As the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation continues to evolve nationally and internationally, LABTEC is committed to supporting our people, clients, suppliers and the wider community. We are all facing these unprecedented circumstances together, but together we can rise to these new challenges and help each other.
LABTEC supports entities providing “essential services”
Our laboratory has been identified as a supplier to “essential services” companies. Accordingly, our services will continue to support our "essential services" clients in the coming weeks and months that the government-imposed shutdown will remain in place, and as advised by the New Zealand Government.
During this time, the health and wellbeing of our team, clients, suppliers and the wider community is paramount. We are committed to making informed and balanced decisions that minimise the disruption of our delivery of scientific services to our clients.
As part of maintaining our service offering during these ever-changing COVID-19 circumstances, LABTEC has implemented safeguards that meet the New Zealand Government and World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines. These measures will help us play our part in slowing the spread of the virus.
Measures we have put in place
- Whilst our lab remains open, we have implemented social distancing measures for any people working in or visiting our laboratory – this has included the set-up of alternative working arrangements for everyone who can work from home as per the Government’s COVID-19 Alert Level 3 – Restrict Lockdown, effective for 48 hours from Tuesday, 24 March 2020.
- Increased focus on hygiene management, including the frequency of cleaning all common areas and the availability of hand sanitisers and cleaning sprays, ISO wipes and other inventory for staff and visitors.
- Actively encouraging anyone who is feeling unwell to immediately seek medical advice.
- Ensuring our team understand our clients’ COVID-19 policies and protocols and that these comply with our own policies so that our people are kept safe.
- No domestic air travel between regions and cancelling / postponing our people attending all domestic and international events and conferences.
Guidance for clients, guests, suppliers and contractors visiting LABTEC
Clients dropping off samples
A notice has been placed at our front entrance and reception area that details the following measures:
- Clients are required to leave samples in the reception area.
- Staff have been instructed to maintain separation.
- Use hand sanitiser and gloves provided (as required).
- If clients wish to use facilities for any paperwork and labelling, we have set-up a dedicated table (front desk) that is cleaned after every use.
- Staff have been instructed to wipe down handles, pens and other items after use with 75% ethyl alcohol spray.
Couriers dropping samples and supplies
A notice at front door and reception has detailed instructions for couriers visiting the lab to please:
- Leave samples/supplies in the reception area.
- Notify staff that they have arrived by knocking at the glass window, which is cleaned regularly and after every use. Alternatively, please call us directly on (09) 526 5216 30 minutes in advance to your estimated arrival time.
- Use hand sanitiser and gloves provided, as required.
- If discussion is required, follow guidance on separation distances.
Aligning measures with the NZ Government's COVID-19 alert system
These measures are being continuously reviewed and assessed, and will be updated depending on the development of the situation. At the time of putting together this announcement, we had moved to COVID-19 Alert Level 3 – Restrict, which will remain for 48 hours before we then move to Level 4 – Eliminate, to take effect from 11:59pm on Wednesday 25 March. As the highest level, Level 4 means that there will be severely limited travel and a "stay at home" instruction will apply with the closure of schools and businesses, excluding essential businesses, and those that support them. Accordingly, with these continuous changes in occurrence, please refer regularly to the New Zealand Government and Ministry of Health websites as your primary sources for COVID-19-related information. We have also listed below a few other sites that provide reliable sources of information.
Client Services and Support
Whilst our team will not be at the lab all the time, we will be available as needed. With this in mind, please don't hesitate to contact us by email, call (09) 526 5216 or complete our enquiry form below.
Healthline (New Zealand):
If you are in New Zealand, free health advice and information is available by calling Healthline on 0800 611 116, anytime, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You can also connect with a professional counsellor by calling or texting 1737. Phone calls are free from within New Zealand, including from mobile phones. Healthline is funded by the Ministry of Health and provided by Homecare Medical.
Impact to Industry
Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) provides resources for our clients in the agriculture sector as well as information and a process for registering as an essential service.
For our clients in the horticulture industry, please refer to Horticulture New Zealand (HortNZ).
New Zealand Government
The Government four-level COVID-19 alert system specifies public health and social measures being taken against the pandemic. The site also defines "essential businesses." You can also see other updates including the Government’s COVID-19 economic response to support hospitals, income and the aviation sector. The Budget, due to be announced in May will provide a second phase of the recovery package.
World Health Organization (WHO):
Read more about how to protect yourself, status of the pandemic, FAQ's and other information on ongoing developments.