Contact tracing, hygiene, distancing key, mayor says

Contact tracing will be "critical" in the coming days as Dunedin returns to Covid-19 Alert Level 2, Dunedin Mayor Aaron Hawkins says.

With public facilities remaining open — albeit some now in a reduced capacity — he said it was essential to practise "the fundamentals" of good hygiene, physical distancing, and contact tracing.

But it was also important to be kind to one another.

"We always knew that this was either a possibility or a probability, depending on how you feel about these sort of things — but that doesn’t make it any easier when you get that news," he said yesterday.

Dunedin mayor Aaron Hawkins. Photo: ODT files
Dunedin mayor Aaron Hawkins. Photo: ODT files

"Psychologically it is difficult for people to go back into that way of doing things as opposed to the more recent history of things opening up and returning more to what a normal looks like."

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern yesterday said QR codes would become mandatory for businesses in a week to assist with the contact tracing effort.

Mr Hawkins said for council staff work began "about mid-way" through her Tuesday night address to the country to ensure Dunedin City Council was responding to the rapidly evolving situation and that facilities and services would continue.

By mid-afternoon yesterday a council spokesman said the Dunedin Public Art Gallery, Toitu Otago Settlers Museum and Lan Yuan- Dunedin Chinese Garden would remain open.

Moana Pool was open, but was available for lane swimming and aqua jogging only.

The council's freedom camping sites at Ocean View and Warrington were open.

For kerbside collection and waste, the council advised moving to Level 2 meant most services would continue.

However, at the Green Island Landfill the Rummage Store would be closed.

In some cases facilities’ hours would be affected.

Queenstown Lakes Mayor Jim Boult said his message to residents and visitors was to abide by the Level 2 rules and stay safe. In particular, he asked "older folk" to stay home if possible.

Businesses and other organisations needed to ensure they were prepared for an extended period of restrictions.

"This may get worse, hopefully it won’t, but everyone should have their plans worked out," Mr Boult said.

The Government’s decision to reimpose restrictions was a logical step "given all the social and economic effort and pain to get what we’ve achieved to date", Mr Boult said.

He would await the decision on what happened after midnight on Friday, "but reading the tea leaves, I’ll be surprised if we go back to where we were", he said.

hamish.maclean@odt.co.nz


 

Comments

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Actually Mr Mayor, controlling the porosity of of boarders is "key". Sadly this Government stuffed it up

I would be interested in what thefizz would do differently at the borders. Does he/she agree with John Key and Helen Clark that the restrictions be eased as people can be trusted to do the right thing? Perhaps he/she would see us follow a stronger line and Move managed isolation to a more penal based prison system? Perhaps deny New Zealanders the right to come home at all, just a complete ban? I suspect none of these would suit thefizz. I suspect he/she is just having a dig at the PM, and like crusher, doing so ineffectively. The Govt have not stuffed up. There is no evidence of that. What there is evidence of is that some people regard their personal needs as more important than the community needs and deliberately break the law and improperly leave managed isolation. People escape from maximum security prisons, allied prisoners of war escaped their prison camps. In a democracy people people will exercise their freedom of choice, in some cases that will harm the community, it's the cost you pay.

VERY well said, IRD!

People who are critical of the government response to Covid need only to look at how other countries are coping, and what they've coped with/gone through.

Then i ask you this question. Would you rather;
1. Keep as many businesses open and running as normal and have more lives lost to the virus?
2. Close all non essential businesses (in level 4/3 etc as appropriate) in order to slow the spread and lose less lives but more businesses?

Basically, what do you choose. Businesses having to close for good/lay off staff, or people dying from the virus? Going by what other countries have done about this, and what we've done, it seems it is one or the other.

Wow...you sure read a lot into the comments made by the fizz. My takeaway from the very limited comments made were the fizz was making fun of Hawkins. Who care what Hawkins has to say? Nobody looks to him for leadership especially on an issue like this. None of the points you make are relevant to the comments made by the fizz I get it, your one of the sheepeople who think the government is competent and can do no wrong. If that's the case, why the community transmission? If it's for the greater good of the community then shut the border down completely! Now you have some fodder...go ahead and snipe!

I would be interested in what ird would do differently at the borders.

Well Mehavesnoname; first I wouldn't be looking to Hawkins for any answers on the issues you raise. They are macro issues he's ill-equipped to respond to let alone do anything about. With regard to your second question, the NZ economy is far worse than the government is letting on. Walk around the city and count the number of closed or closing businesses. Count the number of major companies laying people off. There is no way the economy is good and it isn't getting better. The group affected by the disease is the elderly and those with pre-existing conditions. Death rates for everybody else is less than 2%. So the issue of deaths is a red hearing. If we close the economey NZ is doomed economically and might nver recover. Unfortunately, we are at the point where we have to balance our focus on the economy with the limited abilities to prevent deaths. A dead economey can be just as bad in different ways. The goverment has been negligent in how it has protected us. Staying in a commercial hotel is not a quarantine. Its pandering to the people and we got exactly what a resonable person would expect. Quarantine means moving people to military bases. Goverment wont do that!

Hawkins is a day late and a dollar short per usual. Hey Hawkins, thanks for waking up long enough to recycle the key points played on the news for the last 48 hours. You can go back to sleep now!

I bet all you people that made fun of Hawkins painting those social distancing bubbles along George Street feel silly now? People thought Noah was crazy until it started to rain; well the same is true of Hawkins. He is a visionary! No, really, he is.

My family and I are so relieved that Mayor Hawkins has added his wisdom and insight. Yeah, right! Hey Aaron, we watched the news last night too! Just stay at home, sit and colour! We've got this one all by ourselves!

Why would we listen to this guy he doesn't listen to us the ratepayers, even the public "consultation" is ignored.

Hey Nivaman; whats a quarantine mate? Do you really think 14 days at a commercial hotel at the government's expense is a quarantine? Do you think "rent a cops" in yellow vests is a deterrent from leaving? Think again mate! Quarantine means you ship people off to an Army base where they have less luxurious accommodations and better guards. That's what I would do! The New Zealand public and politicians don't have the stomach to do what needs to be done. No one person dropped the ball on this. The Government as a whole screwed up. Why? Because its an election year, inexperience and because Kiwis are a bunch of whiners. Its probably too late now. We are probably all screwed and NZ will be just like the rest of the world. Unless you want COVID, a destroyed economey and a total health disaster; shut the borders and do a proper quarantine. You got the stomach for that mate?

Hey mate, where did I mention quarantine mate?, I suggest you read for comprehension eh mate "Why would we listen to this guy he doesn't listen to us the ratepayers, even the public "consultation" is ignored" so I ask again mate, where did I mention quarantine mate?.

I think the response was to what you wrote earlier:"I would be interested in what ird would do differently at the borders." Quarantine was the response. Probably best if YOU learned to read what YOU wrote. I'd say Wanda 1 and Nivaman zero MATE! But hey...who's counting MATE?

Come on mate, don't you read what you write? You asked: "I would be interested in what ird would do differently at the borders." Quarantine Mate, quarantine! What, you get a job with DCC or something? Come on, get with the program; you asked a question and you got a response mate.

This Govt has stuffed up big time, how the hell can you expect everyone to be part of this so called team, when they let people back in from infected countries.
The people crying out to be let In saying it's their right to be let in. What about the rights of the people here.
We were covid free for goodness sake.
If this mess is on going the election is going to be a lot closer than people think.

C'mon be kind.
The PM wants her big display in Chch in a couple of weeks.....

Poor old IRD from the left, showing yet again you cant view your feelings on their lack of leadership, their lies and mis-management of anything substantial.
The current Mayor of Dunedin ticks all these boxes as much as our Prime Minister, perhaps he has covid at the bottom of his garden as well as the PM, amongst their rainbows and fairies!!!!

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