Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced that New Zealand has moved to Alert Level 4, from 11.59 on Tuesday 17 August following the discovery of a community case of COVID-19 in Auckland.
MidCentral District Health Board Chief Executive Kathryn Cook said people and whānau could feel reassured that the DHB would still provide essential and urgent healthcare services to the community during this time.
“I understand this will be an uncertain time for many people in our community and we are doing everything we can to support the MidCentral population at this time.
“Healthcare services are essential and we will continue to provide care to those who need it the most.”
Ms Cook said acute services would continue to be provided, such as the Emergency Department.
“All non-urgent care will be postponed during lockdown. This includes elective surgeries and appointments and efforts to contact affected patients are under way.
“Cancer services will also continue under strict health and safety measures and patients should continue with their scheduled appointments. Renal dialysis will also continue. The St John Shuttle services will continue to be available for these patients.”
MidCentral is adopting a no visitor policy for Level 4. There are a few notable exceptions:
• Parent or guardian supporting a child
• nominated person supporting a terminal or severely ill patient
• nominated person supporting a birthing mother
The nominated person must:
• Be one person from same household and visit one patient per day
• Not be under the age of 16
• Not connected to a confirmed COVID-19 case
• Not be awaiting test results for COVID-19.
People visiting MidCentral DHB facilties, including Palmerston North Hospital and Horowhenua Health Centre, are also asked to ensure they scan or sign in on arrival and must wear a mask.
COVID-19 testing will continue to be available at 575 Main St, Palmerston North. The site is open Monday to Friday, between 9am to 4pm, and Saturday and Sunday, between 10am to 2pm.
COVID-19 vaccinations are being paused for 48 hours as we establish processes to ensure that we can continue to vaccinate people safely. Those with booked appointments will be contacted over the next few days to rebook their vaccine.
MidCentral DHB’s Chief Medical Officer Dr Kelvin Billinghurst said the advice to minimise the spread of the COVID-19 virus remains the same.
“Cover coughs and sneezes, wash and dry your hands thoroughly especially after coughing or sneezing, and stay at home if you are sick.
“Please remember to get tested if you're feeling unwell, maintain good personal hygiene, wear masks in public and maintain physical distancing of at least two metres, where practicable.
“If you are experiencing symptoms you should contact the dedicated Healthline number - 0800 358 5453.”