Panui Message from the Deputy Director-General | Māori Health Directorate

He Panui  

Ki :                    Ngā Kaimahi o Te Roopu Taurima

Na:                    Tania Thomas

Ra:                    5 October 2021

Kaupapa:        Message from John Whaanga, Deputy Director-General | Māori Health Directorate (received via email, Monday 4 October 2021)

COVID-19 Response Update – 29 new cases and Tāmaki Makaurau to stay at Alert Level 3 with restrictions eased.

Kia whakapūahorangi aku mihi ki te tītoko o te Rangi, ki te whakaaio o te whenua, kia hora iho mai tōna atawhai ki runga i a tātou i ēnei wā taumaha, tēnā rā koutou kātoa.

Cabinet met, Monday 4 October 2021, to discuss the Alert Level restrictions in Tāmaki Makaurau and confirm their plans for transitioning the city out of current restrictions safely over the next few weeks.

Delta has proven to be a game changer. It has been more persistent and infectious than previous variants we have faced. However, our Alert Level restrictions and the actions of Aucklanders have made a huge difference to this outbreak. Their sacrifice has given us the gift of time – time to get vaccinated and protect our communities even further.

In light of this, Cabinet has worked with public health officials to develop a three-step transition plan that will ease restrictions in Tāmaki Makaurau over the next few weeks. I have detailed these steps and what they mean for whānau below.

Heoi anō, this plan does not extend to Northern Waikato which will remain maintain the current Alert Level 3 settings for the next five days. Hei whakamaumahara, the areas affected by this include Raglan, Te Kauwhata, Huntly, Ngāruawāhia, and Hamilton City. You can view the full boundary map online.

The rest of the motu remains at Alert Level 2. I will keep you updated throughout the next month on any decisions made by Cabinet regarding Alert Level restrictions.

29 new community cases in Aotearoa, including one in Waikato  

  • Today, there are a total of 29 new community cases to report; 28 of these are in Tāmaki Makaurau and one is in Waikato. Today’s Waikato case is the Hamilton person mentioned in yesterday’s update.
  • Overnight, three household contacts of yesterday’s Raglan case tested positive for COVID-19 and all have now been moved to a Tāmaki Makaurau quarantine facility. These will be officially recorded in tomorrow’s case numbers.
  • This brings the total number of cases associated with this outbreak to 1,357.
  • Of today’s numbers, seven are yet to be linked and interviews are ongoing. There are now 12 active sub-clusters where cases are still emerging. Our public health efforts are heavily focused on containing these.

For whānau in Tāmaki Makaurau – Alert Level 3

  • We are introducing a three-step transition plan to ease Alert Level 3 restrictions in Tāmaki Makaurau. This will mean whānau will be able to reconnect with each other and start to enjoy recreation, outings, and shopping at safe limits.
  • Moving to each step will depend on public health advice. Cabinet will review this process each week.
  • While some amendments will be made, others remain the same. At Alert Level 3, you must continue to wear a face covering and keep two metres away from people who are not in your bubble. Please also scan in to keep track of where you go.
  • There are no changes to the reasons for personal and business travel. Additionally, the air and road boundaries between Tāmaki Makaurau and the rest of the Aotearoa, including the Alert Level 3 area in Waikato, will remain in place.

Step one of the transition plan for Tāmaki Makaurau

  • From āpōpō at 11.59pm, Tāmaki Makaurau will remain at Alert Level 3 with some amendments.
  • Whānau from one household in Tāmaki Makaurau will be able to meet with one other household outside, with a maximum of 10 people attending.
  • Whānau will also be able to travel anywhere in the Tāmaki Makaurau rohe for exercise, sports, or recreation outdoors.
  • Tamariki will also be able to go back to early learning centres, with a maximum of 10 tamariki in each bubble.

Step two of the transition plan for Tāmaki Makaurau

  • At step two, Tāmaki Makaurau will remain at Alert Level 3 with further amendments if the public health assessment says it is safe to do so.
  • Retail will be able to reopen for customers; however, customers must wear face coverings and maintain a physical distance of two metres from one another.
  • Public facilities like pools, libraries and museums can reopen, with face coverings and two metre physical distancing required.
  • Outdoor gatherings up of to 25 people will be able to go ahead. Again, these hui must be outdoors.

Step three of the transition plan for Tāmaki Makaurau

  • If public health advice allows, at step three, Tāmaki Makaurau will have further amendments made to its Alert Level 3 settings.
  • Hospitality venues, like cafes, bars, and restaurants will be able to open with a limit of 50 people.
  • Event facilities like cinemas, casinos, and theatres will be able to reopen with a limit of 50 people in any defined space. Heoi, whānau must wear face coverings and maintain two metres physical distance from one another.
  • Finally, social gatherings, indoors and outdoors, will be able to take place with a limit of 50 people per defined space.
  • I will keep you updated on any decisions made by Cabinet concerning this transition plan over the next few weeks.

Vaccinations remain crucial to our COVID-19 response

  • Hei whakakapi ake, today we have passed the two million mark for second doses of vaccine administered throughout the motu. This is a really pleasing milestone and I want to mihi to all our whānau for helping us get there.
  • Vaccines are the most effective way to keep pressure off our health and disability system and prevent future lockdowns. Whilst 50% of eligible New Zealanders are fully vaccinated, just 6% of our COVID-19 cases have been fully vaccinated. This shows the importance of getting vaccinated to protect ourselves and our whānau from COVID-19.
  • So, please continue to encourage your friends and whānau to book in for their vaccinations as soon as possible. It is safe and it is free. They can do this online or by calling 0800 28 29 26.
  • Please also continue to have courageous conversations with your whānau about the safety and efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccine.
  • It is natural for whānau to have pātai about COVID and the vaccine, that is why it’s important we know where to get accurate and reliable information from. You can learn from the experts and get answers about popular topics on the Unite Against COVID website.

Please remind your friends and whānau to get information on COVID-19 and the vaccine from our trusted sources – the Ministry of Health website, Unite Against COVID channels, Karawhiua channels, and the Te Puni Kōkiri ‘COVID-19 Information for Māori’ portal.

 

For guidance on protecting yourself and your whānau from COVID-19 misinformation and scams, please visit the Unite Against COVID website.