​COVID-19: Guidance provided by the Society for pharmacy

The COVID-19 (coronavirus) situation in New Zealand is evolving rapidly. The Pharmaceutical Society of New Zealand is aware of the need for pharmacy-specific guidance and are working on this as a matter of urgency with key health sector stakeholders.

Latest information on COVID-19

The Society advises pharmacists to check the Ministry of Health website daily for the latest information about COVID-19 for the New Zealand public and health professionals.

Specific advice and resources for health care workers are available on the Ministry of Health’s website at Resources for health professionals. This section provides more detail on the current case definitions, managing suspected and confirmed cases in primary care, the role of face masks in health settings, and specific questions and answers for primary health care workers.

For pharmacy-specific information please check the Society’s COVID-19 web page.

Resources available for pharmacy

The Society’s Practice team have developed a poster for use at pharmacy entrances to advise people with symptoms not to enter and providing them with other options for seeking advice about COVID-19 or interacting with the pharmacy.

  • If people need advice about COVID-19, they should phone the special Healthline number 0800 358 5453
  • If they need something from the pharmacy, they should phone to arrange instead of presenting in the pharmacy.

The Ministry of Health have produced resources that may be useful for pharmacies including posters about preventing infection, information sheets for the general public about COVID-19, and social media images.

Providing advice to the public

The Ministry of Health website contains advice for the public including information on how the virus spreads, prevention (including face mask and hygiene advice), symptoms, home care, contact tracing and self-isolation.

Current advice from the Ministry of Health is that basic hygiene measures are the most important way to stop the spread of the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

Basic hygiene measures:

  • washing hands regularly with soap and water, or cleansing with hand sanitiser
  • staying at home if you are sick
  • coughing or sneezing into a tissue or your elbow and then performing hand hygiene
  • cleaning surfaces regularly.

Advocating for the pharmacy profession

The Practice team continue to meet with Ministry officials and other health sector organisations to ensure members’ concerns are being heard. All feedback that we are receiving from our members at the coalface is being communicated to central co-ordination teams.

The Society’s Practice team is collaborating with the Ministry of Health, the Pharmacy Guild and Green Cross Health. We will provide updates and advisory notices for the pharmacy sector twice weekly from these meetings.

Your questions

The Society’s Practice Support team have compiled a list of Frequently Asked Questions. They will be collating questions from members as they come in and providing further updates.

Please continue to e-mail any questions, comments and feedback to practice@psnz.org.nz

Disclaimer: The New Zealand environment continues to change rapidly for the management of COVID-19. This information is based on the current situation at the time of publishing.