Maintaining green and red streams regardless of Traffic Light Level

Reviewed 20 January 2022

Patients with symptoms suggestive of respiratory infection must continue to be separated from non-respiratory patients within the practice. Red streaming of all undifferentiated respiratory illness is an ongoing requirement especially as COVID-19 spreads throughout New Zealand.

How social distancing occurs will be influenced by size and layout of the practice, and workforce resources. Ideally, your red stream system would include:

  • Separate staff from those working in the green stream
  • Separate entry/exit for patients
  • Separate bathroom
  • Good ventilation
  • Appropriate PPE for both staff and patients.
  • For many practices this means the red stream assessment and swabbing may occur outside
  • When the patient is in a car, ensure they open the opposite window to create sufficient air flow before opening the window towards you
  • Clear signage for patients is essential. It is essential that we continue to provide the environment and the assurance to patients and our staff that our practices are safe for them and their families.

In addition, all patients entering a practice regardless of the traffic light level should wear a mask.