Novel Coronavirus

The Ministry is working with border agencies to ensure recent arrivals from Mainland China are aware of the need to self-isolate for 14 days and register with Healthline. Some key messages as of 1300 hours on 18 February:

  • There are no confirmed cases in New Zealand.
  • Healthline’s dedicated COVID-19 phone number is 0800 358 5453. This is free and available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • Public health staff continue to meet and provide information to travelers from Mainland China at Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch International airports. Temporary restrictions which prevent foreign nationals travelling from, or transiting through, Mainland China from entering New Zealand have been extended, now expiring on Monday 24 February 2020.
  • A fact sheet for people who have self-isolated is available on the Ministry of Health website. The self-isolation period is 14 days.
  • Based on current knowledge, the risk assessment stands at: likelihood of one or more cases being imported into NZ from China = High; likelihood of one or more cases being imported into NZ from outside of China = Low-Moderate; likelihood of limited transmission in NZ = High; likelihood of sustained transmission = Moderate; and widespread outbreaks = Low.

For more information and resources for general practices, pharmacies and other community health facilities on the COVID-19, go to our Other Infectious Risks page or the Ministry of Health website. The Ministry has also launched a Facebook page: There is a new video on coronavirus just released by the Ministry of Health that summarises key information for speakers of New Zealand Sign Language. If your practice has video players in your waiting room, you might want to add this to your video loop.

Posters for general practices are listed below (more available on the Other Infectious Risks page).

The latest updates from CPRG and the Ministry are here:

Coronavirus COVID-19 – Infection Prevention & Control for Primary Care

For all patients presenting to General Practice with fever and acute respiratory infection AND a history of travel specifically to Mainland China in the 14 days prior to symptom onset OR who have had contact with a person with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 within the 14 days of symptom onset:

  • Where possible, assess potential cases in the patient’s car or a designated area away from the patient waiting room.
  • Ask the patient to wear a surgical mask while in public areas (ideally on arrival to the practice).
  • Contact and droplet precautions (with a surgical mask) are recommended.
  • Discuss testing with the Clinical Microbiologist or Infectious Disease Physician on call – 03 364 0640
  • Avoid nebulisers

For advice on investigation of patients with fever and acute respiratory infection following travel to areas other than Hubei Province China, contact the CDHB Clinical Microbiologist or Infectious Diseases physician on call.

For more information such as posters and infection Prevention & Control advice, visit the Other Infectious Risks page.


Australia Bushfires

For current information on the Primary Healthcare response to the Australia Bushfires 



A review has been completed on the 2019 Canterbury Measles Response. We acknowledge and thank all the general practice teams’ efforts to respond to the vaccination programme and for their feedback to the review. A review document spells out the recommendations made by a wide group of stakeholders. You can read the report here.

For more information on the measles response, see the Other Infectious Risk page.


Influenza Updates and Resources

Canterbury (along with Australia and some other parts of New Zealand) experienced a very early influenza wave in 2019 and the peak occurred nearly two months earlier than the average of the previous five years. The vaccination rate across New Zealand was the highest for any previous influenza season; Canterbury vaccinated 64% of people over 65. The majority of confirmed influenza cases reported nationally were Influenza A (H3N2) and influenza B/Victoria. See the CPRG updates from the season below.

Click on the below links to download posters.


Other emergencies

For up-to-date emergency notices across the country, visit the Ministry of Civil Defence website. For local information, the Civil Defence Emergency Management Group website provides information across our district. Check with NZTA for updates on road conditions.