At Orange, there will be community transmission of COVID-19, with increasing risks to vulnerable communities, and pressure on the health system. Learn what we all need to do.
At Orange, you can continue to do everyday activities, but we need to protect our vulnerable communities and slow the spread of COVID-19. You will always be able to access basic needs services, such as food and healthcare.
You can travel anywhere in New Zealand for any reason, and see friends and whānau. You must wear a face mask on flights, public transport, and taxis, in retail shops and public venues, and in health and education facilities.
You can visit cafes and bars, attend gatherings and events, and go to the hairdresser and gym.
There are no capacity limits or distancing requirements at venues. Workplaces and schools can open.
Being vaccinated will give you greater protection.
Coronavirus is a large group of viruses which cause illnesses such as the common cold. The COVID-19 variant is thought to have originated in Wuhan, China.
While most people only experience mild symptoms, others are more seriously affected with long term symptoms, and sadly, many have died.
The World Health Organisation reports over 6 million deaths so far and advises those most at risk are people aged 60 years and over, and those with underlying medical problems like high blood pressure, heart and lung problems, diabetes, obesity or cancer.
Researcher by Te Pūnaha Matatini has indicated Māori are two and a half times more likely to need hospital care for Covid-19 than non-Māori - and Māori have more limited access to vaccination due to barriers with rurality and cost of travel.
Omicron is much more transmissible than previous variants of the COVID-19 virus, including Delta. Omicron does not appear to result in as many people being hospitalised. However, because Omicron can cause so many infections over a short period of time the number of people going to hospital each week has risen steadily in many countries.
Omicron can still cause severe illness and even death, especially in people who are at risk of severe outcomes, but a smaller proportion of people who are infected with Omicron need to go to hospital compared to people infected with Delta.
Symptoms can include one or more of the following:
It's difficult to tell the difference between COVID-19 and the common flu.
If you have symptoms, get tested.
COVID-19 is usually spread from person to person. When an infected person breathes, speaks, coughs, sneezes or sings, they may spread particles containing the virus.
These particles range in size. Larger and heavier particles — droplets — quickly fall to the ground or other surfaces within seconds or minutes. Smaller particles — aerosols — can remain airborne for minutes to hours. Spread of the virus by aerosols appears to be more important than previously thought.
The risk of airborne transmission becomes higher:
The risk is lower outside, with fewer people, and if people are widely spread.
Long COVID describes the symptoms that continue or develop after the initial COVID-19 symptoms. This is usually longer than 4 weeks after a person is first infected.
Most people who get COVID-19 recover completely. However, some people report a range of symptoms beyond the standard time of recovery.
Symptoms of long COVID can persist for weeks or sometimes months. They can include:
For support with management and treatment of long COVID, seek help from your doctor or healthcare team.
You can find more information about long Long COVID here
Dr Siouxsie Wiles has done an incredible job providing accessible COVID-19 information to the New Zealand Community, working with Toby Morris to create easy-to-digest graphics that help explain how the virus works, how it spreads, and how to keep safe.
We reached out to Siouxsie with some common questions being asked in our community. We're very excited that she and Toby have helped us with some community transmission information, and we have been working with Pania Papa to translate some of these graphics into Te Reo.
The landscape for testing is constantly changing as Covid-19 numbers fluctuate. We have more information about types of tests and how to access on our testing page.
Vaccinations are available now. For more information head to the COVID 19 Vaccines page