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Open letter from Council chief executive Nedine Thatcher Swann

27 Mar 2020

Open letter from Council chief executive Nedine Thatcher Swann

As of today we now have 1 confirmed case of COVID-19 in the Tairāwhiti region.
This will be a shock to our community. We expected that we would need to deal with cases of COVID-19. It still doesn’t lessen the shock. It is critical, now more than ever, that we remain calm and stick to the advice of the Prime Minister and Ministry of Health. This is about saving the lives of people in our own community.
I implore you to follow the instruction to stay home. This is no longer an issue that’s being dealt with by someone else, it’s up to each of you to stop the spread of this dangerous virus.
Physical isolation means exactly that. Things are fast-moving and changes by the hour. My goal is to reassure you that as a Council we will continue to run essential services so you can still access the necessities of life.
If you think it’s okay to go for a surf or a mountain bike ride, think again – it’s not. If anything were to happen to you, you would endanger the lives of all those who come in contact with you.
If you’re delivering food or essential items to kaumatua or pakeke please make sure you stick to the rule and keep a distance of 2 metres and that you’re meticulous about hygiene, particularly around hand washing.
All gatherings of any size for weddings, funerals/tangi and birthdays must be cancelled. We need to ensure this is followed.
The CDEM Group Controller Dave Wilson has ordered the setup of checkpoints to manage the movement of people throughout our region. Only those in essential services or who are using those essential services will be allowed on the streets. Please ensure you’re fully cooperative.
Again, I reiterate the importance of self-isolation – be kind, stay home, break the chain and save lives. #StayHomeNZ. If you have any questions, go to our website www.gdc.govt.nz or contact customer services on 0800 653 800.