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We are now in Alert Level 2, and as I reflected in my previous column, it is barely possible to describe the journey we’ve all been through over the past months.
At the time of writing, we have had no new cases of COVID-19 for over four weeks, and this is a testament to the efforts of the whole community.
Any acknowledgement of success is of course tempered by remembering the lives of the two people in our district that were lost to COVID-19. They and their families remain in our thoughts, and remind us of the reasons we have all needed to take the difficult steps that we have. You have taken these steps. You stayed home and broke the chain of transmission, and we are all so grateful.
Our next challenge is to keep it this way.
Thank you to everyone who is continuing to stay on alert for any sign of illness, and for getting yourself tested if you have any symptoms.
And our further challenge is to catch up on the care that was postponed during the COVID-19 lockdown period. We are working hard on this, and hospital teams are rescheduling surgeries and appointments as quickly as they can, keeping in mind the constraints of Alert Level 2.
The signal from the government that additional support would be provided to assist with catching up on this care was welcome news indeed and we look forward to exploring the opportunities that this brings. We thank everyone for their patience in these extraordinary times.
Finally, I have said it before and I’ll say it again – I really do want to reiterate my sincere thanks to everyone who has supported the enormous health response over the past months. This includes our health teams in front line roles, in public health, primary and community settings, and in our hospitals, as well as all those in the behind the scenes roles whose work is also essential.
And thank you to our community. Your sacrifices and care for one another has meant we are in a situation many others around the world must envy.
The road ahead is untrodden and may not be easy, but if there is one thing we have learned it is that we are on this journey together.