Wairoa has its first positive case of COVID-19.
It is understood the person was tested outside of Wairoa and has come to the district to self-isolate.
Wairoa Mayor Craig Little urged people to stay calm but reminded the community that this positive case is Wairoa’s wake up call.
“This is no longer us looking at the rest of the world, or New Zealand, and thinking we are safe because we live in a small isolated district.
“The reality is COVID-19 is in Wairoa, and it will spread unless everyone follows the advice we are continuously being given.
“I urge everyone to stay home and stop the spread of this terrible disease.
“Stay home, self-isolate and stick to your bubble. People should only travel if they absolutely need to and should always maintain a two-metre physical distance.
“The people in your bubble are the people who you began Alert Level 4 and are in lockdown with. The people you started with should be the people you finish lock down with, unless of course one of those people develops COVID-19.
“Now is not the time to be a rule breaker. The only way we will stop the spread of the virus through our community is if we all stay home and practice social distancing to ensure the virus has nowhere to go. Physical isolation is critical to slow down the spread of the virus. Failure to do so puts the lives of our loved ones and people in our community at risk.
“We know there are people in our district who are not taking this seriously enough. You are the people who could be responsible for the spread of this disease.
“Locally the Police have already made one arrest of a person who was blatantly ignoring the rules and advice. If you are aware of people who are not complying with the Level 4 restrictions please report them by going to: https://105.police.govt.nz
“It is up to us all to abide by the guidelines. The Police have extra enforcement powers at the moment and have no tolerance for people breaking the rules.
“The Government is giving us very clear guidance, and to me, the advice that sticks out the most is Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern telling everyone to act like they have COVID-19. That way we are all protecting ourselves, our loved ones and other people.
“Can I also please urge anybody who is posting on social media to only publish the facts as there is a lot of misinformation out there. This alarmist behaviour is only causing more concern and anxiety. This is completely unnecessary.
“And we really need to celebrate the unsung heroes in our community who are working to support us through this time, supermarket workers, hospital and health staff, volunteers, so many of our people working to make the lock down as easy and stress free as possible.
“This is a time to show love, kindness and compassion to those most in need.
“I understand the person who has tested positive and is self-isolating in Wairoa has followed all the right protocol.
“My heart goes out to this person and their family. I don’t want to know who this person is, my only concern is that they are ok. The person who tested positive is just a victim like the other hundreds of thousands of people in the world. This person could be you or one of your loved ones and we wish them the best for their recovery. Please do not abuse this person, or any other people who test positive. Now is the time for compassion not cruelty.
“As at yesterday there were 589 confirmed cases nationally with 76 of those new cases. We have a long way to go to get this disease under control, but it is possible by people staying home.
“We are relying on our Wairoa people to slow down the spread so our health system can cope with those who do return positive tests. If we can’t do this our health services will be overwhelmed. We have vulnerable people in our community, and we all have a responsibility to protect them. We need you to do your part to save lives.
“The longer people disobey the Government’s advice and flaunt the stay at home rules the longer our country will remain at the Level 4 lock down.
“For the sake of our country and our community and our loved ones, please stay home in your bubble, isolate yourself, travel only when you absolutely have to and regularly wash your hands.
“We have one shot at this. Let’s do it and do it right.”
If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early by phoning theHealthline team (for free) on 0800 358 5453or phoning yourlocal GP practice.
30 March 2020
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