Unite against COVID-19

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Covid-19 Level 4 Updates – Week 1 Thursday 26 March – Wednesday 1 April

2 Apr 2020 3:30 pm
Updated Thursday, 02 April 2020 3:41 pm

Covid-19 – (novel coronavirus)

What is COVID-19?

COVID-19 is a new illness that can affect your lungs and airways. It’s caused by a type of coronavirus. Symptoms include a cough, a high temperature (at least 38°C) and shortness of breath. These symptoms do not necessarily mean you have COVID-19. The symptoms are similar to other illnesses that are much more common, such as cold and flu.

The Ministry of Health (MOH) are the lead agency. The main message from MOH is for people to stay calm, stay up to date and follow advice from them. The first port of call for accurate information about COVID-19 are the following official sites:

If you wish to seek information about your local district (road closure, public places closures etc) please visit the Council’s websites.

Updates – 1 April 2020 

Covid-19 Household Goods and Services assistance number

03 900 9329

Civil Defence West Coast are now providing a hotline for people with urgent household goods and service’s needs.

If someone has an urgent need for food or essential supplies, then they can call 03 900 9329. The number is operational 7 days a week between 7.00am to 7.00pm. This number also covers the whole of the West Coast.

People will then be directed to the appropriate service to provide assistance.

The support service is for people who do not have any other means of getting goods or services for example through friends, family or neighbours that can provide assistance. Remember, if people are able to help those in need, then please make sure you maintain 2-metre physical distance, wash your hands, and do not offer assistance if you are unwell. 

People are allowed to go to the supermarket on their own, and it is okay to do this for someone else as you can drop the supplies at a doorstep or letterbox. (e.g. for an older person who can’t go out). 

If people have an urgent need for accommodation, then they can call MBIE Temporary Accommodation Service on 0508 754 163. If financial assistance is required to use that accommodation, then New Zealanders can call MSD on 0800 559 009. Visitors are recommended to contact their local embassy or consulate. 

Other important phone numbers include: 

  • Call the free government helpline  0800 779 997 or on 0800 22 66 57 (8am  1am, 7 days a week). 
  • Call or text 1737 – free, anytime, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week – to talk with a trained counsellor 
  • Call Healthline 0800 358 5453 
  • Call your local GP 
  • Or call 111 in an emergency 

If you want more information about the COVID-19 response then go to Covid19.govt.nz

If you have concerns for other people struggling to follow the requirements of self-isolation, please let us know at nhccselfisolations@health.govt.nz

Influenza vaccination

The Ministry of Health is recommending that people who are most at risk get their Influenza vaccination. Influenza immunisation is FREE for people who are in the “high priority” group which include:

-Aged 65 years or older
-Healthcare workers
-Aged under 65 years with diabetes, most heart or lung conditions and some other illnesses (see the chart on the website below)
-Children aged 4 years or under who have had a stay in hospital

Please visit your GP’s website or email them first to check when the next flu vaccination appointment is available.

For more information visit: https://www.fightflu.co.nz/

We also recommend you register to the Flu tracking website which will assist in the surveillance of Covid-19: https://info.flutracking.net/

COVID-19 Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Information for essential workers in health and non-health workplaces on using personal protective equipment.
You may be wondering if you need to be using PPE in order to keep yourself safe during this time. You may also be wanting to know what to do to protect those in your bubble when you return home.
It’s natural that you, and people living with you may feel concerned and have questions about protecting themselves from contracting COVID-19.
If you follow the below link to the Ministry of Health – Manatū Hauora website and the following tips for while at work and at home, these will be the most effective measures to protect yourself and those you live with.
The most important thing for you to know is that basic hygiene measures are the best defence against COVID-19. If you are unwell, you must not go to work, and must not return to work unless you are symptom free for 48 hours. Call Healthline on 0800 358 5453 or your doctor if you feel unwell.

Update 30 March 2020 1430h

Reporting Suspected COVID-19 Level 4 isolation breaches to the Police.

We know from media reports that some people are not following the guidelines to stay home; this is essential if we want to beat the Covid-19 virus.

Please report breaches to phone number 105, which is the Police non-emergency line. You can also report breaches online by clicking this link.

Update 29 March 1400h

We are aware the Government have announced there has been a death related to Covid-19 in the Grey Base Hospital we are working with the Ministry of Health and the West Coast District Health Board to get more information and we will share this with you as soon as we have it.

We understand this is distressing information to hear and a very unsettling time for everybody. As per the message from Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern “You may not be at work, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have a job. Your job is to save lives, and you can do that by staying home, and breaking the chain.” Please continue to follow all instructions to stay home except for essential trips only.

Update 27 March 2020 at 1600h

Clarification around leaving your home.

There has been a lot of misconception in the community regarding restricted activity and what is permitted. A number of questions have arisen surrounding accessing the beach, use of vehicles, and visitation of family and friends.

We would like to remind you that:

For further information regarding restrictions and permitted activities please go to: https://covid19.govt.nz/help-and-advice/for-everyone/staying-at-home/

Here are the latest updates from the Director-General of Health and Director of Civil Defence Emergency Management.

  • We do expect cases to grow. This will only turn round if we do our bit. If we all follow the rules it will have a greater impact on reducing the number of cases.
  • 8 people are currently in hospital. 3 in Wellington Regional Hospital. 1 in Nelson, 1 each in Waikato, Northland and Auckland Hospitals. 6 are stable, 2 are critical and one of is in intensive care in Nelson.
  • The confirmed cases still have a strong link still to overseas travel and their close contacts.
  • Labs reporting results are being done as quickly as possible with an average of 1479 tests each day. Anyone who has been tested and waiting should stay in complete isolation until confirmed.
  • We are finalising and circulating updated advice to health professionals about when to use personal protective equipment (PPE). This will be updated later today and circulated to workplaces. Similar advice will be provided to essential workers on what precautions to take.
  • We have put a call out to retired and non-practicing health professionals and had a great response. 2,500 are already registered and this is growing.
  • New Zealanders please continue to follow the rules. Stay home, get fresh air, be active but stay in your bubble.

Visit our website for more information: www.covid19.govt.nz

26/3/2020 – Confirmed Case of Covid-19 on the West Coast

We can now confirm that there is a case of Covid-19 on the West Coast. Additional details can be found here on the Ministry of Health website which will be updated as more information comes to hand. Now that we know for certain that the virus has reached our region, we must all be exceptionally vigilant in adhering to the restrictions.

Following the below rules will slow down and eventually stop the spread of the virus. The efforts we personally make to slow the virus will not only potentially save lives, but will also help to significantly reduce the demand on the health services here on the West Coast.

Self-isolation means staying at home. The Government has asked all New Zealanders to stay at home to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

Please only leave your house to:

If you do leave your house, you must keep a 2 meter distance from other people at all times, only touch items and surfaces when completely necessary, sanitise your hands where possible while out and wash your hands immediately upon returning home.

You may be stopped and questioned by police while out walking or when driving to essential services/work. Please be assured that the purpose of the police presence is to support the public during the Level 4 lockdown. Their aim is to keep us all safe and informed during the Level 4 lockdown, so please feel free to ask them any questions if you see them about.

By making these efforts we can ensure that the cases of Covid-19 in our region are kept to an absolute minimum, and that life will return to normal as soon as possible.

For more information please see www.covid19.govt.nz