COVID traffic light system and what it means to the Coromandel this summer From Friday the Coromandel moves to the COVID-19 protection framework traffic light colour – ORANGE. This is the government’s current strategy which is based on minimisation and protection from the virus. So, before you start planning your holiday in the Coromandel, it’s important to understand this new framework and the restrictions at each level for both vaccinated and unvaccinated people. What is the COVID-19 Protection Framework or traffic light system? This framework includes a flexible three-level approach based around the traffic light and focuses on reducing restrictions for vaccinated Kiwis. Click the colours to explore a comprehensive explanation for each level including rules for vaccinated and unvaccinated people, business guidelines, and more. GREEN: GREEN is when COVID-19 is across New Zealand, including sporadic imported cases. Community transmission is limited, and COVID-19 hospitalisations will be at a manageable level. The health system will be ready to respond, including primary care, public health, and hospitals. ORANGE: At ORANGE, there will be community transmission, with pressure on our health system. The whole of the health system is focusing its resources, but can manage primary care, public health, and hospitals. There may also be an increasing risk for at-risk people. RED: At RED, action is needed to protect at-risk people and protect our health system from an unsustainable number of hospitalisations. What level are we at now? We are currently in ORANGE. Find out the rules of vaccinated and unvaccinated people in the ORANGE setting here. This new system is being applied on a regional level. This means that the Coromandel is operating at a different level than some other parts of New Zealand. Our level was assessed on our vaccination rates, the capacity of our health and disability system to manage COVID-19 cases, testing, contact tracing and case management capacity, and the impact of COVID-19 on the economy, society and risk populations. The next review of this setting will be in two weeks' time. How can I help to achieve a drop in the Coromandel’s level? The best thing you can do to help our district achieve a drop in levels is to get vaccinated. Waikato DHB still has over 26,000 people who have yet to get their second COVID-19 vaccination before we reach the milestone of 90% of our population being double vaccinated. The higher our rate of vaccination, the less stress COVID-19 puts on our health system. Other ways you can help us achieve a drop in level is to continue wearing a mask whenever you have contact with others, scanning in using the COVID-19 tracer app, and maintaining social distancing. Remember to stay home if you are sick, get a test, and isolate until you receive your result. What are vaccination certificates? Vaccination certificates are government-issued documents that show that you are fully vaccinated. Under the traffic light system, unvaccinated people are restricted from certain spaces like gyms, close-proximity businesses, and events, so having your vaccine pass is important to prove your vaccination status. Click here for a full list of places you may need to show your vaccination certificate to enter. Do I need a vaccination certificate to travel to the Coromandel? According to the COVID-19 protection framework, you don’t need a vaccination certificate to travel to the Coromandel. But, if you are travelling from Auckland, you will need be fully vaccinated or have a negative test result 72 hours before travelling beyond the border. This requirement will remain in place during the core summer period, until 17 January 2022. People from outside of Auckland visiting here don’t need to be double vaccinated - but unvaccinated or partially vaccinated people may not be able to access specific services without this. At ORANGE, vaccination certificates are or may be required to access: hospitality gatherings at venues such as places of worship or marae weddings and civil union ceremonies funerals and tangihanga events (indoor/outdoor) outdoor community events gyms close-proximity businesses with public health requirements in place tertiary education — vaccines required for onsite delivery, with capacity based on 1-metre distancing. The only way to access so many of the services, events, and amazing opportunities that the Coromandel has to offer over summer is to get fully vaccinated and present your vaccination certificate. The Auckland border opens on Wednesday 15 December, significantly increasing the risk of COVID-19 infections in our district. "We are happy to have our Auckland-based whānau back to our district for the summer period," says Sally Christie, Thames Ward Councillor and Chair of our Emergency Management Committee. "Fully vaccinated holiday home owners and visitors are welcome in the Coromandel Peninsula and will provided a serious boost to our local tourism and hospitality industry." We all need to understand what it will entail if you or a member of your family is required to quarantine at home over the summer holiday period. It won’t be easy, and a good deal of preparation is required if you are to remain as comfortable as possible for the quarantine period. Health services can be accessed in the Coromandel, but resources are more limited than in larger cities. A large influx of COVID-19 cases requiring medical treatment has the potential to overload our health system, so we encourage all residents, holiday home owners, and visitors to employ COVID safety practices like wearing masks, maintaining social distancing, and using the COVID tracer app. Call 111 if you: • have severe trouble breathing or severe chest pain • are feeling confused or not thinking clearly• feel faint or pass out (lose consciousness) Call your healthcare team (your GP or Healthline at 0800 611 116) if: • you have new or worse trouble breathing• your symptoms are getting worse• you started getting better and then got worse• you have symptoms of severe dehydration such as a very dry mouth, passing only a little urine, and feeling very light-headed. You may experience very mild or no symptoms. • It is important to stay hydrated - drink plenty of water. • Keep monitoring symptoms so you notice any changes - use the symptom diary tool to manage this yourself • It is important to avoid running, strenuous exercise and high impact activities. Testing and Vaccination sites Testing and vaccination sites are available in your area. Vaccination is our best armour our health system has against COVID-19. The higher our vaccination rate, the less likely it is that our health system will be put under strain or become overwhelmed. Visit the Healthpoint website for a complete list of these sites. What to do if you get COVID-19 in the Coromandel? If you have been told you are COVID-19 positive, or think you might be COVID-19 positive, it is important that you quarantine at home. This means you don’t leave your home and you don’t have visitors to your home. This will help stop the virus from spreading. Being in quarantine can be really hard, especially if you live with other people, or in smaller spaces. Read more about preparing for having COVID-19 in your home or use this readiness checklist. How to quarantine (taratahi) at home • Stay at home — don’t go to work, school or public places. Don’t use public transport, taxis or ride-share services.• Don’t leave home for food or medicines. If you can, arrange for these items to be delivered or ask friends or family/whanāu to shop for you. Ask them to leave deliveries outside your home. Your pharmacist may be able to arrange for medicines to be delivered to your home.• If you need medical care, talk to your healthcare team, they will be able to arrange this for you. In many cases, you will be able to receive medical care using a telehealth (phone or video) service.• Avoid contact with others in your household as much as possible. If you are unable, then keep a distance of 2 metres at all times and wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth. See below for advice on how to reduce the spread of infection in your home.• You should not have visitors to your home unless they are providing necessary medical care. Healthcare workers will wear full personal protective equipment (PPE) if they need to visit you. Remember: Everyone you live with will also need to be in quarantine. This helps to stop COVID-19 from spreading. Visit the Health Navigator website now for information on reducing the spread of COVID-19 at home. How long do I have to remain in quarantine? The health team that cares for you will decide when you can leave your home and resume your everyday activities. They will need to be confident you are no longer infectious. For people quarantining at home who are fully vaccinated this will be: • at least 10 days after the start of your symptoms, and • after you have had no symptoms for at least 72 hours (3 days). For people quarantining at home who are partially vaccinated or unvaccinated this will be: • at least 14 days after the start of your symptoms, and • after you have had no symptoms for at least 72 hours (3 days). Financial support If you are in quarantine, but can't work from home, your employer (or you, if you are self-employed) can apply for the COVID-19 Leave Support Scheme. The Leave Support Scheme is paid at a flat rate of: • $600 a week for full-time workers who were working 20 hours or more a week• $359 a week for part-time workers who were working less than 20 hours a week. For more information on the COVID-19 Leave Support Scheme and to find out if you are eligible, see who can get the COVID-19 Leave Support Scheme. Government resources • Comprehensive guide to the traffic light system• Be prepared: Use the Readiness Checklist• COVID-19 positive – care at home • COVID-19 positive – supporting your mental wellbeing • Downloadable self-isolation poster for your home• Self-isolation timeline • Community care guidelines Avoid contact with others in your household as much as possible. If you are unable, then keep a distance of 2 metres at all times and wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth. See below for advice on how to reduce the spread of infection in your home. Vaccination Levels in the Coromandel Peninsula Information on the traffic light system can be found here. More information will be provided on the traffic light system and how this will operated in our district as it becomes available. Our district is in Alert Level 2 as of midnight Tuesday 7 September 2021. You can read the Government's fact sheet and list of support services here. Council Customer Service desks – Open. Two-metre distancing, face covering, and contact tracing are required. Follow signage and staff directions. Public toilets – Frequently used toilet facilities are cleaned twice per day in the morning and afternoon. Other facilities will be cleaned once per day. Please scan the contact tracing code and wear a face covering inside the toilet facility. Playgrounds, skate areas and fitness equipment – All playgrounds are re-opened and have been cleaned thoroughly. Please scan the contact tracing code. Park assets, including BBQs and drinking fountains – Will have re-opened these services under normal levels. Some of our reserves may be starting to appear slightly untidy, because mowing and edging has not been classed as essential work under Levels 3 & 4. With the spring growth flush and lockdown, some sites may take time to be brought back to our usual standards. Jetties, wharves and boat ramps – Open. At Whitianga Wharf we are trialling keeping the barriers in place with continued public access to the floating pontoon and south side of the wharf but we are restricting non-commercial vehicles from going onto the wharf and asking the public to stay off the main wharf when occupied by commercial vessels. Airfields – Open. Halls – Open. Jack MacLean Community Recreation Centre – Open. Thames Centennial Pool – Open with lane booking system in place and some programmes on hold until Level 1. Thames Connector Public Bus Service - Thames Connector is operating under its normal schedule. Masks are mandatory. District Libraries (Thames, Tairua, Whitianga) – Open. There may be some limits to numbers in attendance, with programmes on hold until Level 1. Burials – Regular services. Sports fields – Up to 100 in attendance at sporting events. Some delays in Spring renovations may have an impact upon turf growth and resilience. Refuse Transfer Stations – Fully open. Face coverings, two-metre distancing and contact tracing are required. Please follow staff directions and signage, and please be kind and respectful to staff and other customers. Cash can be accepted, but payment by credit card or Eftpos is preferred. Kerbside rubbish and recycling collections – Recycling is now being processed instead of going to landfill. Personal protective equipment including face masks, sanitary products, tissue paper and shredded paper cannot be recycled – please do not put these in your wheelie bin. COVID-19 testing in the Thames-Coromandel District For any updates on COVID testing hours and GPs that are able to provide assessment and testing, visit the Waikato DHB website or call your GP or Healthline on 0800 358 5453. If you have cold or flu-like symptoms and are concerned about your risk of COVID-19, please ring Healthline (0800 358 5453). They will tell you if you need to be tested and what to do next. Need help? This can be a hard time for many individuals and businesses and if you need support during this time, please reach out. As we work through this together, there are people and agencies able to support you. A list of services and support contacts is available here. Business support and wage subsidy Businesses affected by New Zealand’s Covid-19 lockdown can now apply for a one-off Government payment to help cover costs through the COVID-19 Resurgence Support Payment (RSP). To qualify for the RSP, businesses must experience at least a 30 per cent decline in revenue over seven days as a result of the increase in alert levels, as well as other eligibility criteria. The scheme will be available until all of New Zealand returns to Alert Level 1 for one month, find out more here. Other services are available to help New Zealand businesses including the Wage Subsidy Scheme to cover the cost of wages during the lockdown. Employers can also get specific advice on people challenges, including staffing changes, employee wellness, and meeting your health and safety obligations. To find out more call 0800 500 362. Welfare support If you need any support for your wellbeing, for example you’ve been to a place of interest in relation to the outbreak and are self-isolating at home and need essential supplies, please call the Ministry of Social Development helpline 0800 559 009 or visit their website. More information As well as this web page, keep an eye on our Council's Facebook Page for updates. Visit the COVID-19 web page for updates direct from the Government.