The possibilities that will open up under Pandemic Alert Level 3 will be forefront in many people’s minds but it’s important to remember we’re still at Level 4, says Taranaki Civil Defence Controller Craig Campbell-Smart.
“As the Prime Minister herself has emphasised, no decision has been made on whether or when we will move to Level 3,” he says.
“So, nothing’s changed for the time being and we still need to keep our guard up.”
He says sporting history should remind us to be wary of last-minute upsets when we think we’ve won the game. “But this time there are lives at stake.”
Taranaki currently has 14 cases of COVID-19 with 13 confirmed and one probable case. To date, 11 people have recovered, and the province has not recorded a case since Wednesday 1 April.
“The region’s been doing well so far, but we can’t afford to be complacent. COVID-19 will take advantage of any weakness in our defences, and the most vulnerable members of our community are among those it can strike down.”
Taranaki’s Medical Officer of Health, Dr Jonathan Jarman says the region can’t be confident until after a further 14-day incubation period. COVID-19 has a way of sneaking up on those countries that relax too soon, he adds.
"There is a risk that the virus could come to Taranaki as long as there are cases in other parts of New Zealand," Dr Jarman says.
"Things like staying in your bubble, restricting non-essential travel and going home if you are sick while engaged in essential work will help to stop the COVID-19 virus coming to Taranaki."
Here's what we all need to do during Alert Level 4:
- Stay at home as much as you can.
- If you do venture beyond home, stay in your neighbourhood and stay in your bubble.
- Keep a 2-metre distance from people who are not part of your bubble.
- Only drive to get essential supplies, such as groceries or visiting the pharmacy.
- Help our emergency services by only doing safe activities.
- Wash your hands regularly with soap.