aprons, glove type (latex or non-latex) and glove size with their name, postal address and phone number to [email protected] and we will get this sent out to you.

NZCommunity Living arrangements for PPE remain the same.

Geneva Healthcare staff can order through the Customer Love Team or your usual Care Coordinator. We will send PPE out via courier. 

Is there any cost to ordering PPE?

There is no cost to ordering PPE from us to use while you’re working. Please follow the Ministry of Health guidelines for when to use PPE.

Can I order PPE for other people?

To purchase PPE for loved ones, please visit your local pharmacy or grocery store.


COVID-19 Protection Framework

What are the current COVID-19 Protection Framework restrictions?  

As from 11:59pm on Monday 12 September the COVID-19 Protection Framework (traffic light settings) has been discontinued and all our services are running as normal.     



Essential Frontline Staff & Support Worker questions

How can I continue to keep myself safe at work? 
  • When you arrive for shifts and appointments, verify if any person at the address does have COVID-19 symptoms or is isolating prior to delivering services. 
  • If the client or a household contact have COVID-19 please inform the Service Centre and full PPE will be arranged. 
  • Basic hygiene measures must still be maintained.  Click here so you can self-enrol into the MySkill Infection Control training
  • Maintain physical distancing when you are out in the community, and wear a mask where required.
  • Stay home and self-isolate if you are unwell.
  • Get vaccinated.

How do I know if it’s safe to interact with clients?

  • When you arrive for shifts and appointments verify if any person at the address does have COVID-19 symptoms or is isolating prior to delivering services. 
  • If the client or a household contact have COVID-19 please inform the Service Centre and full PPE will be arranged.  


The updated COVID-19: Infection prevention and control recommendations for health and disability care workers and be found here


General questions

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

Find out what the COVID-19 symptoms are, how fast they appear and what to do if you have any symptoms. If you or a household member,  are experiencing any symptoms, please also notify your Service Facilitator / Care Coordinator or Manager as soon as possible.   

Click here to view COVID-19 symptoms.  

What should I do if I become unwell?

If you have cold, flu or COVID-19 symptoms, call Healthline, your doctor or iwi health provider. They will tell you if you should get a COVID-19 test. If you are required to take a test, please notify your Service Facilitator / Care Coordinator or Manager as soon as possible.  

Click here to view more info about testing.  

How long am I immune from COVID-19 after I recover from it? 

Getting reinfected with COVID-19 can occur within a short period of time as new variants spread among the community. If you develop new symptoms and it’s 29 days or more since you have tested positive previously, you could be reinfected and must take a RAT test 

For more info on reinfection, click here.


Taking Leave Questions

What leave can you take if you need a COVID-19 test? 

If  your Incident Report (IR) for reporting your COVID positive result is not completed, you won’t be eligible for payment.  For an Incident Report (IR) to be completed: 

  • For Field Staff (e.g., Support Workers):  Call our office immediately  

For HeathCare NZ Field Staff:  call 0800 002 722 (Service Centre)  

For Geneva Healthcare Field Staff:  call 0800 436 382 (0800 GENEVA)  

NOTE:  The Incident Reports (IR) are completed by the Care Coordinator/Service Facilitator.  See “How do I escalate any concerns? (For all staff)” below for more information.  

  • For Office Staff:  See “How do I escalate any concerns? (For all staff)” below for details. 

IMPORTANT:  Any staff member who tests positive for COVID-19 will need to immediately escalate their situation to their Care Coordinator / Service Facilitator / Team Leader / Manager to ensure the appropriate risk assessment and contact tracing occur. 

What leave can you take if you’re sick with COVID-19? 

If you are COVID-19 positive and you can work from home, you will need to apply for sick leave if you cannot work due to being sick. If you can’t work from home, we will apply for the Leave Support Scheme and we will pay your average weekly earnings based on the 4 weeks prior to being off work.   

What leave can I take if I choose not to work? 

Any worker, office or field staff, who are not willing to work for any of the reasons above will not be paid. You can choose to be paid Annual Leave if it’s available. Otherwise, it is Leave Without Pay.   


COVID-19 Payments And Requirements

For any questions regarding COVID-19 payments and guidelines, click here 


Working from home or office questions?

Line Managers are given the flexibility to work out the best arrangement for their teams. Anyone who is sick, not feeling well, have flu or Covid-19 symptoms, or those who are household contacts MUST work from home.  

This applies to all office-based staff, even to those who are rostered to work from the office. However, line managers have the flexibility to work out the best arrangements for their teams.

Please keep in mind the following:  

  • DO NOT come to work if you have any flu or COVID-19 symptoms (runny nose, cough, temperature above 37.3, aching body and joints, etc. – click here for more info on symptoms), advise your line manager immediately, and seek a COVID-19 test
  • If you have any symptoms but have tested negative,  DO NOT come to the office, work from home 

For Office Reception re Clients attending treatments or others attending meetings at our office premises, please ensure that:  

  • All visitors sign in using the physical register at reception 
  • The staff member who hosts the visitors must ask regarding any COVID-19 related symptoms present on the day (if they are symptomatic, please advise them to hold virtual meetings instead) 
  • Please follow the required industry guidelines for delivering services to Clients at our office premises, e.g., for Disability, Rehab, Mental Health support services sessions, etc.  

How can I set up my workstation and laptop to ensure I’m comfortable? 

For many of us, we are juggling both working from home and lockdown restrictions. For some, this has meant moving to work in established home offices, and for others, this means setting up a work area quickly and with available resources at home. 

Click here to download the working from home tips. 

Click here to download Ergonomic tips for Homeworkers. 


Vaccinations

Getting the vaccine (and the booster shot when you qualify) is the best possible protection for you, your whānau, and the people you care about. 

While the Mandatory Vaccination Order will end on 26 September 2022, some client organisations may still require persons delivering services to be fully vaccinated. We also recommend that you keep up with any changes in vaccinations made available to minimise any illness caused by the virus. 

Where can I get my vaccine?

You can walk-in or drive-through any of your local vaccination centres (click here for more details) 

Questions or concerns 

 If you are worried about the vaccine, we suggest you get the facts from the experts.  We all need accurate and reliable information when we decide for ourselves and our whānau. 

Click here for the FAQ, learn from the experts and get answers about popular topics on the Covid-19 vaccine.  

You can also contact your local health professional for more information.


How can you order RATs online?

  • You can order the RAT kits online from the Ministry of Health – click here 
  • You can select the location and time you want to pick the RAT kits up from for your ‘day 3 onwards testing’. This will be a location close to your home such as a COVID-19 test centre or selected chemists and hospitals.  
  • You can then proceed to go to the selected location at the selected time, show them either your company identification or your personal identification such as a driver’s licence
  • You do not have to take another RAT or a PCR test for 29 days unless you become ill with symptoms or is directed by a Medical Practitioner to take a test. 


Training available to keep yourself safe

Our training partners at MySkill continually add new training content to support all of us to remain safe at work.  These courses are available on your learning dashboard and are available to everyone.  

Log into MySkill by clicking here, go to the ‘self-enrollable course’ block on your dashboard to see what is available. 

MySkill Infection Control Non NZQA click here to enrol 

This is a general overview of infection control and how infections spread.  This course is based on the New Zealand Health and Wellbeing Level 2 unit standard and should be completed by everyone in our team, no matter your role. 

MySkill Supporting People at Home with COVID-19  click here to enrol 

If you are supporting people who have COVID-19 or are at high risk of being exposed to COVID-19 then you should complete this course.  The content focuses heavily on the correct use of PPE and the importance of donning/doffing correctly as well as general COVID-19 information. 

If you are new to MySkill or need support please call them on 

0800 MySkill (0800 697 5455) 
(Monday – Friday 8:00am – 4:00pm) 

Or email them at [email protected] 


Have more questions? Get in touch with us

As always, we are here if you have any questions or concerns. Simply get in touch with your Care Coordinator / Service Facilitator or Manager.

HealthCare NZ

0800 002 722 (support worker staff only)

[email protected]  (office staff only)

Geneva Healthcare

0800 436 382 (support worker staff only)

[email protected] (office staff only)