Thursday 9 April 2020Health news3 minutes to read
As announced by the Director-General of Health and Ministry of Health on 9 April, a fifth case of COVID-19 has been notified on the West Coast. This is a probable case, bringing the total to four confirmed cases and one probable case.
Case five is a male in his 40s. The case is related to close contact with a confirmed case on the West Coast.
The risk to the West Coast community is low as the man has been in self-isolation since his contact with the confirmed case, and Community and Public Health have identified and followed up his close contacts.
West Coast Medical Officer of Health Dr Cheryl Brunton says in time we expect we will see more cases on the Coast.
“Isolated cases linked to overseas travel, or close contact with a confirmed case will be followed up by public health teams to help stop the spread.
“Now is the time for increased vigilance and – if you are not already doing so – to follow the advice from the Ministry of Health. There is useful information, updated regularly on both the
Ministry of Health web page and the government’s COVID-19 website: www.covid19.govt.nz,” Dr Brunton says.
Prevention – how to protect yourself and others with good hygiene
- Cough or sneeze into your elbow or by covering your mouth and nose with tissues.
- Wash your hands with soap and water (for at least 20 seconds) often and dry thoroughly.
- Avoid close contact with people who are unwell (stay at least 2 metres away).
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
- Avoid personal contact with sick people, such as kissing and sharing cups or food.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects, such as doorknobs.
- Stay home if you feel unwell.
- Practice low-touch shopping. Do not handle things you are not buying, keep your distance, be aware of how you are touching things like bank cards, money, ATMs and Eftpos machines. Wash your hands after touching things like this as soon as you can.
- If you are a business or provide a service: Increase your cleaning routine in between customers.
- People living in communal spaces must be especially careful with distancing, cleaning and general hygiene.
Physical distancing is essential
- Put physical distance (two metres) between yourself and other people in public places such as supermarkets.
- Be kind to others: Make it easy for them to keep 2m from you – eg, keep a 2m space in front of you in a supermarket queue, and stay 2m back from counters and reception desks.
Please stay home
- Do not go into any public places if you are feeling unwell and minimise close contact even in your home – ring ahead if you need a service.
- Call Healthline on 0800 358 5453 if you have any symptoms and have undertaken any overseas travel in the past 14 days, or have been in close contact with someone confirmed with COVID-19. Please do not go directly to a pharmacy, GP clinic, urgent care centre or emergency department.
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