Media advisory #19 Whanganui Police urge people to stay home this Easter

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9 April 2020

 

Whanganui – Ruapehu Police will be ramping up visibility in communities and on the roads over the Easter period - Friday, 10 April to Monday, 13 April – to make sure people are safe and complying with the COVID-19 Alert Level 4 restrictions.



Area commander Whanganui-Ruapehu Nigel Allan urges people who planned to catch up with friends and family this weekend, or travel to traditional holiday destinations to stay home.



“Officers will be visible in our communities and on the roads to make sure people are aware of the requirement that everyone in our rohe needs to stay at their current place of residence while the Level 4 restrictions are in place,” Mr Allan said.



“Travelling to and from different towns and cities risks spreading COVID-19 and puts lives at risk. Travelling to the bach for a holiday is not essential travel and it is not permitted. If you choose to travel for anything other than an essential purpose and are stopped by Police you should expect to be directed to return to the point of origin of your journey.”



Police’s first step will be to educate, but if people continue to break the rules, they will use their discretion to warn people or, if absolutely necessary, people may be arrested.



“We appreciate the way our communities have come together to keep themselves safe through a very difficult time. It is our role to support our communities to be safe – we’re asking everyone to play their part this Easter, stick to the rules and stay home within your bubble – by doing so you are helping to keep yourselves, your whānau and your communities safe,” he said.

 

Key Whanganui Region health information

 

  • As of 9 April 2020 a total of seven people have COVID-19 in the Whanganui Region, all of whom have returned to New Zealand from overseas.
  • Five people are in the Ruapehu District and two are in the Whanganui District. 
  • Public Health staff are in daily contact with those people who have confirmed or probable cases of COVID-19 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. 
  • In the Waimarino Region a reduced maternity service commenced on 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. 
  • 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 their 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.  


Welfare assistance during the lockdown 

  • For Whanganui call 06 349 0001 - this line operates 8.00am to 5.00pm with an after-hours response after that.  
  • For Ruapehu south (Waimarino) call 06 385 8364 – this line operates 24/7.  
    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

 

  • If you have flu symptoms, 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 Whanganui Hospital’s emergency department – please phone first on 06 348 1300.