Latest information on Covid-19

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29 March 2020

Travellers stay home, Ruapehu Mayor says

The spotlight has turned on travellers coming to the Ruapehu area to self-isolate.
“It cannot continue,” Ruapehu district Mayor Don Cameron said today. “Stay home.”
 
Three people who are staying in the district were confirmed yesterday as the Whanganui region’s first cases of Covid-19. The three men in their 20s returned to New Zealand on flights from America, and are believed to have travelled from their homes elsewhere in New Zealand to self-isolate at a holiday home in the Ruapehu district.
 
Mayor Cameron said Ruapehu District Council will work with Police to monitor the number of travellers coming into the area to self-isolate.
 
The three men are in one house and are being closely monitored.
 
“Public Health are in daily contact with the affected persons, and contact tracing of those they may have come into contact with is well under way. The affected persons are contained and under strict isolation protocols,” Mayor Cameron said.
 
He reminded people of the importance to self-isolate and stay home, especially given the three cases.
 
“COVID-19 is in our district now. This means we must more than ever keep to the health guidelines required to keep us safe. It’s really important that people only leave their homes to access essential services or to get some exercise but only if it is absolutely necessary. If you do leave your house you must keep a 2m distance from anyone outside your bubble at all times.
 
“If you need groceries, the pharmacy, bank or another essential service only one member of your household should go. Civil Defence is concerned about groups out shopping together. This puts yourself, your household and our essential workers at risk.
 
“Police will be monitoring people and asking questions of anyone who is out and about during this Level 4 alert period to check on what they are doing. We can get through this together so long as we stay home and stop the spread. He waka eke noa,” Mayor Cameron said.

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29 March 2020

Media advisory #9 – WDHB EOC
29 March 2020

Civil Defence joins Whanganui emergency response to coronavirus

The Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) handling the coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak for the Whanganui District Health Board region has been expanded today, Sunday, 29 March 2020.
The original EOC, comprising health staff, has been joined by a contingent from Whanganui Civil Defence who will work in partnership with the health-led EOC.
The EOC is co-ordinating the response in the Whanganui DHB region which includes significant parts of the Rangitikei and Ruapehu territorial authorities.
 
Update on Waimarino maternity services
In the Waimarino region there will be a reduced maternity service commencing Monday, 30 March, 2020, as there is only one midwife available. This means all women due to give birth in the next four weeks will be advised to do so in Whanganui Hospital.
 
Key health information
• Three cases of coronavirus COVID-19 have been confirmed in the Whanganui region as at 1pm on Saturday, 28 March 2020. These three people are self-isolating in one house in the Ruapehu District, and do not need hospitalisation.
• In confirmed cases of COVID-19, Public Health staff will be in daily contact with those affected, and contact tracing will be undertaken.
• We ask people to stay home, and to look after themselves, and the people they care most for. By staying home, they can help slow the spread of the virus and break the chain.
• We can slow the spread if we all work together. Physical separation of two metres is of the utmost importance outside your bubble, but that does not mean social separation, so keep in touch by other means.
• Remember to regularly wash your hands and dry them well.
• And always cough and sneeze into your elbow.
• Reminder – The only hospital visiting allowed is one visitor for patients: At end stage of life, in the Critical Care Unit, in the Maternity Unit, and in the Children’s Ward. All visitors must be part of the patient’s bubble.
• Whanganui hospital is open 24/7 for critical cases and those patients who need urgent care.
• Pregnant women can still have a support person from their bubble during labour and birth, and can hold their new-born skin to skin and share a room with their baby. However, they must wash hands and dry them thoroughly before and after touching baby. Seeing a midwife for routine and urgent visits is still necessary throughout lockdown. The midwife will do as much consultation as they can over the phone or via video conferencing, and the number of face-to-face visits may be reduced. Please talk to your midwife if you have any queries.
 
For more information
• To keep up to date with local information about important health services in the Whanganui Region visit www.facebook.com/whanganuidhb/ or www.wdhb.org.nz
• Te Ranga Tupua Collective Iwi Response – phone 0800 202 004 for help, advice and support for whānau in the Whanganui, Rangitīkei, Ruapehu, Otaihape and South Taranaki Region
• For national information visit health.govt.nz/covid-19 or covid19.govt.nz
If you are unwell:
• Phone the COVID-19 Healthline on 0800 358 5453.
• If you are going to your general practice (GP) – phone first.
• If you are so unwell you need to come to the hospital ED – please phone first.
ENDS
For further media comment please contact Whanganui District Health Board Public Information Manager Mark Dawson on 021 2468126.

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29 March 2020

The three people with Covid-19 in the Ruapehu rohe are self-isolating in one house. There is no confirmed advice of where in the rohe they are self-isolating, nor of their movements before self-isolating – except that they returned to NZ recently on flights from America.

Heoi anō, the message stays the same:
Stay home, stop the spread, save lives.

Please take care of yourselves & your friends & whānau by staying home. 
The elderly and those with health conditions are extremely vulnerable.
If you stay home, you will save lives.

  • If you leave the house for exercise or kai, stay 2 metres from other people at all times.
  • Do not touch surfaces like door handles, seats, counters or benches.
  • Wash your hands for 20 seconds when you return home.
  • Wipe your phones, computers and computer mouse with disinfectant.
  • Phone, message, email or Zoom/Skype/Facetime with your whānau and friends. Stay connected.
  • Check in with those you haven’t seen for a while. Are they ok?

For more information:

If you are unwell:

  • Phone the COVID-19 Healthline on 0800 358 5453.
  • If you are going to your general practice (GP) – phone first.
  • If you are so unwell you need to come to the hospital ED – phone first.

Stay home, stop the spread, save lives.
Kia atawhai, manaakitia mai.

 

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28 March 2020

Three confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Ruapehu rohe

Latest information from Whanganui DHB emergency operations centre – Whanganui region has three confirmed cases of COVID-19.

The three confirmed cases are all in the Ruapehu District and are New Zealanders who flew back to New Zealand from overseas and began their self-isolation. They have been fully compliant with quarantine requirements and do not need to be in hospital.

More information below. He waka eke noa – We are in this together.

28 March 2020
The Ministry of Health announced at 1.00pm today that three people in the Whanganui Region are confirmed novel coronavirus (COVID-19) cases.

The three confirmed cases are all in the Ruapehu District and are New Zealanders who flew back to New Zealand from overseas and began their self-isolation. They have been fully compliant with quarantine requirements and do not need to be in hospital.

Whanganui District Health Board Chief Executive Russell Simpson says the DHB, iwi, the health sector and the wider community have plans in place for dealing with confirmed cases.

“We have trained people and systems in place to manage cases, prevent spread and protect the health of our region.”

Public Health staff have been in daily contact with the three people who are all in one house. Staff are providing daily welfare checks with the three people. They are also receiving drop-offs of food and essential supplies.

“I want to reiterate to the community how vitally important it is that people stay home, within their own bubble, so we can contain COVID-19.

“We also remind people to phone, or use the internet, to contact loved-ones, especially those who are vulnerable in our community,” Mr Simpson says.

Key Whanganui Region Health information

  • Three cases of coronavirus COVID-19 have been confirmed in the Whanganui region as at 1.00pm on Saturday, 28 March 2020.
  • These three people are self-isolating in one house in the Ruapehu District.
  • We ask people to stay home, and to look after themselves, and the people they care most for.
  • We can slow the spread if we all work together.
  • Remember to regularly wash your hands and dry them well.
  • And always cough and sneeze into your elbow.
  • Reminder – Hospital visiting is only for patients at end stage of life, in the Critical Care Unit, Maternity Unit and one parent for children in the Children’s Ward.
  • Whanganui hospital is open 24/7 for acute cases and those patients who need urgent care.

 For more information

If you are unwell:

  • Phone the COVID-19 Healthline on 0800 358 5453.
  • If you are going to your general practice (GP) – phone first.
  • If you are so unwell you need to come to the hospital ED – phone first.

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27 March 2020

Latest information from Whanganui District Health Board:

• New Zealand is at Alert Level 4.

• Thanks everyone for staying home. This will save lives.

• Community-Based Assessment Centres (CBACs) to assess possible COVID-19 cases are open at:

–          Whanganui Hospital Campus: 100 Heads Road, Whanganui – 8am to 9pm (walk in)

–          Gonville Health Centre: Abbott Street, Whanganui – 8.30am to 5pm (walk in)

–          Te Oranganui Health Centre: Wicksteed Street, Whanganui – 8.30am to 5pm (walk in)

–          Rangitikei Health Centre: Blackwell Street, Marton – 8.30am to 5pm (walk in)

–          Taihape Hospital Campus: Hospital Road, Taihape – 8.30am to 5pm (walk in)

–          Ruapehu Health Centre: Seddon Street, Raetihi – 8.30am to 5pm (walk in)

• Whanganui Hospital is open 24/7 for acute cases and for people who need urgent care.

• Whanganui Hospital visiting is under Level 4 guidance which means there is no visiting.  Exceptions to visitors are for those patients at end stage of life, in the Critical Care Unit, Maternity Unit and one parent for children in the Children’s Ward.

• Please phone health services including the hospital, GPs and pharmacies before you go to them.

• Please stay safe at home with the people in your bubble and only go out for activities permitted under Alert Level 4.

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27 March 2020

Click on the links below to view some very good messages from Dr Aria Graham and her whānau about keeping our homes clean and safe. 

Intro to keeping our homes clean and safe – Click here

Blowing your nose and sneezing – Click here

Making homemade saline mouthwash – Click here

Using homemade saline mouthwash – Click here

Saline wound cleaner – Click here

Making homemade disinfectant – Click here

Links can also be seen from the Kahungunu website https://www.kahungunu.iwi.nz/covid-19-coronavirus

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27 March 2020

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27 March 2020

The Ngāti Rangi response team has established this new community information page to share the latest accurate information for our Waimarino community.

https://www.facebook.com/WaimarinoCovid19

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27 March 2020

Are you wondering where to get help during Covid19?

❗️Financial Support
https://workandincome.govt.nz/products/a-z-benefits/covid-19-support.html#null

If you or your business requires assistance in applying for any of the government support packages, please let us know and we will provide support through this.
❗️Feeling Unwell
If you are feeling unwell please call Ruapehu Health Ltd. As the country is at Level3 and preparing to move to Level4 Ruapehu Health is now closed to face to face consultations however will be offering phone consults to patients in need from Monday to Friday, 8.30am – 4.45pm.
❗️Food/Kai Packs
Food parcels are available to those who need it – call us at 0800 672 644.If you wish to donate food you may do this by dropping some in the trolley at New World or at Te Pae Tata, 43a Ruapehu Road, Ohakune. New World are doing limited deliveries to the vulnerable.
❗️All Other Needs
For all other needs or support, please call our 24/7 hotline at 0800 672 644. Our team is here to help.
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27 March 2020

Kia ora tātou
Click on the link below for some protocols for tangihanga, recommended by our whanaunga Che Wilson during this period where precautions are being put in place to combat Covid19.

Tangihanga Paper – COVID 19 – FINAL[1] (1)

Please also see the guidelines below from the Ministry of Health on what to do if someone dies during this emergency period.

Noho ora mai
Moana Ellis
Uenuku Charitable Trust

Advice from the Ministry of Health
Tēnā anō koutou katoa,

Nā runga i te kaupapa matua o tēnei pānui e tika ana kia mihi rātou ngā mate tāruru nui kua riro noa atu i ngā rangi tata nei. Me te whakaaro anō ki ō rātou whānau e noho pani ana i ēnei wā taumaha rawa. Nei au ka īnoi ki te Atua matua i te rangi kia māturuturu te tōmairangi o tōna atawhai ki runga i a tātou katoa i tēnei wā, ā, haere nei te wā.

My team has worked across the sector and with trusted iwi experts to develop an official set of guidelines for whānau to follow when they experience a bereavement during Alert Level 4. Please see them below.

OFFICIAL GUIDELINES FOR TANGIHANGA

When someone dies – what we need to do first and foremost

  • Immediately contact your local Police and inform them of the death. You may wish to speak with the Police Iwi Liaison Officer, which your local Police should be able to facilitate easily.
  • Appoint a whānau member to liaise with Police and Health Providers. This may be the person who contacted local Police in the first instance.  
    o        Māori communities, iwi, hapū and whānau are being encouraged to establish local ‘kaiwhakarite’ or people who can assist whānau during this time as well. You may wish to contact your ‘kaiwhakarite’ to seek advice. Get in touch with your iwi and hapū organisations as well as marae to see if a ‘kaiwhakarite’ has already been established.
  • Contact the deceased’s Health Provider (GP, Hauora, PHO).
    o        If your loved one has died from a known health issue, this will be critical information for the Police – your loved one’s Health Provider must liaise directly with the Police to pass on this information.
    o        If your loved one has died from COVID-19 then it will be critical for the Police and/or Health Provider to support you with information on what to do next.
    o        If your loved one has died from an unknown cause, a post-mortem will need to be undertaken. The Police will facilitate this process and will liaise directly with your appointed whānau member.
  • Get in touch with a local funeral director to organise arrangements for burial or cremation.
    o        If you are unsure about funeral directors, work with your local Police Iwi Liaison Officer, ‘kaiwhakarite’, Tribal Authority, Health Provider and/or local Civil Defence Emergency Management Centre to identify someone suitable.
  • Once you have secured the services of a funeral director, be prepared:
    o        They will uplift your loved one wearing full protective clothing including masks, gloves etc. – this may be daunting for whānau, especially young ones.
    o        They will only allow one appointed whānau member to facilitate arrangements including paperwork – this may need to be done remotely or at least using strict social distancing measures.
    o        Whānau are not allowed to go to the funeral home for viewing, karakia, poroporoakī or mihi.
    o        All funeral directors are being encouraged to carry out burials and cremations as quickly as possible and at the nearest cemetery or burial ground as defined by law.
    o        Depending on where you are located there may be the ability to have the deceased interred at an urupā or private cemetery. However, this will need to be agreed with the funeral director.
    o        However, this does not preclude whānau from electing to have their loved one placed in storage (refrigerated), if this facility is available locally, until we are past the current Level 4 Alert – National Emergency. You can discuss this option with the funeral director if you wish to.

TO NOTE:

Tūpāpaku are potentially contagious  

·        Where possible, try to minimise contact with the deceased loved-one.
·        It will be very hard, but we cannot allow any others to come into contact with the deceased or those who are in isolation with them.
·        This means that whānau and friends are unable to visit your home or funeral home to pay their respects.
·        It also means that the time available with your deceased loved-one will be short.

Cremation

·        Although you may not be used to cremation it may have to be an option you consider, especially if you are wanting to return your loved one to their whānau urupā once we recover.
·        Be prepared to potentially not have your loved-one’s ashes returned until after the pandemic.

Honouring your loved one

·        Once whānau know the time of the burial you may want to hold a service at that same time in your own home with those whānau you are isolating with.
·        You may also choose to livestream this service with other whānau and friends.
·        Once we recover from this pandemic, your whānau may want to come together to honour your loved one. If your whānau member was cremated, you may want to bury their ashes at a whānau urupā. If they were buried immediately, you may choose to hold a service at the burial grounds. These are only some of the ways you may choose to remember your lost loved one.

Getting support

·        We encourage whānau to utilise the services of their Police Iwi Liaison Officers, their local ‘kaiwhakarite’ and their deceased loved one’s Health Providers.
·        Grieving is never easy. If you feel you are not coping, it is important to talk with a health professional. For support with grief, anxiety, distress or mental well-being, you can call or text 1737 – free, anytime, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week – to talk with a trained counsellor.

Mā te wāhi ngaro tātou e tiaki, e manaaki i ēnei wā.

Nāku noa me aku mihi aroha,

John Whaanga
Deputy Director-General | Māori Health Directorate

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26 March 2020

Work & Income support for local employers

Information from the Ministry of Social Development: We are in unprecedented times as we go into lockdown to combat COVID-19. The Ministry of Social Development is here to help employers work through these difficult times. Already we have had well over 100,000 businesses across New Zealand apply for the Wage Subsidy which is helping, and the Taranaki Whanganui King Country regional Work Services team has also heard that a number of businesses have not yet seen the information about the available resources.

Below are the links and contact numbers of resources available. Our advice is to explore the options to help you save as many jobs as possible. If you have already applied for a Wage Subsidy, it will also pay to check in from time to time to see if there is any further assistance available. If there are any other businesses you know of who need help, please send this email on to them as we want the information about all of the help that is available to get as wide a coverage as possible and keep New Zealanders in work.

COVID-19:

This website has everything you need to know about COVID-19 in one place.

www.covid19.govt.nz

and the number to call is 0800 779 997

 

COVID-19 General Support:

If you’ve been affected by COVID-19, we may be able to provide financial support. You may be self-isolating at home, or your work may be affected.

https://workandincome.govt.nz/eligibility/emergencies/2020/coronavirus.html

 

COVID-19 Employer Support:

We have a Wage subsidy and Leave Payment available to support employers affected by COVID-19.

https://workandincome.govt.nz/products/a-z-benefits/covid-19-support.html

0800 40 80 40

 

Health Support:

Latest updates, information and advice on COVID-19.

https://www.health.govt.nz/our-work/diseases-and-conditions/covid-19-novel-coronavirus

 

Health Line if you believe you are infected or need medical advice 0800 358 5453

 

How to look after your mental health and wellbeing when you have to stay at home.

https://www.health.govt.nz/our-work/diseases-and-conditions/covid-19-novel-coronavirus/covid-19-novel-coronavirus-health-advice-general-public/covid-19-self-isolation/covid-19-wellbeing-self-isolation

 

Stress and Counselling:

You can get more help and information from:

        • – Youthline 0800 376 633  www.youthline.co.nz
        • – Rural Support Trust 0800 RURAL HELP
        • – Need To Talk  by calling or texting 1737
        • –  in an emergency always call 111

 

Essential Businesses:

What are essential businesses?

https://covid19.govt.nz/government-actions/covid-19-alert-level/#essential-businesses

 

If you need one to one assistance, our Work Broker team are still operational and are available by phone.

New Plymouth

Industry

Lead Work broker

Contact Number

Manufacturing incl Food

Sally Broadhurst

029 200 5561 – sally.broadhurst002@msd.govt.nz

Hospitality / Retail and Sales

Kathy Hose
Mark Old

029 200 1987 – kathy.hose004@msd.govt.nz
029 200 9935 – mark.old001@msd.govt.nz

Construction including Civil / Building trades and Energy

Melanie Wenham
Mark Old

029 200 8632 – melanie.wenham001@msd.govt.nz

029 200 9935 – mark.old001@msd.govt.nz

Age Disability / Health Care / Education and Childcare

David Edgecombe

029 245 3517 – david.edgecombe001@msd.govt.nz

Agriculture, Forestry & Fishing

David Edgecombe

029 245 3517 – david.edgecombe001@msd.govt.nz

Transport and Logistics incl Warehousing

Melanie Wenham
Mark Old

029 200 8632 – melanie.wenham001@msd.govt.nz

029 200 9935 – mark.old001@msd.govt.nz

Engineering, Industrial Services and Mechanical Trades

Sally Broadhurst

029 200 5561 – sally.broadhurst002@msd.govt.nz

Administration / Call Centre / Personal Service

David Edgecombe

029 245 3517 – david.edgecombe001@msd.govt.nz

Professional Roles

David Edgecombe

029 245 3517 – david.edgecombe001@msd.govt.nz

Waitara

All Industries

Christine Berridge

029 259 1430 – christine.berridge003@msd.govt.nz

Whanganui

Manufacturing incl Food

Mike Holland

029 226 7623 – mike.holland002@msd.govt.nz

Hospitality / Retail and Sales

Glenn Park

029 226 0945 – glenn.park001@msd.govt.nz

Construction including Civil / Building trades and Energy

Jaime Rees

029 959 6627 – jaime.rees003@msd.govt.nz

Age Disability / Health Care / Education and Childcare

Michael Weekly

029 660 0052 – michael.weekly001@msd.govt.nz

Agriculture, Forestry & Fishing

Brian Weck

029 224 0643 – brian.weck001@msd.govt.nz

Transport and Logistics incl Warehousing

Jaime Rees

029 959 6627 – jaime.rees003@msd.govt.nz

Engineering, Industrial Services and Mechanical Trades

Michael Weekly

029 660 0052 – michael.weekly001@msd.govt.nz

Administration / Call Centre / Personal Service

Jaime Rees

029 959 6627 – jaime.rees003@msd.govt.nz

Professional Roles

Jamarl Franklin

029 200 8790 = jamarl.franklin011@msd.govt.nz

Hawera / Stratford

All Industries

Gary Conway
Fi Perez

029 201 4879 – gary.conway001@msd.govt.nz
029 921 3839 – fi.perez004@msd.govt.nz

Te Kuiti / Taumarunui

All Industries

Briar Hickling

029 201 2517 – briar.hickling003@msd.govt.nz

Taihape / Ohakune / Marton

All Industries

Louise McCoard

029 252 1486 – louise.mccoard003@msd.govt.nz

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24 March 2020

Image may contain: ‎possible text that says '‎TE RANGA TUPUA OPERATION RESPONSE HUB HELPLINE: 0800 202 004 ا If you or your whanau need advice or support at this time, please call our team. team.‎'‎

Te Oranganui

Kia ora, e ngā iwi. This morning the Te Ranga Tupua iwi collective launched an Response Hub to support whānau during this time. Kaimahi have been busy calling to check on the community, starting with our pāhake over 60. We’re sorting through limited care packages to distribute depending on the needs of whānau. If you or your whānau need advice or support, please call 0800 202 004.

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24 March 2020

Associate Health and Whānau Ora Minister Peeni Henare has today announced the Government’s plan to support Māori communities and businesses in the face of COVID-19.

Click the link to find out more.

https://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/supporting-m%C4%81ori-communities-and-businesses-through

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24 March 2020

COVID-19 FAQs

General FAQs

What is COVID-19 (novel coronavirus)?

COVID-19 is a new virus that can affect your lungs and airways. It’s caused by a type of coronavirus. There are simple steps you can take to protect you, your family and whānau.

Everything you need to know about COVID-19 is available on the covid19.govt.nz website: https://covid19.govt.nz/help-and-advice/for-everyone/understanding-covid-19/

How do I protect myself and others from COVID-19?

You should always practice good hygiene by:

  • covering coughs and sneezes with disposable tissues
  • washing hands for at least 20 seconds with water and soap, and drying them thoroughly:
  • before eating or handling food
  • after using the toilet
  • after coughing, sneezing, blowing your nose or wiping children’s noses
  • after caring for sick people.

People with symptoms of acute respiratory infection should practice good cough etiquette (maintain distance, cover coughs and sneezes with disposable tissues, and wash hands). If you have concerns, you can contact the dedicated COVID-19 Healthline for free on 0800 358 5453.

What Alert Level is New Zealand at, and what does this mean?

New Zealand has a four-level COVID-19 alert system, that specifies public health and social measures to be taken against COVID-19.

New Zealand is currently at Alert Level 2: Reduce. Level 2 means that COVID-19 is contained, but risk of community transmission is growing because we have more cases. This is when we are focused on slowing down the spread by reducing our contact with one another. We also increase our border measures and we cancel events. We ask people to work differently if they can and to cancel unnecessary travel.

Find out about the Alert Levels and what this means on the covid19.govt.nz website: https://covid19.govt.nz/government-actions/covid-19-alert-system/

Is the Alert System and response over the top?

No. The vast majority of people who will have COVID-19 will only experience mild to moderate symptoms. But there will be some who need more care and medical treatment.

That’s why we have to focus on one simple goal – to unite against COVID-19 and allow our health system to support those who need it.

Global examples have shown serious action needs to be taken quickly to stop widespread cases. 

Should I stock up on things in preparation for level 3 or 4?

No. At any Alert Level – essential services including supermarkets will continue to operate.

We absolutely urge you to not stock up on goods or produce. The border closures apply to people, not products.

By allowing supermarket workers the time to restock, they will have plenty of supplies to go around. Shopping as normal will allow supermarkets to manage supply and demand.

What can I do to prepare and get through?

Make sure you have your ability to work from home set up and you understand the process and policies from your workplace to allow you to do this.

Organise any medication repeats and check in on elder relatives or vulnerable people over the phone, to make sure they have everything they need.

Ensure you are connecting with others by non-physical means to ensure you maintain connections and mental wellbeing, such as via Facebook messenger, Skype, or by just picking up the phone.

 

What should I do if I am at risk, immune-compromised or have someone at risk in my household?

You are at high-risk if you are over 70, have a compromised immune system or have underlying health conditions.

People with underlying medical conditions include a compromised immune system, liver disease, cancer, kidney disease, heart disease and diabetes mellitus, pregnant women or on immunosuppressant medications.

To find out more about at-risk groups, visit the covid19.govt.nz website: https://covid19.govt.nz/help-and-advice/for-everyone/vulnerable-people/

You need to take more precautions to protect yourself against all infections, including COVID-19.

The action you should take depends on our current Alert Level. For information about our current Alert Level, visit covid19.govt.nz: https://covid19.govt.nz/government-actions/covid-19-alert-system/

 

Alert Level 1: Prepare

Alert Level 1 means preparing for the disease while it is contained.

We recommend people take the following simple steps to protect yourself and others:

  • Avoid close contact with people with cold or flu-like illnesses.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with disposable tissues or clothing.
  • Wash hands for at least 20 seconds with water and soap and dry them thoroughly:
  • before eating or handling food
  • after using the toilet
  • after coughing, sneezing, blowing your nose or wiping children’s noses
  • after caring for sick people.

Additional measures that you and your whānau and friends can take include:

  • If you are immune-compromised, avoid staying with a person who is self-isolating (because they are a close contact of a confirmed case of COVID-19 or have recently travelled to any country except those listed in the countries and areas of concern under Category 2.)
  • You should stay at least 2 metres away from people who are unwell, if you are immune-compromised.
  • It’s also important that everyone helps to protect the safety of immunocompromised people living in our community. For example, if you’re unwell, avoid contact with someone who is immune-compromised.
  • We recommend checking safe travel adviceabout COVID-19 if you plan overseas travel.
  • At this time, it wouldn’t make sense for someone who is immune-compromised to wear a mask when in public to decrease risk for catching COVID-19. However, if your health care provider advises you to wear a mask when in public areas because you have a particularly vulnerable immune system, follow that advice.
  • If you are taking immunosuppressive drugs we advise that you do not stop this medication without first consulting your GP or specialist.

 

Alert Level 2: Reduce

Alert Level 2 means the disease is contained, but risks of community transmission are growing.

We recommend people take the steps outlined under Alert Level 1, as well as the below:

  • If you are at high-risk, you are advised to stay home as much as you can. This includes if you are over 70, have a compromised immune system or have underlying health conditions
  • Alternative ways of working are encouraged – work from home if possible
  • Practice physical distancing – avoid situations where you come into face-to-face contact with others closer than 1 metre away, for more than 15 minutes.

 

Alert Level 3: Restrict

Alert Level 3 means there is a heightened risk that the disease is not contained. This includes community transmission occurring or multiple clusters breaking out around New Zealand.

Follow the advice under Alert Level 1 and 2 to protect yourself and others, as well as the below:

  • Alternative ways of working are required
  • Stay home and consider self-isolation.

 

Alert Level 4: Eliminate

Alert Level 4 means it is likely the disease is not contained. This includes sustained and intensive transmission and widespread outbreaks.

At this stage, everyone in New Zealand must stay home.

 

I’m feeling stressed, who can I talk to?

If over the following days and weeks you feel you are not coping, it’s important to seek help and professional support. Your family doctor is a good starting point.

For support with grief, anxiety, distress or mental wellbeing, you can also call or text 1737 Need to talk? This service is free, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and gives you the chance to talk it through with a trained counsellor.

 

Can I go to school or work?

This depends on what Alert Level we are at. Find out what Alert Level we are on at covid19.govt.nz: https://covid19.govt.nz/government-actions/covid-19-alert-system/

Alert Level 1: Prepare

Alert Level 1 means preparing for the disease while it is contained.

If you are feeling unwell, stay home.

If you arrived in New Zealand from some countries overseas, or have been in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 you are required to self-isolate for 14 days and not attend school or work. Find out more about the most up-to-date advice for travellers on the covid19.govt.nz website: https://covid19.govt.nz/help-and-advice/for-travellers

If you have symptoms that include a fever, cough, shortness of breath, sneezing or a runny nose call Healthline (for free) on 0800 358 5453 (or +64 9 358 5453 for international SIMs) or your local doctor for the most up-to-date professional advice.

 

Alert Level 2: Reduce

Alert Level 2 means the disease is contained, but risks of community transmission are growing.

Anyone who is unwell should not be at school or at work.

If you are able to work from home, or put in place alternative ways of working, this is strongly encouraged. This includes remote working, shift-based working, physical distancing within the workplace, staggering meal breaks, flexible leave arrangements.

Schools will operate as normal, except where there are confirmed cases of COVID-19.

Anyone who has arrived in New Zealand from anywhere overseas is required to self-isolate for 14 days. Find out the most up-to-date advice for travellers on the covid19.govt.nz website: https://covid19.govt.nz/help-and-advice/for-travellers

If you have been in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 you are required to self-isolate for 14 days.

 

Alert Level 3: Restrict

Alert Level 3 means there is a heightened risk that the disease is not contained. This includes community transmission occurring or multiple clusters breaking out around New Zealand.

Anyone who is unwell should not be at school or at work.

Alternative ways of working are required and non-essential businesses should close.

Affected schools will be closed – check in with your school on this.

Anyone who has arrived in New Zealand from overseas is required to self-isolate for 14 days. Find out the most up-to-date advice for travellers on the covid19.govt.nz website: https://covid19.govt.nz/help-and-advice/for-travellers

If you have been in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 you are required to self-isolate for 14 days.

 

Alert Level 4: Eliminate

Alert Level 4 means it is likely the disease is not contained. This includes sustained and intensive transmission and widespread outbreaks.

Everyone should stay at home.

All educational facilities are closed.

When should I seek medical advice?

If you are concerned about any symptoms you are experiencing, please contact Healthline (for free) on 0800 358 5453 (or +64 9 358 5453 for international SIMs) or your doctor.

Can I still travel to New Zealand?

This depends on what Alert Level we are at. Find out what Alert Level we are on at covid19.govt.nz: https://covid19.govt.nz/government-actions/covid-19-alert-system/

Find out the most up-to-date advice for travellers on the covid19.govt.nz website: https://covid19.govt.nz/help-and-advice/for-travellers

For the latest information on overseas visitors to New Zealand visit the immigration New Zealand website: https://www.immigration.govt.nz/about-us/media-centre/news-notifications/coronavirus-update-inz-response

Guidelines for self-isolation are available at covid19.govt.nz: https://covid19.govt.nz/how-were-uniting/self-isolation/

 

Alert Level 1: Prepare

Alert Level 1 means preparing for the disease while it is contained.

Border entry measures are put in place to minimise risk of importing COVID-19 cases.

These include travel restrictions and self-isolation requirements for people arriving into New Zealand from certain countries.

Further information about who can travel to New Zealand is available on the covid19.govt.nz website: https://covid19.govt.nz/government-actions/travel-restrictions/

 

Alert Level 2: Reduce

Alert Level 2 means the disease is contained, but risks of community transmission are growing.

Entry border measures are maximised to prevent spread.

The border is closed for everyone except New Zealand permanent residents and citizens. New Zealanders’ partners, legal guardians or any dependent children travelling with them may also return.

Anyone who has been overseas must self-isolate for 14 days on arrival, other than those travelling from the Pacific Islands.

Further information about who can travel to New Zealand is available on the covid19.govt.nz website: https://covid19.govt.nz/government-actions/travel-restrictions/

 

Alert Level 3: Restrict

Alert Level 3 means there is a heightened risk that the disease is not contained. This includes community transmission occurring or multiple clusters breaking out around New Zealand. 

The border is closed for everyone except New Zealand permanent residents and citizens. New Zealanders’ partners, legal guardians or any dependent children travelling with them may also return.

Anyone who has travelled from overseas must self-isolate for 14 days on arrival.

Non-essential domestic travel is minimised around New Zealand to prevent further spread.

Further information about who can travel to New Zealand is available on the covid19.govt.nz website: https://covid19.govt.nz/government-actions/travel-restrictions/

 

Alert Level 4: Eliminate

Alert Level 4 means it is likely the disease is not contained. This includes sustained and intensive transmission and widespread outbreaks.

People are instructed to stay at home, and travel is severely limited within New Zealand.

Find out the most up-to-date advice for travel on the covid19.govt.nz website: https://covid19.govt.nz/help-and-advice/for-travellers

 

Where can I get further information about COVID-19?

Get up-to-date information on the Ministry of Health website and on www.covid19.govt.nz.

All global information on COVID-19 from the WHO (World Health Organization) can be found via the following links:

 

Specific FAQs

 

Vulnerable people

Who are at risk/vulnerable people?

The following members of our community are more vulnerable to COVID-19. If you are at high-risk, you are advised to stay at home as much as possible.

Over 70

Older people often have underlying health issues, including respiratory issues that make them more vulnerable to this virus.

People with medical conditions

Underlying medical conditions can make you more vulnerable to this virus.

In particular, people with respiratory conditions, such as COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease), heart conditions, high blood pressure, kidney problems and diabetes.

People undergoing a treatment for cancer and blood conditions

As treatments for cancer and blood conditions effect people’s immune systems, this makes them more vulnerable to COVID-19.

Pregnant women

Health experts do not yet know if pregnant women are impacted by COVID-19 in the same way as other people. However, pregnant women experience changes in their bodies that may increase their risk from some infections.

Residents of aged care facilities

Aged care facilities are susceptible to rapid transmission of viruses like this. Residents are more susceptible to illnesses due to their age and they are also more likely to have underlying health conditions.

Migrant and refugee community

Migrant and refugee communities are more likely to have underlying health conditions and language barriers to healthcare, which may make them more vulnerable to the effects of this virus.

Contact / transmission related

What are the signs and symptoms of COVID-19?

Symptoms of COVID-19 are similar to a range of other illnesses such as influenza and do not necessarily mean that you have COVID-19. Symptoms include:

  • fever
  • coughing
  • difficulty breathing.

Difficulty breathing is a sign of possible pneumonia and requires immediate medical attention.

If you have these symptoms and have recently travelled internationally, or have been in close contact with someone confirmed with COVID-19, please contact Healthline (for free) on 0800 358 5453 (or +64 9 358 5453 for international SIMs) or your doctor immediately.

How does COVID-19 spread?

Like the flu, COVID-19 can be transmitted from person to person. The scientific evidence confirms that COVID-19 is spread by droplets. This means that when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks, they may generate droplets containing the virus. These droplets are too large to stay in the air for long, so they quickly settle on surrounding surfaces.

Droplet-spread diseases can be spread by:

  • coughing and sneezing
  • close personal contact
  • contact with an object or surface with viral particles on it and then touching your mouth, nose or eyes.

That’s why it’s really important to practice good hygiene, regularly wash and thoroughly dry your hands, and practice good etiquette by coughing or sneezing into your elbow.

How many cases and deaths have there been in New Zealand?

Please check the current situation section on the Ministry of Health website for up to date information: https://www.health.govt.nz/our-work/diseases-and-conditions/covid-19-novel-coronavirus

 

Where in New Zealand are there confirmed COVID-19 cases?

The ‘Current situation’ section of the Ministry of Health website has the most up-to-date information on cases of the COVID-19 virus.

Read the latest COVID-9 updates on the health.govt.nz website: https://www.health.govt.nz/our-work/diseases-and-conditions/covid-19-novel-coronavirus

 

Should I be worried about Coronavirus?

Current information shows that most people with this virus are not severely ill, and the vast majority of people who will ever have COVID-19 will only experience mild to moderate symptoms. But there will be some who need more care. That’s why we need to unite against COVID-19 and allow our health system to support those who need it.

The Prime Minister has announced a four stage alert system for responding to COVID-19. We are currently at level two. There is more information about the alert system on the covid19.govt.nz website: https://covid19.govt.nz/government-actions/covid-19-alert-system/

How do I know if I’ve been in contact with someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19?

Whenever someone is diagnosed with COVID-19, teams immediately start work to identify who they might have come into close contact with. If you haven’t heard from a contact tracing team, your chances of catching COVID-19 are very low.

What happens when someone is diagnosed with COVID-19?

Whenever someone is diagnosed with COVID-19 medical professionals will advise them on what they need to do. For most people this will mean self-isolating at home.

Teams also immediately start work to identify and contact anyone that those who have tested positive may have come into close contact with.

If you haven’t heard from a contact tracing team, your chances of catching COVID-19 are very low.

What do I do if I’ve been in contact with someone who has COVID-19? 
If you have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19, you will need to self-isolate for 14 days from the date of contact.

Close contact means face-to-face contact, closer than 1 metre away, for more than 15 minutes.

Should I get tested?

If you are concerned about any symptoms you are experiencing, please call your GP, or Healthline (for free) on 0800 358 5453 (or +64 9 358 5453 for international SIMs).

I can’t get through to healthline/1737/my local doctor.

Many New Zealanders are reaching out for help and advice and everything that can be done is being done to get people the support they need as quickly as possible. Over the next few weeks the health system and those working to help NZ unite against COVID-19 will be building up their services to be able to offer more support to more people more quickly.

If you cannot get through and are severely unwell for example having trouble breathing, contact emergency services (dial 111).

How do you treat COVID-19?

Currently, there is no specific treatment for COVID-19, but medical care can treat most of the symptoms.

There is currently no vaccine for COVID-19 as it is a new virus. Researchers are in the early stages of developing one.

Do face masks work?

Face masks are essential for front line medical staff, but not the most effective way for the public to protect themselves against COVID-19.

The most effective ways to protect yourself and others against COVID-19 are to frequently clean your hands, cover your cough with the bend of elbow or tissue and maintain a distance of at least 1 metre (3 feet) from people who are coughing or sneezing.

It is recommended that you only wear a mask if you are ill with COVID-19 symptoms (especially coughing) or are looking after someone who may have COVID-19.

A disposable face mask can only be used once. If you are not ill or looking after someone who is ill then you are wasting a mask. There is a world-wide shortage of masks, so it is important they are used correctly and sensibly.

Are antibiotics effective in preventing or treating the Covid-19?

No. Antibiotics do not work against viruses, they only work on bacterial infections. COVID-19 is caused by a virus, so antibiotics do not work.

If you are pregnant, are you more at risk from COVID-19?

There is currently not enough research to provide scientific evidence about the effect of COVID-19 on pregnancy. Pregnancy does result in changes to your body, which might make you more susceptible to infections, including COVID-19.

People who are pregnant should engage in usual preventive actions to avoid infection, like washing hands often and avoiding people who are sick. Consult with your GP to discuss what is best for you in your situation.

Can I still breastfeed if I have COVID-19?

If you have COVID-19, there is no complete research available about the transmission of the virus through breast milk. However, in limited reports of lactating women infected, the virus has not been detected in breast milk.

COVID-19 is spread by droplets from coughs or sneezes by an infected person. You can limit the chances of spreading COVID-19 by:

  • Washing your hands before touching the baby
  • Using a breast pump or bottles
  • Avoid coughing or sneezing on the baby
  • Cleaning any breast pump as recommended by the manufacturer after each use
  • Consider asking someone who is well to feed your expressed breast milk to the baby.

Further information on the Ministry of Health website: https://www.health.govt.nz/our-work/diseases-and-conditions/covid-19-novel-coronavirus/covid-19-novel-coronavirus-health-advice-general-public/covid-19-self-isolation#hygiene

Can you get COVID-19 from animals?

While there has been one instance of a dog being infected in Hong Kong, to date, there is no evidence that a dog, cat or any pet can transmit COVID-19.

COVID-19 is mainly spread through droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or speaks. To protect yourself, clean your hands frequently and thoroughly.

WHO continues to monitor the latest research on this and other COVID-19 topics, and will update as new findings are available.

Where did COVID-19 come from?

COVID-19 was first reported in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China. It has since been reported in other provinces and in other countries. The latest information on this is available on the World Health Organization website.

Learn about where COVID-19 originated on the WHO website: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/situation-reports/

Self-isolation/physical distancing/working from home

How can I get food if I am in self-isolation?

You can arrange to have your shopping delivered, or have family, friends or neighbours drop off food or groceries. You just need to ask them to leave these at the door, rather than come in. Drop offs at the door (rather than coming in) will protect them from exposure to COVID-19.

Can I go to a bar/restaurant/café?

This depends on what Alert Level we are at. Find out what Alert Level we are on at covid19.govt.nz: https://covid19.govt.nz/government-actions/covid-19-alert-system/

At all levels, if you are feeling unwell or are in an at-risk group, stay home.

If you do go out, it is important to maintain physical distancing – stay 1 metre away from others and avoid close-contact for more than 15 minutes. Wash your hands as much as possible if you are out in public.

Can I go to work if I work outside (i.e. builder, gardener, landscaper, rubbish collection, etc.)?

This depends on what Alert Level we are at. Find out what Alert Level we are on at covid19.govt.nz: https://covid19.govt.nz/government-actions/covid-19-alert-system/

You can continue work, but make sure you are maintain physical distancing – avoiding face-to-face contact less than a metre away with others for more than 15 minutes.

 

Can my wedding (or other event) go ahead?

This depends on what Alert Level we are at. Find out what Alert Level we are on at covid19.govt.nz: https://covid19.govt.nz/government-actions/covid-19-alert-system/

We urge you to adhere to social distancing rules of not being near others for more than 15 minutes, who are less than 1 metre away from you. This means that we suggest you don’t attend any events, regardless of the number of attendees.

Please also refer to the information on mass gatherings: https://covid19.govt.nz/government-actions/mass-g/

 

My elderly relative lives alone, should I go into isolation with them to keep them company and comfortable and on top on things?

No, this could increase the spread of COVID-19. Instead, make sure they have any medication repeats and are aware of the helpline numbers to call.

Travel

Should I travel?

This depends on what Alert Level we are at. Find out what alert level we are on at covid19.govt.nz: https://covid19.govt.nz/government-actions/covid-19-alert-system/

Check the SafeTravel website for the latest advice from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT): https://safetravel.govt.nz/news/covid-19-coronavirus

MFAT urge all New Zealanders living in, visiting or travelling overseas to register at SafeTravel: https://register.safetravel.govt.nz/

Registering means you will receive updated information and advice as soon as it comes to hand.

 

Where can I travel?

This depends on what Alert Level we are at. Find out what alert level we are on at covid19.govt.nz: https://covid19.govt.nz/government-actions/covid-19-alert-system/

Find out the most up-to-date advice for travellers on the covid19.govt.nz website: https://covid19.govt.nz/help-and-advice/for-travellers

Check the SafeTravel website for the latest advice from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) on where you can travel: https://safetravel.govt.nz/news/covid-19-coronavirus

If you are travelling, please take the following steps to reduce the general risk of acute respiratory infections:

  • avoid close contact with people suffering acute respiratory infections
  • wash hands for at least 20 seconds with water and soap, and dry them thoroughly:
    • before eating or handling food
    • after using the toilet
    • after coughing, sneezing, blowing your nose or wiping children’s noses
  • after caring for sick people, avoid close contact with others.

What are NZ’s self-isolation rules?

Everyone arriving in New Zealand is required to self-isolate for 14 days when they arrive. You must fill out the supplied COVID-19 passenger health form on arrival to register your details with the Ministry of Health.

If you arrived in New Zealand before 1:00 am on Monday 16 March you do not need to self-isolate, UNLESS you came from China, Iran, Italy or South Korea (in which case you DO). However, the Ministry of Health recommends if you have travelled in the 14 days before that date you voluntarily self-isolate.

If you arrived after 1:00 am on Monday 16 March 2 you are required to self-isolate for 14 days.

Business/Economic

My business has been significantly impacted by COVID-19, we are struggling to keep afloat. Is there anything the Government can do to help us?

On March 17 the Government released an economic response package to support businesses through the impact of COVID-19 and support the economy during the COVID-19 crisis. This includes wage support, and cash flow and tax measure support.

Find out more on the Work and Income website: https://workandincome.govt.nz/products/a-z-benefits/covid-19-support.html?utm_source=business.govt.nz&utm_medium=newsletter&utm_campaign=special_cv_edition#null

Where can I go for information about the impact of COVID-19 on my business?

Business.govt.nz has a range of resources and information related to COVID-19 for businesses, including:

  • Business continuity planning
  • Economic response package and eligibility
  • Exporters and importers
  • Tax and ACC
  • Cash flow
  • Travel
  • Employers
  • Health and safety
  • Landlords and tenants
  • Education
  • Scams and cyber security

Further information about these topics is available on the business.govt.nz website: https://www.business.govt.nz/news/coronavirus-information-for-businesses/

I am a self-employed contractor and have been told I need to self-isolate and working from home is not an option for me. Is there any financial support available for me?

From 17 March 2020, the COVID-19 Leave Payment will be available to support people financially if they need to self-isolate, cannot work because they are sick with COVID-19 or cannot work because they are caring for dependents who are required to self-isolate or who are sick with COVID-19.

More information on who qualifies for the leave payment, and how to apply, can be found on the Work and Income website: https://workandincome.govt.nz/products/a-z-benefits/covid-19-support.html?utm_source=business.govt.nz&utm_medium=newsletter&utm_campaign=special_cv_edition#null

What is the Government doing to manage the economic impact of COVID-19?

On March 17 the Government released an economic response package to help cushion the impact of COVID-19 and support the economy during the COVID-19 crisis.

The package includes:

  • wage subsidy scheme
  • leave and self-isolation support
  • business cash flow and tax measures
  • wider $12.1 billion package.

Is the $12.1 billion package the only financial support that will be available?

Hon Grant Robertson said in his announcement on 17th March that this is not a one-off package, it is just the beginning. The situation will be constantly monitored and response adjusted as appropriate.