The leadership of Whanganui DHB (WDHB), Ruapehu District Council, Uenuku, Ngāti Rangi and Ngāti Hāua have today agreed to joint communication and response protocols in the event of community transmission and the move to Alert Level 3 or higher lockdown.
This comes after the call from iwi for a more collaborative response to protect their communities.
Public health authorities have given assurances that the risk to Ruapehu communities from an Auckland man who visited Tūroa ski field on Sunday 9 August 2020, and was later diagnosed with COVID-19, was very low.
WDHB chief executive Russell Simpson said he shared the concern of iwi about the threat to local vulnerable communities from COVID coming in from outside Ruapehu.
“We can, however, assure people that Whanganui DHB’s Public Health Centre has been carefully following up on this case which is linked to the cluster being investigated by Auckland health authorities,” he said.
Ruapehu mayor Don Cameron said the joint discussions reinforced the lessons from the earlier nationwide Alert Level 4 and Level 3 lockdowns and how the respective organisations and iwi would work together to support critical messaging and other actions.
“The discussions also covered how we could jointly implement district lockdown procedures, including regional boundary roadblocks, if we need to move back to an Alert Level 3 or above situation,” Mr Cameron said.
“Uenuku agree to working together with the DHB and council as a community as our country grapples with what could be described as the beginning of a second wave. The March lockdown has given us vital insights on improving our response to COVID-19 as a community,” said Uenuku chair Aiden Gilbert.
“We know our communities better than anyone. It only makes sense that we are there every step of the way for the betterment of ourselves and our communities,” said Ngāti Rangi chair Whetu Moataane.
“Iwi organisations showed outstanding leadership at the last lockdown and we can only continue doing this if we are all in the same waka. Me manaaki tātau i a tātau,” concluded Ngāti Hāua chair Graeme Bell.
The symptoms of COVID-19 can include one or more of the following:
- A new or worsening cough
- Sore throat
- Runny nose
- Loss of sense or smell
- Difficulty breathing
Anyone with these symptoms should isolate themselves from others and ring Healthline (0800 358 5453) or their GP for testing information even if they have been tested previously. Tests are free. Anyone experiencing difficulty breathing should call 111 for an ambulance.
Our message to people living in our area is to continue to be vigilant. The best defence against COVID-19 is to follow the same actions we took earlier in the pandemic:
- Maintain good hand hygiene.
- If you are sick, stay home.
- Keep track of your movements to help us with contact tracing.
- Maintain physical distancing.
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