Mayor calls for calm

Mayor Jim Boult urges calm throughout the district | QLDC

Queenstown Lakes District (QLD) Mayor Jim Boult has called for calm in response to coronavirus.

“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 coronavirus,” he said,

Queenstown Lakes District Council (QLDC) said a potential escalation in the coronavirus situation was likely to have an effect on the council’s staff. Plans are in place for this possibility which is expected to affect levels of service or processing times in some areas of the council. Advice will be given should that occur.

Those in self-isolation can access a helpline to register and advise of any requirements or welfare needs. The QLDC emergency management team will continue to work directly with the Southern District Health Board (SDHB) 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 the risk of infection, and the spread of the virus.

The QLDC emergency management team is considering support options for locals and visitors needing to self-isolate.

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

Boult said the team would be working in partnership with the SDHB 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 said.

“We can’t underestimate the potential economic impact this will have for our district and the flow-on effect that it 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 whānau where we can.”


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