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QLDC ramps up COVID-19 plan

The Queenstown Lakes District Council emergency management team is considering support options for locals and visitors needing to self-isolate due to COVID-19 concerns.

This follows the news that one person has been confirmed with coronavirus in Queenstown.

At a meeting this morning, the Mayor and senior Council staff discussed what support mechanisms may be needed to assist those in self-isolation, in particular more vulnerable people such as the elderly or overseas visitors without accommodation.

Mayor Boult says the team would be working in partnership with the Southern District Health Board and other agencies to assist those affected.

"The reality for many who may need to self-isolate is that they will struggle for a support network and financially. The team is looking at how emergency management can help during what will be a difficult time, and we will be making further statements once plans are firmed up," he says.

"We can’t underestimate the potential economic impact this will have for our district and the flow-on effect that will have on people’s wellbeing – mentally, physically and financially. Now is a time for our community to stand together and help out friends, neighbours and wha¬Ånau where we can."

Mayor Boult called again for calm in the response to COVID-19.

"There was some panic buying over the weekend and I would reiterate the need for a measured response to the current situation. Pick up a few extra items as part of your regular shop, as opposed to loading your trolley with 20 packs of pasta and a mountain of loo roll.

"Cool heads and a community spirit will go a long way to the district as a whole recovering well from COVID-19."

QLDC has also signalled that a potential escalation in the COVID-19 situation is likely to include an effect on Council’s staff. Plans are being put in place for this possibility which is likely to affect levels of service or processing times in some areas of Council and advice will be given should that occur.

Those in self isolation can access a help line to register and advise of any requirements or welfare needs and the QLDC emergency management team will continue to work directly with Southern District Health Board and Ministry of Health to respond to any emerging risks in the district.

In the meantime, the emphasis remains from the Ministry of Health to stay home if unwell and be prepared to self-isolate. If you think you may have the virus do not present at health providers in person, make a call. Follow all advice from the SDHB and Ministry of Health around personal hygiene and other measures to minimise risk of infection and spreading the virus.

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