27 Mar 20
Ruapehu self-isolation period off to a good start
Ruapehu Civil Defence said that the first day of the response to Alert Level 4 requiring anyone not in an essential service to stay at home has gone smoothly with no significant issues reported.
Civil Defence Controller Clive Manley said that Ruapehu communities seem to have taken the start of the Alert Level 4 in their stride.
“Council would like to thank Ruapehu for helping to minimise the spread of COVID-19 and supporting the work of emergency services,” he said.
“Fortunately at this stage there are no reported cases of COVID-19 in Ruapehu.
The key to keeping this way is for everyone to stay home as requested and to continue keeping at least 2m away from anyone outside those they live with and regular handwashing.
As COVID-19 is a health issue the emergency response is being led by the Ministry of Health and area Health Boards with Council's civil defence capability in support.
Being one of NZ's largest districts we have two Health Boards with the Waikato District Health Board (DHB) responsible for leading the COVID-19 response in the north and the Whanganui Health Board leading the response in the south.
As such we have set up two Emergency Operating Centres (EOCs) with a lead EOC in Taumarunui supporting the Waikato DHB and other in Ohakune supporting the Whanganui DHB response.
Both EOC's are now fully activated supporting the activities of our two DHB's and community welfare.”
Mr Manley said that there had been a fantastic response from the community with people wanting to volunteer to support the welfare function.
“We currently have enough volunteers for our current needs but recognise that this situation may go on for a while.
As the focus of Alert Level 4 is on stopping the spread of the virus by reducing personal contact to the bare minimum we do not want people coming into Council to volunteer.
We are asking people who want to help and who are not in a high-risk category of being over 70, having a compromised immune system or any underlying health conditions call Council to register their interest,” he said.
Mr Manley added that Council and our contracting partners were not having any issues with maintaining the provision of our essential services necessary for maintaining public health and safety.
However, with all staff except those required for civil defence or essential activities working from home some Council services are on hold or reduced.
We are asking people to keep an eye on our facebook page or see Council's website ruapehudc.govt.nz where we will be putting out information on this.