Primary healthcare news, information & resources

COVID-19 - Separating the well from the unwell

On this page

  • Green and red zones: practice self assessment
  • Preparing and protecting your practice

** You may also like to view our page of questions from practices. **

Go back to our main COVID-19 webpage

Green and red zones: practice self-assessment

For the foreseeable future every person with respiratory infection symptoms will need to be considered a potential source of serious infection to others.

It could be argued that this has always been the case, particularly in 'flu' season, but the ease of transmission, lack of a vaccine, and serious consequences of COVID-19 have made this much more visible to us and to the community at large.

The "new normal" process for primary care means we need to keep the "well" (green zone) away from contact with the "unwell, with respiratory symptoms" (red zone) much more vigorously.

 All practices need to have embedded systems that:  

  1. triage all patients to identify the potential COVID-19 patients
  2. keep potential COVID-19 patients out of contact with others
  3. protect potential COVID-19 patients from each other
  4. protect staff from exposure to COVID-19.

We've put some thoughts together in a document to help to guide your initial thoughts, and are developing the self-assessment into a web-based form to send us your response. 

For more information - or if you have questions - please contact medical director Dr Jo Scott-Jones on

For more information on green and red zones please contact medical director Dr Jo Scott-Jones,

Preparing and protecting your practice

Door posters are essential

All practices are advised to place posters on the door urging patients to use the phone first, and to contact the dedicated COVID-19 Healthline number in the first instance - 0800 358 5453.

Conducting a practice walk-through for COVID-19

We've put together a checklist to help you assess your preparedness (PDF - 18 March), check and refine your processes. This is a working document so let us know what you think - especially if you have other items to add.

We were also lucky this week to visit Student Health Services at the University of Waikato who let us film a quick video showing how they have got their practice ready - our massive thanks to Dr Kym Christodoulou for her help.

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