Covid-19 Local Government Response Unit Update – Wednesday 13 October 2021

Local Government Response Unit main page

Here’s today’s update

  • The Covid-19 Response Minister announced today, Wednesday 13 October, that both Northland and Waikato will remain in Alert Level 3 until 11.59 Monday 18 October 2021.
  • Auckland will remain in its current Alert Level 3 (step 1). The Auckland settings for Auckland will be reviewed at Cabinet on Monday 18 October. Schools in Auckland will not re-open in Auckland next week, as was originally signposted. No opening date has been given.
  • Our guidance for council services and operations under the current alert level settings can be found on the Local Government Response Unit webpage.
  • If councils identify any issues when using the guidance, please provide feedback to the Response Unit.

COVID-19 vaccination campaign – Super Saturday Vaxathon

  • New Zealand’s first ever Vaxathon will take place this Super Saturday, 16 October 2021. Vaccine clinics will be open all over the country, all day and into the evening. Further information about Super Saturday can be found here.
  • Councils are invited to participate by encouraging their communities to get vaccinated. Resources for Super Saturday including logos, posters and email signatures can be found on the resources page.
  • The Vaxathon will be streamed live on Three, Māori Television and Hahana from 12pm to 8pm. Well-known celebrities, influencers and health professionals will be live, crossing to COVID-19 vaccination sites to capture the atmosphere and experiences of those receiving their first or second vaccine.
  • To get involved contact Sonny Ngatai at the Ministry of Health.

Webinar on vaccine hesitancy

  • Today LGNZ hosted a webinar on vaccine hesitancy for councils. The webinar covered approaches that work for Māori and how to build a groundswell of action from within the community. If you missed it, you can watch the recorded version on LGNZ’s website, where it will be posted later today. They will also send out some targeted info in their newsletter tomorrow. Get in touch with them on if you want to know more.

Information on current cases, COVID-19 test sites and economic support

  • There are 55 new cases in the community, 53 in the Auckland region and 2 in Waikato. Of these, 26 cases are yet to be linked to a current case.
  • Available testing sites can be found on the Ministry of Health website: Available testing sites.
  • On Monday 11 October it was announced that Cabinet have mandated vaccination for large parts of the health and education workforce. High risk health professionals will need to receive their first vaccination by 30 October and be fully vaccinated by 1 December 2021. Those who work in education must have their first vaccination by 15 November and be fully vaccinated by 1 January.
  • We are aware councils have staff who interact with schools and health services. We expect further details on what the mandatory vaccination programme will mean for these staff in coming days and will update you once this advice is available.
  • We continue to receive a lot of queries from councils about vaccinations requirements for staff. As noted in our special 5:15 on 8 October, we are currently working with the Public Services Commission, LGNZ and Taituarā to have more information and resources for councils. This is likely to include a webinar for all council HR managers. In the meantime, the Employment NZ webpage contains very useful information on ‘requiring vaccinations’ for staff: Vaccines and the workplace » Employment New Zealand

Mandatory Vaccination

  • Locations of interest can be found Locations of Interest, and is being updated as soon as information is available.
  • Economic assistance is available for those impacted by the lockdown, more information available on the COVID-19 website.

3-step plan to ease Alert Level 3 restrictions in Auckland

New QR code requirements

  • Three new requirements for display of QR code posters came into effect at 11.59pm on Tuesday 5 October. The changes mean additional copies of a COVID-19 QR code will need to be located through businesses and locations, in addition to the main entrance. They must be kept in good condition and must not be altered in a way which makes it unclear it has been issued by the New Zealand Government for the purpose of contact tracing.
  • Public transport operators are also included and will need to display additional copies of QR codes. This is in addition to the existing requirement to display a copy in a prominent place on or inside any vehicle. Vehicles with five or fewer seats including taxis and ride shares are exempt from displaying additional copies.

Epidemic notice remains in force

  • The Epidemic notice was renewed on 8 September 2021 and will remain in place for three months. More information of the provisions in the notice are outlined in previous Response Unit updates, which can be viewed on the Local Government Response Unit webpage.