CF coronavirus update photo
CF coronavirus update photo
5 Mar
Clinical care

Update on COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) for our cystic fibrosis community

5 March 2020

On Friday 28 February the New Zealand Ministry of Health confirmed its first case of COVID-19 (novel coronavirus), followed by confirmation of additional cases. This has prompted many questions from our CF community about the risk for people with cystic fibrosis and advice about staying well.

Firstly, we encourage everyone to stay up-to-date with factual, New Zealand specific information on the Ministry of Health website.

This is where you’ll find the latest information and regular updates.

General questions and answers about COVID-19 can also be found here 

Key information about COVID-19 from the Ministry of Health website

  • New Zealand is prepared and ready to deal with a COVID-19 outbreak. The risk of an ongoing outbreak is low-moderate, but we are monitoring the situation closely.
  • New Zealand does not have COVID-19 circulating in our communities.
  • For most people in the community, personal protective equipment such as face masks are not recommended.

Basic hygiene tips for minimising the potential spread of COVID-19 and other viruses

  • Wash hands for at least 20 seconds with water and soap and make sure you dry them thoroughly after coughing, sneezing, blowing your nose or wiping children’s noses, before eating and handling food and after using the toilet.
  • Cleanse with hand sanitiser if soap and water are not available.
  • Cough and sneeze into a tissue or your elbow and then perform hand hygiene.
  • Stay at home if you are sick.
  • Clean surfaces regularly.

Hospital clinic appointments and admissions

All hospitals have infectious disease protocols which staff follow with any infectious disease like COVID-19. These include the use of negative pressure isolation rooms, where the air from the room cannot escape outside, and standard droplet and contact precautions.

It's important to follow the advice of your clinical team, hospital and/or DHB when attending hospital.

“The main message is to re-iterate there are infection control practices in place that protect patients and staff from acquiring any form of emerging viral illness, and coronavirus is just another one of them,” says Dr Mark O’Carroll, Adult Respiratory Specialist at Auckland City Hospital.

People with CF should continue with the same basic precautions as usual during clinic or inpatient visits, including wearing a mask (advised), washing your hands when you enter and exit the hospital and maintaining a safe distance from others. Your DHB clinical team will advise you of any changes, if any, to the usual requirements.

Take home message

We encourage everyone to stay up to date with daily updates from the Ministry of Health on its website

We will continue to closely monitor the advice from the Ministry of Health and stay in regular contact with the CFNZ Clinical Advisory Panel. We will publish any important updates for our CF community on our website and Facebook page.

Please continue to follow the advice and infection control protocols of your healthcare team and if you have any concerns please contact your CF clinical team in the first instance. Any questions can be emailed to

Helpful websites for further information


Ministry of Health

COVID-19 (novel coronavirus)


Auckland Regional Public Health Service

Novel coronavirus (COVID-19)


Health Navigator

What are coronaviruses?

Coronavirus videos