Covid-19 Update 

 

In National Alert Level 4, Auckland Breast Centre was focused on high priority symptomatic women while maintaining a safe workplace.

With the move to Level 3, we are pleased to broaden our priorities and will continue servicing our urgent patients as well as those patients referred by GPs and specialists. We do have some catch up work to do as we move to regular breast cancer screening over the next few weeks.

We are still providing mammography, ultrasound, biopsy and specialist appointments. Our surgeons are still able to operate on patients with breast cancer.

Although we acknowledge that it may cause anxiety to delay or miss a mammogram, the risk to your health and life from delaying one mammogram is in fact extremely low. We wish to clarify that we will keep patients in our recall system, we will be in touch again when we can resume normal routine bookings.

Please contact one of our nurses or your GP if in the intervening period you develop a new symptom in your breast, such as:

- a new lump which is larger than marble and persists longer than 3 weeks
- nipple discharge which comes out without being squeezed and/or contains blood
- a new lump over a cancer scar or in your armpit
- you are anxious that something is wrong
You can call our team to discuss any concerns, Mon-Fri between 8 am and 5 pm on 09 488 9179


At Auckland Breast Centre we will be following Alert Level 3 protocols in all of our clinics until further notice.  
- Entry to clinics– Everyone must scan the COVID QR code or sign in on the paper register
- Support people– are not permitted unless there are exceptional circumstances (i.e. those with disabilities, interpreters)
- Face masks– please wear a face mask - our receptionists have spare masks available if required 
- Reception "sneeze" guards– the reception screens are in place in our reception areas
- Contact tracing– QR code are available at our clinic entrances and we encourage you to use the "NZ COVID Tracer" app.  Please also turn on blue tooth in the app

 

Ministry of Health recommendations



Please follow some basic recommendations to help limit the spread of COVID-19
- continue stringent hand hygiene 
- sneeze and cough into your elbow
- if you or a family member are unwell stay home and contact Healthline (0800 358 5453) or your GP about getting a test
- practice physical distancing of two meters wherever possible
- you must wear a mask on public transport and it is recommended in public spaces 
For more information from the Ministry of Health, click here.

We appreciate that this a very challenging time for everyone.


For those living alone, working from home, wrangling small children while working from home and those on the front line, the effects of COVID-19 continue to be exhausting, daunting and even a little terrifying.


Over the past few months, our employees and patients have been sharing their favourite mindfulness and meditation apps, blogs and websites for dealing with the stress and isolation of COVID-19.


The following is a list of the most popular. The apps are all free so take a moment and have a look.

https://www.headspace.com/covid-19

https://blog.calm.com/take-a-deep-breath

https://www.justathought.co.nz/

https://giphy.com/embed/1xVc4s9oZrDhO9BOYt


And for the kids:

https://www.stopbreathethink.com/

https://www.smilingmind.com.au/

 

We have put together the following information to try and help answer some of your questions and concerns.

Q: Will Auckland Breast Centre stay open at all Alert Levels?
A: Yes. As an essential medical service, Auckland Breast Centre will remain open.


Q: Can I still bring support people with me to my treatment appointments:
A: For your own protection and that of other patients as well as our employees, you cannot bring support people with you if we are in Alert Level 3 or higher, unless you have a clinical need. If you need assistance, please let us know.


Q: What should I do if I don't feel well and believe my symptoms are similar to COVID-19?
A: Please contact us to reschedule your appointment and then get tested.


Q: What should I do if I have been in contact with someone who is a suspected case (ie is awaiting a test result), or a confirmed case including friends and family?
A: Please contact us to reschedule your appointment.

 
Q: What can I do to reduce my risk of catching COVID-19?
A: Maintaining good personal hygiene is our best protection, please continue to be vigilant:
- Regular hand washing with soap and water for 20 seconds or more
- Use alcohol-based rubs/sanitizers (minimum of 60% alcohol)
- Coughing or sneezing into the crook of your arm or a disposable tissue
- Social distancing of 2 meters where possible
- Avoid handshakes, kissing, hugging and Hongi

Q: What happens if I am a confirmed case of COVID-19?
A: If you test positive for COVID-19 contact us to reschedule your appointment. Your safety is our top priority.


Q: What if my COVID-19 test result is negative?
A: If your doctor has recently tested you for COVID-19, and the result was negative, here are some important things to remember:

You still need to complete your full 14-day isolation period if:
- you have returned from overseas
- you have had close contact with someone with the virus
If you are still sick with the same illness at the end of your 14-day isolation period, you will need to stay in isolation until you have been symptom-free for 24 hours. If you are well, and have been well for 24 hours, you can return to normal daily activity.

If your current symptoms get worse and you feel more unwell, contact your GP. If you need to see a doctor for this new illness, please phone ahead (don’t just turn up). Be sure to let them know you’ve recently returned from an area of concern or had close contact with a person confirmed as having COVID-19.

If you are feeling fully recovered from your illness, but then develop a new illness while in self-isolation, please contact your doctor (phone ahead and tell them you have been in self-isolation).


Q: I’ve been told to self-isolate. What does this mean?
A: COVID-19 is notifiable to the Minister of Health Reportable Diseases under the Health Act 1956, and any requirement of Public Health must be adhered to.

Self-isolation is an effective precautionary measure to protect those around you – your family, friends, colleagues – from contracting COVID-19. It means taking simple, common-sense steps to avoid close contact with other people as much as possible, like you would with the seasonal flu virus.

Staying at home means you:
- do not go to public places such as work, school, shopping centres, childcare or university
- ask someone to get food and other necessities for you and leave them at your front door
- do not let visitors in — only people who usually live with you should be in your home
- you do not need to wear a mask in your home
- if you need to go out to seek medical attention, wear a surgical mask (if you have one) to protect others.
For further details around self-isolation, refer to the Ministry of Health.


Q: Can I self-isolate within a household of people who are not self-isolating?
A: Yes, but you need to follow the Ministry of Health guidelines in order to protect yourself. If you are in a home where the others who live with you haven’t travelled or been in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19, you should minimise close contact with them by avoiding situations where you have face-to-face contact closer than 1 metre for more than 15 minutes. The other household residents do not need to self-isolate provided these precautions are followed.
You should not share dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, pillows or other items with other people in your home. After using these items, you should wash them thoroughly with soap and water, place them in the dishwasher for cleaning or wash them in your washing machine.

 
Q: How is the virus treated?
A: There are no specific treatment for corona viruses. Antibiotics are not effective against viruses. Most of the symptoms can be treated with supportive medical care.


Q: I’m feeling anxious, who can I talk to?
A: If over the following days and weeks you feel you are not coping, it’s important to seek help and professional support. Your family doctor is a good starting point. For support with grief, anxiety, distress or mental wellbeing, you can also call or text 1737 Need to talk? This service is free, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and gives you the chance to talk it through with a trained counsellor.


We are constantly monitoring advice from the Ministry of Health as the situation continues to change. We will be updating our patients with specific advice as required.


Please continue to follow the recommendations from the Ministry or Health around self isolation, social distancing and good personal hygiene

We wish you all the very best during these difficult times.

Arohanui,

The team at Auckland Breast Centre