Contact and Support

Find services and contact information for when you need help, support, advice or information about COVID-19. You may also contact the COVID-19 Healthline on 0800 358 5453.

About COVID-19

COVID-19 is a disease caused by the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. It affects your lungs, airways and other organs.

Coronaviruses are from a large and diverse family of viruses that cause illnesses such as the common cold. Other recent diseases caused by coronaviruses include severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS).

SARS-CoV-2 was first recognised in China and likely originated in animals. It is still unclear how the virus came to infect humans. The disease spread to other countries, with the World Health Organization (WHO) declaring a pandemic on 11 March 2020.

The virus has since undergone genetic mutations over time as it adapts to humans. Some of these mutations, such as the Delta variant, can spread more easily than the original virus and cause more severe disease.

Changes for Allied Health Professionals

Recently there has been changes to what Allied Health professionals can do at Alert Level 3 which is very promising for our sector. Please see below the handy flow chart which has been made available by the Ministry of Health.

Variants of COVID-19

It is a natural process for viruses to change or mutate, which may produce variants. Variants are developing around the world. This tends to happen in places where the virus is out of control.

WHO is tracking variants of concern and variants of interest.

Tracking SARS-CoV-2 variants | WHO website

Variants of COVID-19 may affect how fast the virus spreads, or how sick people get from the virus.

The current variants of concern are:

Alpha – first found in the United Kingdom
Beta – first found in South Africa
Gamma – first found in Brazil
Delta – first found in India.

The Ministry of Health is providing updates on these variants.

COVID-19: About the Delta variant

COVID-19: Science news | health.govt.nz