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Stay Home (not Your Holiday Home) And Save Lives

We’re hearing that holiday home and bach owners are relocating to our District between now and Easter. There appears to have been a marked increase in traffic, particularly during the hours of darkness, travelling up both sides of the Coromandel and lots of reports of holiday homes with people in them, which is not the norm for this time of year.

“The message is clear - stay home and save lives,” says our Mayor Sandra Goudie. “Home is not your second holiday home, it’s your permanent place of residence. “The capacity of our medical and other essential services is not the same as the larger centres. If we get a cluster of sick people outside of our usual permanent population, our medical facilities will struggle.”

“Thank you to the large number of our residents who are abiding by the guidelines, however those that continue to disregard the guidelines to suit themselves by fishing, boating, swimming, surfing, exercising far from home, driving around for no particular reason, and so on, are placing unnecessary added stress on the rest of our community.

“We’re all in this together and need to take this seriously. This is not a holiday and it’s likely measures will stay in place for a number of weeks,” says Mayor Sandra.

If you’re still unclear on the guidelines under COVID-19 Alert Level 4 and what it means, click here.

Or, if you suspect a business or individual is breaching the guidelines, you can report them online here or call the non-emergency number - 105. Don't ring 111 as that is for emergencies only.

  • Free phone 0800 800 405 has been established for Waikato people struggling to get food, groceries, medication or other household goods and services. This is available between 7am and 7pm daily, but does not replace other government helplines already in operation.
  • Being in lockdown makes us experience all sorts of things: anxiety, loneliness, fear. Need to talk? Free phone or text 1737.

The process for confirming local COVID-19 cases

We have received many inquiries about confirmed cases in our Thames-Coromandel District and have been working with the Waikato District Health Board (DHB) to inform you on this process:

  • The Ministry of Health each day announces confirmed national COVID-19 cases and this includes Waikato cases. The information is found here.
  • Public Health Waikato will contact confirmed cases and contact all those who were in contact with that person. If necessary, the Waikato DHB will put out a statement with information to ensure that all potential cases can be accounted for in order to reduce the impact of COVID-19. All statements can be found on at waikatodhbnewsroom.co.nz. This is when our Council can also share information and let the community know.
  • If there is a cluster of confirmed cases this will be listed on the Ministry website.
  • The DHB and the Ministry of Health do not provide any other information outside of this due to patient privacy.
  • It is not necessary for residents to know whether there is a case in their neighbourhood or not – they will be informed if there is a risk as above. The best and safest thing people can do is stay at home and follow the Level 4 lockdown rules.

Community Based Assessment Centres (CBAC)

The Waikato District Health Board is setting up Community Based Assessment Centres (CBAC) throughout the Waikato.

These centres are for assessment and swabbing if you think you may have COVID-19. This is not a place for treatment or vaccinations i.e. influenza - you need to contact a general practice or doctor or pharmacy for these.

If you are displaying flu-like systems or have recently travelled, you need to phone Healthline on 0800 358 5453. Healthline will provide guidance on whether assessment and testing are needed. If you cannot get through to Healthline you can also phone your general practice/doctor for advice.

All GPs can offer COVID-19 assessments too as well as the following primary care organisations who are offering extended hours:

Te Korowai Hauora o Hauraki Thames
830am to 4.30pm Monday to Sunday
210 Richmond Rd
Ph: 07 868 0033
Ph: 0508 835 676

Click here for more information.

Flu vaccinations

As part of the Ministry of Health's preparation for the potential impact of COVID-19 on the health sector, the 2020 influenza immunisation programme has started earlier this year and prioritising vaccination of those at greatest risk of influenza in 2020. For everyone else, influenza vaccination will be available from 13 April 2020.

If you are aged 65 or over, pregnant, or have a health condition such as diabetes or heart disease that puts you at greater risk of influenza, you can get vaccinated free at a general practice or vaccinating pharmacy.

The list of eligible health conditions is available at the Fight Flu website.

Healthcare and other frontline (eg emergency response) workers can also be vaccinated, employers generally fund this for their staff.
While influenza vaccination does not prevent COVID-19, influenza is a serious illness that causes hundreds of deaths each winter in New Zealand, and thousands of hospital admissions and doctor's visits. Improving the population's protection against influenza will improve our ability to manage any increased demand on health services as a result of COVID-19.

Click here for more information.

Reminder: Daylight saving ends

Daylight saving ends when clocks go back by 1 hour at 3am on 5 April 2020. Click here for more information.

Update on Council services

Kerbside rubbish and recycling:

Thank you to everyone who followed our messaging and placed their bags in their wheelie bin this week. Approximately 90% of properties were put out correctly, which is a great result.

Unfortunately we have had some cases of inappropriate dumping (pictured below at the Pauanui Transfer Station) with people abusing the temporary service. Please be considerate and understand the pressures on the system and contractors at this time. During lockdown, dispose of domestic bagged waste only.

All rubbish and recycling must be bagged and placed in your recycling wheelie bin and will be collected FORTNIGHTLY. The fortnightly collection will occur on your normal recycling day in your normal recycling week. Click here for further details.

Kerbside collections resume on Monday, 6 April:

  • Whangamata 'Week 1'
  • Onemana & Opoutere
  • Tairua

View the full schedule for next week here.

There will be no Kerbside collections on Easter Monday (13 April), so collections across the district will be one day later that week.

Playgrounds, parks and reserves - Our Council playgrounds are closed, and we’ve also closed off our drinking fountains and water sources to minimise the chance for contamination and spread of the virus. The government is advising us to avoid public spaces and not touch surfaces others may have touched such as park benches or playgrounds. You may see our contractors disinfecting our park benches just to be safe (pictured below).

Dogs - Treat your pets as part of your bubble:

  • Have your dog on lead at all times
  • Maintain a 2-metre distance from others
  • Keep your walks to your local neighbourhood
  • Pick up your dog’s poo, please carry bags with you
  • Make sure your property has somewhere to keep your dog safe, secure and under control (and in the shade) where they will not be a nuisance to neighbours
  • Ensure your dog is registered and wears a registration tag at all times

Boat Ramps - Signs are being installed to reinforce that our boat ramps are closed for recreational use, and only open to essential commercial activities and emergency services.

Water Services - Please call us to report any leaks on council property, no matter how small, so that they can be assessed and repaired quickly. We also ask you keep water usage to a minimum while maintaining the appropriate health standards. Conservation measures are still in place in some areas and being assessed daily. Until there is substantial rainfall, they are expected to remain in place – tcdc.govt.nz/water.

Freedom Camping - There are two sites in our district (Rhodes Park and the Mercury Bay Multi Sport Park in Whitianga) where campers are being moved to for the duration of the lockdown. This is being managed by police and the Thames Valley Emergency Operating Centre. If you see people camping, call us on 07 868 0200.

Roading - We will continue with any urgent road repairs and fixes, so please contact us if you notice any dangerous potholes on Council roads. Some urgent work is being undertaken on Port Jackson Road and in the Mercury Bay area this week. See tcdc.govt.nz/roading for details.

Consents, applications and online services - We are still able to process applications for building consents, planning consents and alcohol licenses.

  • Building and resource consents are still being processed and we’re still working to meet our statutory deadlines. Track applications online here.
  • If your alcohol licence or managers certificate expires during this period, please make sure you apply to renew it before the expiry by emailing the application form to customer.services@tcdc.govt.nz.
  • We're processing LIMs electronically which is helping things move along as normal.
  • We also have online payment options.

Rates - If you think you will have trouble meeting your rates payments, please get in touch with us. We can waive penalties for late payment for those who enter into an arrangement to pay with us. The Department of Internal Affairs Rates Rebate Scheme and rates postponement under Council’s rates postponement policy can be applied for if certain criteria are met. There is information on our website at tcdc.govt.nz/ratesrebate and tcdc.govt.nz/ratespostponement.

Annual Plan - The consultation runs until 14 April, and after that we will be considering all requests, feedback and submissions before making any decisions about projects, spending and rates. Please read the consultation document on this page - tcdc.govt.nz/annualplan2020 - and send us a submission with your thoughts on what projects and services should take priority as we set the budgets for the 2020/21 financial year.

Public toilets - 23 public toilets are open around the district due to decreased level of demand and to limit the transmission of COVID-19. Toilets that are closed will have closed signs on them and the full list of toilets open can be found here.

Public spaces - The Department of Conservation facilities including tracks, and the Hauraki Rail Trail are closed and should not be used. These public places and others where people usually congregate, such as Hot Water Beach, are being monitored by our staff and referred to Police.

Libraries - Our District libraries are closed however members can access over 18,000 e-books and e-audiobooks, which can be borrowed online 24/7 - tcdc.govt.nz/libraries.

Business support - It's the end of the first full week of the national lockdown and Coromandel's business community has been turned upside down by Covid-19, with non-essential businesses closed or working from home. Our Council is working closely with Te Waka, the Waikato region's economic development agency, which is providing advice, mentoring and practical support to help our communities get through this period. Click here to read more.

Stay informed or contact us:

Check our website COVID-19 page for local information, daily updates and advice on how people can stay connected.

Tune into the radio - We’re advertising with local radio stations any important updates and our Mayor Sandra has an interview with CFM on Mondays, Tuesdays with Gold FM and Thursdays with Coromandel More FM.

Newspapers - Keep an eye out in the local newspapers that are still running as we are advertising Council information in some of those including the Waikato Times. The Mercury Bay Informer is still printing and will be in letterboxes and distribution points. All other local papers are all online for now. Tear out the Kerbside changes and stick it on your fridge.

Stay home, save lives campaign - We're touching base with local people to keep you inspired and share their tips during lockdown. See the latest from our Mayor Sandra Goudie here.

© Scoop Media

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