Covid-19: Time to buddy up and know how to properly isolate for any Omicron outbreak

The Ministry of Health suggests stocking up on extra masks in case people have to self-isolate at home. (File photo)

Ross Giblin/Stuff

The Ministry of Health suggests stocking up on extra masks in case people have to self-isolate at home. (File photo)

A buddy system and how to properly isolate at home are part of a major Government campaign to prepare people for a community outbreak of the highly transmissible Omicron variant of Covid-19.

In one of the strongest messages to the public that Omicron is on our doorstep the Government on Saturday produced a checklist of what people need to do, in case they are stuck at home.

The campaign bluntly states: “More people will be exposed to Covid-19 when Omicron is in the community.”

Above all, people are urged to get their vaccine booster shots, if enough time has passed since the second dose.

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So, what should people do to practically prepare?

Make a plan

Create a checklist of emergency contacts, care and support plans for any dependents, and how you will let people know you’re isolating.

You could also add household instructions and some names of people who can help make isolation easier, for food drop-offs and other necessities.

Dealing with symptoms

The Ministry of Health suggests having a “wellness kit” at home, which can include: nasal sprays, lozenges, paracetamol, ibuprofen, cough mixtures, as well as any prescription medicines.

Other products to keep on hand include extra masks, gloves, tissues, hand sanitiser, rubbish bags, and other cleaning products.

Buddy system

The ministry suggests setting up a buddy system if you have to end up self-isolating. That would become helpful if you need food or other necessities dropped off outside your house. It could be a neighbour or a friend.

Other support

People who need financial support can contact the Covid-19 welfare line, 0800 512 337. More information can be found at

For support with anxiety, distress or mental wellbeing you can call or test 1737 to talk free to a trained counsellor.

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