Local Government COVID-19 Response Update – Wednesday 18 August 2021

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Here’s todays update

The Prime Minister announced yesterday that the whole of New Zealand will move to Alert Level 4 at 11.59pm, 17 August 2021. Auckland and Coromandel will be in Alert Level 4 for seven days, and the Alert Level for rest of the country will be reviewed after three days.

There is a 48-hour window to allow people to travel home, but it is recommended to get home as soon as possible if you need to.

A face covering must be worn:

  • on public transport and at departure points, for example train stations and bus stops
  • on flights
  • in taxi or ride-share vehicles — drivers and passengers
  • when visiting healthcare facilities
  • inside any Alert Level 4 businesses and services that are open and involve customer contact, including supermarkets, pharmacies and petrol stations. Staff must also wear masks.

The Public Health Response Order has extended the use of QR codes at workplaces to all alert levels. A person in control of a public transport service must ensure that a copy of a QR code is displayed in a prominent place on or inside any vehicle that is in use as part of that service.

Further information on the Public Health Response Order Alert Level Requirements is available here: Public Health Response Order Alert Level Requirements (PDF, 800KB)

If you have cold and flu symptoms, please get tested. Available testing sites can be found here on the Ministry of Health website: Available testing sites, with more being stood up in Auckland.

Locations of interest can be found here on the Ministry of Health website: Locations of Interest. If you are considered a contact, get tested.

Economic assistance is available for those impacted by the lockdown, more information available on the COVID-19 website.

COVID-19 vaccination centres will re-open Thursday 19 August. They will operate under Alert Level 4 restrictions.

The Response Unit will be providing further guidance around what the change in Alert Levels means for council operations as soon as possible. The email address LGCGcovid19response@dia.govt.nz is being closely monitored and can be contacted if you have any specific queries.

Guidance for Alert Level 4 for local government attached

Here is updated guidance for local government based on recent decisions for COVID-19 Alert Level 4: Updated Guidance on Council Operations (PDF, 600KB)

We have focused on updating the guidance for Alert Level 4 at this stage. We will provide guidance for Alert Levels 3 and 2 should we need to in the future.

What we know about the current cases

There are 6 new COVID-19 cases identified, taking the total number to 7. The initial positive case, Case A, was identified in Devonport, Auckland and travelled to Coromandel during 13–15 August. Initial testing shows the case may have been infectious since 12 August.

One of the new cases is a fully vaccinated health professional who works at Auckland City Hospital.

The Ministry of Health received the results last night of the genome sequencing for case A. The Ministry has confirmed it is the Delta variant.

Locations of interest in both Coromandel township and Auckland are being updated on the Ministry of Health website as they become known.

What Alert Level 4 means

Stay home and keep to your bubble. Your bubble is your household, and anyone that may be dependent on you.

Only leave home for essential services: visiting the super market, exercise, getting tested, or receiving urgent medical care.

When leaving home for essential exercise, please wear a mask and physically distance from those outside your bubble.

Keeping communities safe

Remember the golden rules:

  • Stay home, stick to your bubble
  • If you are feeling unwell, contact Healthline about a COVID-19 test
  • If you have to go out, make sure you wear a mask
  • Act as if you have COVID-19 and as if others around you do to
  • Wash your hands
  • Scan QR codes
  • Turn on Bluetooth tracing on the NZ COVID Tracer app

Epidemic notice remains in force

The following provisions will remain in place until the Principal Notice expires or is revoked:

the amendments to enable council meetings via audio or visual link to meet quorum requirements regardless of Council Standing Orders;

the provisions enabling council meetings to be open to the public through online access and to post meeting agendas, reports and minutes on council websites rather than physical locations;

new members of Council can continue to make their statutory declaration (oath of office) via audio or audio-visual link; and

the Order-in-Council mechanism for making further changes to by-election timing and provisions enabling local authority chief executives to delay the commencement of by-election timeframes.

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