It’s great to help your neighbours but care should be taken.
Neighbourhood Support is worried some well-meaning New Zealanders are putting themselves at risk and others in danger without realising it during the lockdown.
Chief Executive Tess Casey says there is a huge amount of misinformation circulating in communities about what people can and can’t do to help, without spreading Covid-19.
She says it’s about helping in a safe way. “Even helping your neighbours still needs to be done without compromising your bubble, so make sure you keep two-metre distancing and follow other precautions such as hand-washing.”
Neighbourhood Support is concerned to see online groups setting up on social media that are not aware that some of what they are advocating is risky.
“Under normal circumstances, a letterbox drop to neighbours would be fine, but we’ve learned that this could risk spreading the virus because it can live for up to 24 hours on paper.”
Similarly, people are sharing surplus fruit, or household items but without considering the need for other precautions such as the need for gloves to be used, or for the item to be cleaned or quarantined before use or consumption.
Neighbourhood Support is also really worried about the number of electronic forms being distributed via social media where people in a street or neighbourhood are being encouraged to provide their names, ages, phone numbers and other personal information.
Casey says although it’s important to be able to contact immediate neighbours, making personal details available to a wider group can be risky and there are privacy issues.
She says it is wonderful that New Zealanders are so keen to help each other, and with the lock-down, people have more time than usual to help. But it needs to be done in a safe way.
Source: rnz.co.nz Republished by arrangement.
There is also a new COVID-19 cluster related to a wedding in Bluff.
These figures include confirmed and probable cases.
All clusters are being investigated by public health officials.
Significant clusters in NZ – as at 9am 31 March 2020
Clusters under investigation
Total to date
New in last 24 hours
World Hereford Conference
A cluster is where there are a group of COVID-19 cases who are linked together because they have been in the same place together.
There are some clusters of cases of COVID-19 in New Zealand. Most of these clusters have a link to someone or several people who have travelled overseas recently.
We know transmission can happen more quickly where people gather together. This is why it’s important for everyone to practice physical distancing.
Public health staff quickly follow up confirmed cases as soon as they are identified. They also work to contain clusters and prevent the disease from spreading any further.
Thirty-eight more staff at Lakes District Hospital are being tested for COVID-19, following a second nurse testing positive for the disease.
The nurse was one of 36 staff who were tested yesterday, and one of 15 ‘close contacts’ of the nurse whose positive test result was confirmed yesterday. All close contacts are required to remain in self-isolation, while the 21 casual contacts who were tested yesterday are now able to return to work.
The additional tests mean all 74 staff who have worked at the facility over the past 14 days will be tested, as the Medical Officer of Health seeks to understand how the nurses became infected and rule out community transmission from within the workforce.
Any of these staff deemed to be close contacts of the second case are being asked to self-isolate for 14 days, effective immediately.
During the testing process, the Hospital will continue to operate its emergency department, and its maternity unit, which has now been relocated to another building on the site.
Patients requiring hospital admission will be transferred to another facility in the district. Yesterday, the only two patients in Lakes Hospital were discharged home following the decision to undertake extensive cleaning of the hospital.
The second nurse only had very mild symptoms, and attended work for one shift while infectious. All close contacts, including four patients, are being followed up and asked to self-isolate.
Our thoughts remain with the staff members involved, and those in our care who have been affected by this situation.
We are continuing to support both nurses and their wider teams at this stressful time. Again, we thank everyone for their support of all our staff, and continue to ask that their privacy is respected as we work together to address the impact of COVID-19 in our community.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is giving the latest post-Cabinet media briefing as the government continues to respond to Covid-19.
The Ministry of Health says there are now 14 significant clusters of Covid-19 in New Zealand, 9 more than yesterday.
The new clusters include an Air Force rugby team visit to the US and a wedding in Bluff.
Watch the media conference, due to start at 3pm, here:
Emergency Management Southland has activated free telephone and online contacts to ensure Southlanders get the support they need during the Covid-19 lockdown.
The Southland Emergency Coordination Centre has been preparing for increased welfare needs and, as of 7am, activated its emergency contacts.
Group Controller Angus McKay said people should get in contact if they urgently needed assistance with access to essential household goods and services during the lockdown.
People could contact the centre by the following means:
Phone: 0800 890 127
Email: [email protected]
The email and 0800 number would be operated between 7am and 7pm, seven days a week, McKay said.
People needed to heed the call to isolate and Emergency Management Southland (EMS) would provide assistance where needed.
If you have symptoms of the coronavirus, call the NZ Covid-19 Healthline on 0800 358 5453 (+64 9 358 5453 for international SIMs) or call your GP – don’t show up at a medical centre
“This will save lives. You must stay home,” McKay said.
They were was developing a plan for the delivery of household good and services around the region, he said.
EMS welfare staff had been been checking in with communities around the region to get a handle on peoples’ needs, and identifying any gaps.
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“We’re hearing that local networks are doing a great job giving each other support needed, but it’s paramount that no-one’s needs are overlooked during this hugely challenging time,” McKay said.
A lot of planning had gone into getting the centre operational, with strict protocols around physical distancing, and efforts to have staff work remotely where possible, he said.
To support the health and safety of our employees at NZAS and in accordance with government directives in relation to containing the spread of Covid-19 we have implemented a number of new controls.
We have worked very hard to segregate our teams and develop processes where people do not come into contact with each other during shift changes. Employees with underlying health issues are self-isolating and our non- operational employees are working from home, NZAS chief executive and general manager Stewart Hamilton said.
Given these measures and the current climate, we also need to stabilise our operation by reducing load. To do this, we will engage with Meridian to reduce the 50MW of electricity that supports Line 4.
The work to deliver this will take place this week where we will release the Line 4 team of 35 people to support production on the other three full lines.
Given the worldwide outbreak of COVID-19 and the four-week lockdown in New Zealand, our focus is on supporting our employees in a time of uncertainty and running a safe and efficient operation to meet our obligations with customers and suppliers who are also challenged at this time.
Foran said the only way the financial situation would improve was if New Zealanders embrace domestic travel after the lockdown was over.
Neither the government’s $900 million loan nor the wage subsidy scheme was enough to stave off cutting almost 13,000 jobs by at least a third, he said
Foran was predicting it would take years for the airline to get back to its former size.
“It is clear that the Air New Zealand which emerges from Covid-19 will be a much smaller and largely domestic airline with limited international services to keep supply lines open for the foreseeable future,” Foran said.
“The reality is that given we are expecting to be at least 30 percent smaller than we are today we will need to reduce the size of the workforce by up to 3500 roles.”
Foran said Air New Zealand has already begun talks with its unions as well as staff about the possibility of taking voluntary redundancies. He said some staff have offered to take leave without pay, reduce their hours or explore voluntary redundancy.