COVID-19 Update Learn more

COVID-19 – Updates


Our clinicians advise everyone in our community to receive the covid vaccinations they are eligible for. 

Call our Carefirst Westown clinic (06 7539505) to make an appointment to have your covid booster today.

Please ensure that you have a mask on when you visit all of our clinics, we can provide you with a mask if you don’t have one. 


Winter is here and as we know coughs, colds and flus are extremely common. We are seeing many people with colds and infuenza.  It means we have very few appointments available for semi-urgent or routine care, as we have to make more appointments available for flus. Coughs, colds and flus are usually caused by VIRAL infections of the nose & upper airways, and they affect most adults 2-4 times per year, kids 5-6 times and those in preschool up to 12 times a year!

Wearing a mask when you are in indoor spaces can help reduce the odds of you catching a virus from someone else.


  • Stay at home
  • Do a Covid RAT test. These can be negative at the start of a Covid illness so if symptoms continue, you should re-RAT every 24-48 hours until you are better


  • Blocked or runny nose (yellow or green snot is common, and green snot does not need antibiotics)
  • Sneezing
  • Feeling generally unwell, tired, headache and achey muscles
  • Fever
  • Cough (dry or productive). Having a cough does not mean that it has ‘gone to your chest’ or that you necessarily need antibiotics
  • Sore throat. If you are at risk of Strep throat (see please contact us for advice.

Symptoms are typically at their worst for 2-3 days and then gradually clear. However, the cough may carry on after the infection has gone and last for 2-4 weeks as the inflammation gradually settles.


  • Have plenty to drink, rest and stopping smoking and drinking alcohol if applicable!
  • Take paracetamol or ibuprofen for pain
  • Salt (saline) nose drops for babies & vapour rubs for kids and adults can help with nasal congestion in some cases. Older kids and adults can use Otrivin for a few days to ease blocked noses
  • Some people find other over the counter cough remedies from the pharmacy can help them manage their symptoms (note there is no evidence that these help particularly); please always discuss safe use with pharmacy
  • Honey before bed can ease a cough a little
  • If you need pharmacy medications please send someone who is well to get them for you. Sick people need to stay home so they don’t spread their infection to others

Antibiotics do not get rid of colds and your immune system usually clears the infection. In some cases antibiotics are needed; such as for those with underlying lung disease.

Symptoms to consider contacting our nurses about include;

  • Wheezing or breathlessness (including if symptoms don’t respond to your normal inhalers if you use these)
  • Severe headaches, especially if associated with vomiting, a stiff neck, a rash or difficulty looking at bright light
  • Chest pain
  • Coughing up blood (or if sputum dark or rusty-coloured)
  • Becoming drowsy or confused
  • Fever lasting more than five days. Or a fever that goes and then comes back
  • Dehydration (not passing urine regularly)
  • Cough persisting for longer than 3-4 weeks
  • If you have a child that has gone downhill and you are worried, please call and speak to a nurse

We are always happy to provide advice and see sick people when needed. If you are unsure, please call and speak to a nurse for help.


  • It’s not too late to get a flu vaccine! From July 1 it is also free for children aged 3-12, and those with mental health or addiction concerns.


Below is a list of places that you can drop off your pulse oximeter when you don’t need it anymore, this enables someone else to benefit from using it.

When your isolation is complete i.e. on day 8 or after, please drop your pulse oximeter into the collection bucket at one of the following drop off centers.

CBAC, New PlymouthTaranaki Base Hospital (access off Tukapa Street), New PlymouthMonday to Friday 8.30am-4pm
Saturday and Sunday (and public holidays) 8.30am-3pm
CBAC, HāweraHawera Hospital, Hunter Street, HaweraMonday to Sunday (and public holidays) 9.30am-2.30pm
Eltham Town Hall, ElthamStanners StreetMonday to Friday 9am to 12pm
Mamaku Centre, Inglewood6 Mamaku Street, InglewoodMonday to Friday 11am-2pm
Ngāruahine Iwi Health Service, Manaia36 Patu-kukupa Street, ManaiaMonday to Friday 9am to 3pm. (Text – 027 221 8097 to arrange pick up)
Ngāti Ruanui Health Care, Hāwera41 Hunter Street, HāweraMonday to Friday 8:30am to 5pm
Ngāti Ruanui Health Care, Patea1 Lincoln Street, PateaMonday to Friday 8:30am to 5pm
Te Aranga, WaitaraTe Awa Church, 68 McLean Street, WaitaraMonday to Friday 10am to 2pm
TSB Hub, HāweraCamberwell Road, HāweraMonday to Friday 9am-3pm
Tui Ora, New Plymouth36 Maratahu Street, New PlymouthMonday to Friday 8:30am to 4pm

If you are unable to drop off at one of these locations, please call 0508 436 374.


Spending time in hospital or being ill at home with COVID-19 can cause your muscles to become weaker. Exercise is important for regaining your muscle strength and endurance. BUT this needs to be safely managed alongside your other COVID-19 symptoms.

Visit the link below to find out more about exercising safely after you have been unwell.


This information is for people that have tested positive for COVID-19

Please go through the self-reporting and contact tracing tools and complete 7 days of isolation at home for yourself as well as your household contacts. Self reporting is done via your covid app on your phone, click the below link for information about this.

If you have new or unresolved symptoms at day 7 or 8, stay at home until 24 hours after your symptoms resolve.  You should also avoid high risk areas such as prisons or aged care facilities and hospitals (unless you require care) for 10 days after your positive result.    

All household contacts need to do a RAT test on day 3 & day 7 of isolation.

  • ​Requesting RATs to use at home is an easy step-by-step process. RATs can be requested on behalf of someone else. You will need access to a mobile phone to validate your order. Below are instructions on how to order RATs online or by phone.
  • ​​Online:
  • Over the phone: 0800 222 478, choose option 3 (8am-8pm, 7 days a week)​
  • ​You will be issued an order number.
  • You can then collect your RAT order from a collection site listed on or have someone collect it for you.

You can find further information on what to do on the COVID-19 website:

Please call us here at our Carefirst clinics, Westown, Merrilands or Moturoa during office hours should you have any urgent clinical matters you wish to discuss and we can help.  Please do not use the portal for anything other than routine, non-urgent enquiries.

​Alternatively, you can call the Taranaki Covid Hub on 0508 436 374 who have nurses and doctors available 24/7 to support you. After hours, you may call Healthline on 0800 358 5453.

If you are short of breath or worried about your health in an urgent way, please call 111 and state that you are covid positive.

If you need any welfare support, please call 0800 512 337. 

For most people COVID-19, in particular the omicron variant, is a mild illness, but if your symptoms are severe or worsening it is important that you seek help.

Kind Regards
The Team at Carefirst


Kia ora to all of our Carefirst patient community

We are now facing increasing numbers of positive covid cases each day in the Taranaki region, at Carefirst we are preparing for caring for these patients within our GP practices.

If you are covid positive you will be asked to go through the self-reporting process (email or call 0800 222 478, chose option 3) and complete 10 days of isolation at home. 

Your household contacts will also need to self isolate if they become positive and will need tests on day 3 and day 10. 

If you are p[positive, our clinical team will do a quick read of your notes and determine the level of risk you may experience having contracted covid.  Currently we are finding that most patients are low risk of having severe illness and are able to self manage at home. 

We will reach out to you via text, email or by phone. 

Please see below for important contact numbers for support.

  1. ​Please call the Covid Hub on 0508436374, they have nurses and doctors 24/7 that can help you
  1. Any queries you have after hours, you may call healthline, 0800 358 5453.
  1. If you are short of breath or worried about your health in an urgent way, please call 111 and state that you are covid positive – this helps them prepare for your care.
  1. If you need any welfare support eg you are unable to get food or essential health supplies, please call 0800 512337.

We are here to help everyone, and want to ensure that you know who to contact if you have any queries. 

Below is a flow chart that outlines the above in more detail and defines what a contact is now in phase 3.


The Carefirst team


It is only a matter of time before positive cases of COVID-19 in the Taranaki community are increasing. Most people who get COVID-19 will have a mild to moderate illness, and will fully recover in their own home. For those who need help, the healthcare system will always be available.

Being ready for getting COVID-19 is about making sure you and your household have a plan and know what to do. It will mean your whānau and community can help each other if needed.

Below is a helpful link from the covid-19 website that will help you and your whanau to be ready.

COVID-19-Readiness-Checklist.pdf (


The government have reduced the interval between a person’s primary vaccination course and the booster from 4 months to 3 months – starting this Friday, 4 February 2022.

This is a significant step in our response to the COVID-19 pandemic as it now means a total of 3,063,823 people aged 18 and over – two thirds of our population – will be eligible for their booster from this weekend. Over 1.3 million people have already got theirs.

The Government is urging every New Zealander who is eligible for a booster to get it as soon as possible. We are in a race against Omicron and the more people who are boosted the more we can reduce the impact of the outbreak.

Bringing forward the booster timing will help those who have been immunised more recently. It will mean more people, especially Māori, will be able to receive a booster before Omicron takes hold in communities.

Boosters lower your chances of getting very sick from the Omicron variant of COVID-19 and ending up in hospital. Fewer hospitalisations from COVID-19 will mean our health system can continue to provide the full range of care people need, in particular for our most vulnerable such as people with disabilities or long-term illnesses.


The Carefirst group ask that all eligible patients wear a mask when in our clinics.

The ministry has now mandated that all children from year 4 and older are required to wear masks when at school and in the classroom.  Please note that bandanas, scarves etc are not acceptable as a mask.

If you are concerned about your child wearing a mask you should discuss this in the first instance with your child’s school.

Please refer to the below website for more information about children wearing masks.

Please refer to the below website for more information about mask exemptions

31 January 2022 Update

All of New Zealand is now in the red traffic light setting. We have implemented strategies to provide a safe environment for our team and our patients. We are continuing to monitor the evolving situation with Omicron and follow the Ministry of Health guidelines.

Carefirst Medical Centres, Westown, Merrilands and Moturoa  will always be available to provide care for our patients.

We encourage everyone to have virtual appointments with their GP. If your doctor would like to see you face to face after a virtual appointment, we will make arrangements to do this.  You will not be charged for two consultations.

We are reducing the number of people in our practice buildings, you may be asked to wait in your car before your appointment.  The doctor or nurse will ring to have an initial discussion over the phone,  this is simply to limit the number of people we have in the building at any one time and to help protect our vulnerable patients and our staff.

All of our team are fully vaccinated and will be wearing a medical grade face mask on site at all times.

Please wear a mask and scanning in is mandatory at healthcare facilities.  Please use hand sanitiser on your arrival and try to maintain physical distancing.


Carefirst Westown and Merrilands Medical Centre are offering covid-19 vaccinations for everyone, you don’t have to be one of our registered patients to book a vaccine or visit to receive a vaccine.

You can book online for either clinic or you can walk into our Westown clinic without an appointment

From November 29 we will be offering BOOSTER vaccinations.

Book online at to make an appointment

Visit covid record to find out when your booster is due.

Carefirst would like to thank their patients for their understanding during the challenging COVID-19 times that we are all living and working in.  At all of our practices, Westown, Merrilands and Moturoa we will continue to offer phone and video consultations as an option for our patients along with you being able to visit the clinic for a consultation.

When you phone us for an appointment you will be asked whether you have a fever, cough, cold, runny nose, or are short of breath. If you answer ‘yes’ to any of these questions, you may be asked to remain in your car when you arrive for your appointment and to phone us to let us know when you have arrived.  If you do need to be examined by one of our doctors we will ask you to park out the back of our practices and will enter and leave the building through our side door or back door if required.

We urge all of you to continue to wash your hands regularly and avoid touching your face, to use the COVID-19 tracer app and to wear a mask in our practices.


Carefirst and Merrilands are offering COVID-19 vaccinations.

Vaccines are free and are available to everyone in New Zealand.

The COVID-19 vaccine works by triggering your immune system to produce antibodies and blood cells that work against the COVID-19 virus.  

You can book your free COVID-19 vaccination appointments now. To book your vaccination, go to

You walk in to our Westown clinic without an appointment and receive a vaccine.

Our vaccination hours are 11am – 4.30pm, we advise that if possible you avoid dropping in between 12.00 and 1.00

When you book, you will need to provide your name, date of birth and contact information. You can view our privacy policy at:

You can ask your whānau or a friend to help you book your appointment if you need assistance.

To book an appointment at Merrilands please call the clinic directly.

If you’re not able to book online, you can call the COVID Vaccination Healthline on 0800 28 29 26  to make your appointment. All calls are free and the team are available from 8am to 8pm, 7 days a week. You can ask for an interpreter if you need one.

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We care about your health and wellbeing, our goal is to provide excellent primary care services to our patients.


Carefirst Westown

99 Tukapa Street, Westown, New Plymouth (06) 753 9505

Carefirst Merrilands

Merrilands Shopping Centre, Mangorei Road, New Plymouth 4312 (06) 758 8773

Carefirst Moturoa

486 Saint Aubyn Street, Moturoa, New Plymouth 4310 (06) 751 0390

Carefirst Bell Block

69 Corbett Road, Bell Block 06 968 1440

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