Update on COVID-19

Alert level 1 now entered

We are now at Alert Level 1. This means there are no restrictions on returning to work, school, sports and domestic travel, and you can get together with as many people as you want.

  • Controls at the borders remain for those entering New Zealand, including health screening and testing for all arrivals, and mandatory 14 days managed quarantine or isolation.

Now we are at Level 1:

  • Outpatient appointments may be in person or could still be virtual (eg, phone conversation or video call). You will be contacted by your cancer centre with the details
  • If you have a scan or treatment scheduled, please attend this as normal
  • If you have concerns about travelling or coming to the hospital because of your health, please contact your cancer centre before your appointment or treatment
  • If you are unwell, please phone your cancer centre to let them know.

The Golden Rules for everyone at Alert Level 1

  • If you’re sick, stay home. Don’t go to work or school. Don’t socialise.
  • If you have cold or flu symptoms call your doctor or Healthline and make sure you get tested.
  • Wash your hands. Wash your hands. Wash your hands.
  • Sneeze and cough into your elbow, and regularly disinfect shared surfaces.
  • If you are told by health authorities to self-isolate you must do so immediately.
  • If you’re concerned about your wellbeing or have underlying health conditions, work with your GP to understand how best to stay healthy.
  • Keep track of where you’ve been and who you’ve seen to help contact tracing if needed. Use the NZ COVID Tracer app as a handy way of doing this.
  • Businesses should help people keep track of their movements by displaying the Ministry of Health QR Code for contact tracing.
  • Stay vigilant. There is still a global pandemic going on. People and businesses should be prepared to act fast to step up Alert Levels if we have to.
  • People will have had different experiences over the last couple of months. Whatever you’re feeling — it’s okay. Be kind to others. Be kind to yourself.

Update: 9 June 2020

 Moving to alert level 2

From midnight we will move to alert level 2.

The lockdown has been tough for many people affected by cancer. We have heard many stories of hardship and loss during the last few weeks. We acknowledge the hardship that many of you have faced, the sacrifices made, and the pain that has been felt.

We are thankful that New Zealanders have observed the lockdown. This has meant that people with cancer have mostly been spared the risks of COVID infection.

Read more about cancer treatment and services during alert level 2 here.

If you have questions or concerns, you can call 0800 226 237 CANCER helpline or Health line 0800 611 116 for advice. 

 Cancer Society medical director, Dr Chris Jackson provides an update on COVID-19 and cancer treatment.

You may have seen some media today where our medical director, Dr Chris Jackson, talks about delays in cancer screening and treatment. 

We want to reassure you that the Ministry of Health and Cancer Control Agency is working hard to resolve any delays in treatments or screening.

If you are concerned about any cancer symptoms or receiving cancer treatment, please talk to your GP or treatment team as soon as you can. Healthcare is essential no matter the level of lockdown. 

Update: 28 April 2020

 Cancer Society medical director, Dr Chris Jackson provides an update on COVID-19 and cancer treatment.

Your questions may be answered here.

Please phone 0800 226 237 if you can’t find an answer to your question.

Update: March 26 2020

Cancer Society here to help as treatments and services change and adapt

The Government has confirmed the continued provision of cancer services is essential. This means that patients who need treatment will get treatment.

“As we enter the lockdown and consider how people with lower immunity might be affected by treatment, there may be changes to what treatment is recommended, or how you have your appointments. Your treatment centre will contact you about how their services will be provided and any changes that might be needed,” says the Cancer Society’s Medical Director, Dr Chris Jackson.

The Cancer Society also want to reassure New Zealanders that they are available to support them as they work hard to keep cancer patients informed and supported in communities right around New Zealand.

“Most Cancer Society offices are now working remotely in line with government regulations. We have a fully staffed 0800 cancer information line (0800 226 237) that people can call and discuss any concerns or questions they may have,” says Lucy Elwood, CEO of the Cancer Society of New Zealand.

“We’re collating questions from our 0800 line and publishing them as FAQs on our website for people to access. We’re also feeding this information back to Government so they can understand what’s happening for cancer patients right now,” continues Elwood. 

Each Cancer Society is working closely with their local DHB to find solutions to disrupted services. While some Cancer Society services are open and operating, those that aren’t are finding new and novel solutions for services affected, like accommodation and the volunteer driving service.

Changes and updates are happening swiftly and the Cancer Society is keeping its website and social media up-to date with the latest information. People with questions about their local services should contact their local Cancer Society on 0800 226 237.

“We understand that this is a very concerning time for people undergoing cancer treatments and their whānau,” says Elwood.

“Thanks to everyone who is working to prevent further spread of Covid-19 and our essential staff and volunteers who are supporting people in communities across the country,” concludes Elwood.

Update: March 25 2020

Cancer Society Medical Director Dr Chris Jackson joined RNZ to discuss what the lockdown means for those undergoing treatment.

Listen here: https://www.rnz.co.nz/national/programmes/ninetonoon/audio/2018740073/how-will-covid-19-affect-cancer-patients

Update: March 25 2020

The current alert for COVID-19 is now at level 3 and is moving to level 4 on Thursday.

This means everyone, except those providing essential services, should be staying in their homes.

The government consider the continued provision of cancer services is essential.

This means most cancer treatments will be proceeding as usual. Your treatment centre will contact you about how their services will be provided. We’ll keep you updated with any treatment announcements on our website

Update: March 24 2020

The Prime Ministers' advice this weekend applies to people with cancer. People on cancer treatment should stay at home as much as they can. 

If you are scheduled for cancer treatment you should still go in for it.

Most outpatient appointments will change to virtual consultations (such as telephone conversations). You will be contacted with details.

If you're unwell, please contact your cancer treatment team to let them know. If you are sick, hospital is still the safest place for you. But please phone first.

People are encouraged to get the flu vaccination.

Update: March 23 2020

Information about COVID-19 is changing rapidly. If you have cancer you might be worried about how it affects you.

Talk to your treatment team about your specific risks at your next appointment 

Go to the Ministry of Health website for the latest information or call our 0800 226 237 Cancer Society information line.

Click here for more information on COVID-19 and cancer.

Update: March 19 2020