Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

  • Another pop-up community event has been announced by Te Papa Hauora for Thursday 23 July – see their website to enrol.
  • New tiered funding structure announced 1 July 2020
  • New CPRG update for general practice – 3 July 2020
  • Healthline callers will now be directed to their general practice or an urgent care facility (if after hours or unenrolled) instead of being diverted to the local telephone triage team
  • As at 12.00, 3 July there were 1,530 confirmed and probable COVID-19 cases in NZ, with 1,490 people recovered.
  • There are 18 active cases in the country. All active cases are in managed quarantine/isolation facilities.
Key Messages
  • The Ministry of Health case definition and testing criteria has changed. See the Ministry website for updated information.
  • People still need to be referred to be tested at CBACs – if you don’t have the capacity to test patients in your practice, please feel free to refer to a CBAC via ERMS.
  • You can still order PPE via the button to the left. Please use PPE according to Ministry of Health guidelines as this is a limited resource intended to be used for assessing and testing COVID-suspect patients only. Guidance for use is also available on Community HealthPathways.
  • CBACs are operational at: Nga Hau e Wha marae, Hagley (central city), 24 Hour Surgery, Moorhouse Medical, Riccarton Clinic, Ashburton Hospital, and Durham Health in Rangiora. Patients can be booked for a swab by ringing their general practice team or Healthline. Mobile units can still be deployed to test patients who are unable to attend their general practice or a CBAC.
  • Healthline’s dedicated COVID-19 phone number is 0800 358 5453 for people concerned about COVID-19. This is free and available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • We have launched a new Facebook page! Join the Canterbury COVID-19 Response group here.

For more information and resources for general practices, pharmacies and other community health facilities on the COVID-19, go to our COVID-19 Response page, Community HealthPathways, or the Ministry of Health website.


What – or who – is the Primary Emergency Operations Centre?

Canterbury Primary Response Group (CPRG) has been in place for more than a decade to help ensure Canterbury primary care is ready for emergency and non-emergency events. They do this by working with the CDHB, Civil Defence, St John Ambulance, City Council and others throughout the year to network and plan. They develop and share plans and other resources via this website and have visited practices over the years to help with planning and to initiate local collaboration at the sector level. CPRG is responsible for activating, or assembling, the Emergency Operations Centre (EOC), who is the team of people on the end of the emails and phones whose aim is to help make sure general practice and community pharmacy are able to look after their patients in an emergency event.

What is an emergency? A health emergency may be a natural or man-made event that suddenly or significantly disrupts the environment of care; disrupts the care and treatment of patients; or changes or increases demand for an organisation’s services. It may have no warning, such as an earthquake, or come with prior warning, e.g. a pandemic.

The Primary EOC sits within a structure of other EOCs (such as Hillmorton Hospital, Christchurch Hospital, etc.), under the umbrella of the CDHB Emergency Coordination Centre (ECC), all with the objective of managing the emergency response for the Canterbury health system. EOCs are loosely based on the Coordinated Incident Management System (CIMS). More information on CIMS can be found here:

The Primary EOC structure for the COVID-19 response was:

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.