Do you still need to wear a mask in the clinic?
Short answer is no… mostly.
It really comes down to what you’re comfortable with. Although we have opted to not wear masks generally in the clinic, we do still have some screening & risk assessment that we’ll complete with every client (outlined below). We’re also more than happy to wear a mask in your session if you’re more comfortable with that.
We’ve based the above on the current guidelines as outlined on the MoH website that sates:
- Masks will NOT be required anywhere, except when visiting certain healthcare facilities like hospitals, GPs, pharmacies and aged care residential facilities.
- Some places like workplaces or marae may ask people to wear a mask, and they are still recommended in confined places such as public transport or when visiting vulnerable people.
Latest Update on Covid-19 Protocols
The Ministry of Health’s guidelines have been updated as of 12 September. A general overview of their latest recommendations on masks as outlined by MoH Chief Allied Health Professions Officer Dr Martin Chadwick can be found below:
- While health workers and patients/residents on the premises of a health service are not required to wear a mask under COVID-19 Public Health Response (Masks) Order (2022), practitioners should still complete a risk assessment to determine the appropriate use of PPE for their own clinical environment.
- Mask use may still be indicated where there is a risk of transmission or (for example) where there may be vulnerable patients. PPE is considered as part of Standard Precautions which are a set of IPC measures required for all healthcare interactions. A risk assessment is required before every interaction, and/or every session, with a patient/client or resident by the healthcare worker. When a patient/client or resident is suspected or confirmed to have a transmissible infectious disease, then Transmission-based Precautions should be followed.
- It is strongly recommended that healthcare workers follow the infection prevention and control recommendations for health and disability care workers outlined here.
- Some premises may establish additional mask requirements if they feel necessary based on their own circumstances and local assessment of degree of risk and relevant legal requirements.
- If you are at higher personal risk or you want to reduce your risk of becoming unwell mask use is strongly recommended.
- If you are in situations where the ‘three Cs’ make the spread of the virus most likely mask use is strongly recommended:
- closed spaces with poor ventilation (e.g., small meeting rooms)
- crowded places with many people nearby (e.g., crowded buses or trains)
- close-contact settings, especially where people have close-range conversations, (including singing or shouting).
Please also keep up good hand hygiene, and if you’re unwell please stay home and test.