Waitaki emergency centre prepared to help

Gary Kircher. Photo: ODT
Gary Kircher. Photo: ODT
A Waitaki District Council emergency operation centre is ready to support the community.

Council staff, alongside representatives from several organisations such as Civil Defence and Waitaki District Health Services, are working hard as part of a co-ordinated approach to not only keep people informed about the Covid-19 outbreak, but also offer advice and support where needed.

The first case of coronavirus in the Waitaki district was confirmed by the Southern District Health Board on Saturday afternoon.

Waitaki Mayor Gary Kircher said it was essential the district’s population, especially those most vulnerable to infection, were well supported.

"We are working with different groups and we are really making sure we are doing the things we need to."

Those included regular, ongoing welfare phone calls to elderly residents and referring people to the Dunedin-based 0800 support line if needed.

Mr Kircher said any requests for support or otherwise received from people in Waitaki were passed on to staff at the Oamaru-based emergency operation centre to action.

"Things are happening there. There is a lot of work going on behind the scenes around co-ordination and making sure information is being supplied from that national level to regional and local level and that everyone is on the same page with key issues."

He reiterated the need for the public to act as if Covid-19 was present in Waitaki and to leave their homes only if it was absolutely essential.

The emergency operation centre would be open for as long as necessary, Mr Kircher said.

daniel.birchfield@odt.co.nz

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