Local recoveries great news, but no excuse to drop our guard

The announcement by the Taranaki District Health Board that eight of the region’s 14 cases of COVID-19 have recovered has been welcomed by Taranaki Civil Defence Emergency Management, but it’s not an excuse for us to drop our guard against the virus.

“To date 14 cases have been identified in our region, and all have been found to have clear connections to overseas travel,” says Group Controller Craig Campbell-Smart.

“That we have had eight of those cases fully recover is fantastic news, and the immense efforts of our frontline health workers should be acknowledged in this positive outcome.”

“We have been fortunate to not yet see a community or cluster outbreak in our region, but every time we break the rules of the Alert Level 4 lockdown, we heighten the risk of that happening here, and undoing the efforts of so many.”

Taranaki residents have been praised for the overall adherence to the Level 4 restrictions as we reach the halfway point, but Craig notes there are still instances of people breaking the rules.

“Whether it’s going for a swim or surf, driving to a bike park, visiting grandma or grandad for a meal or popping next door for a cup of tea, we are seeing too many people breaking the rules.

“What we know is that the virus is more harmful to older members of our community, but the number of people with the virus is highest for those in their 20s. Nobody is immune, and nobody can afford to drop their guard.”

“It remains critically important that every single member of our community remains vigilant in the fight against COVID-19.”

“We appreciate that we have all been in lockdown for a couple of weeks now, and that people will likely be running out of things to do or patience for the situation. It’s more important than ever that we stick to the guidelines, stay at home, and maintain physical distance so that we can stop the spread of this virus.”

“It’s also a really important time to check in on our networks – friends, families, neighbours, colleagues and anyone else in our wider social circle. Pick up the phone, write a note and drop it in a letterbox, communicate with one of the online tools for face-to-face or other messages.”

Here's what we all need to do during Alert Level 4:

  • Stay at home as much as you can.
  • If you do venture beyond home, stay in your neighbourhood.
  • Keep it solitary when going out, just by yourself or with the people you live with.
  • Keep a 2 metre distance from people who are not part of your bubble.
  • Only drive to get essential supplies, such as groceries or visiting the pharmacy.
  • Don’t drive to beaches or second homes. This is not essential travel.
  • Help our emergency services by only doing safe activities, such as going for a walk, run or bike ride. Don’t go swimming, surfing, hunting or tramping.
  • Don’t touch surfaces others may have touched and avoid park benches, playgrounds and skateparks.
  • Wash your hands regularly with soap.