Boult calls for calm - was told about Covid-19 Saturday

by Peter Newport - Mar 15, 2020

Mayor Jim Boult has called for calm after the announcement today of a confirmed Covid-19 case in Queenstown.

SDHB CEO Chris Fleming - told Jim Boult about Queenstown case on Saturday morning.

SDHB CEO Chris Fleming has confirmed to Crux that the Covid-19 case was relayed to Jim Boult by the SDHB yesterday (Saturday) but that they were both bound by confidentiality, deferring instead to the Director General of Health.

Fleming says that the process of tracing the Danish woman's movements is "underway" with no details yet being released of the two restaurants she ate in before being isolated.

Here's Mayor Boult's statement issued via the QLDC comms team.

"Queenstown Lakes District Mayor Jim Boult has advised that in all matters relating to the COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) both Council and the community need to continue to take our lead from the Ministry of Health.

This statement comes in the light of the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in the Queenstown-Lakes District, a female visiting from Denmark. 

“I understand the person confirmed as the first case in our district is in isolation and contact tracing is underway,” said Mayor Boult.

“Our thoughts and best wishes are with the affected individual and her family, and we hope she will make a speedy recovery. In the meantime, she will be provided with the care and support she needs during this difficult and understandably concerning time. The SDHB has requested that the privacy of the individual in question is respected whilst she recovers.”

“Despite this new case, the Ministry continues to hold the view that this outbreak can be contained by taking the right steps and that remains the focus. The emphasis remains from the Ministry to stay home if unwell and be prepared to self-isolate. If you think you may have the virus do not present at health providers in person, make a call.”

“The Ministry of Health website has all relevant information for the community, including the business sector. There are many proactive things that employers can now be putting in place such as hygiene management and business continuity planning,” he said.

Mayor Jim Boult - Ministry of Health is in charge of Covid-19 response.

“The current situation should be a reminder for accommodation providers in particular to be thinking through how they will manage a guest or guests who have been required to self-isolate on premise. My recommendation is to prepare some simple guidelines based on Ministry of Health advice and proactively have them translated for guests.” 

Those in self isolation can access a help line to register and advise of any requirements or welfare needs and the QLDC Emergency Management Team will continue to work directly with Southern District Health Board and Ministry of Health to respond to any emerging risks in the district.

“There is no need for panic buying but this is a good time to follow the normal emergency management preparedness guidelines to have food and requirements to last for several days. Instead of loading trolleys people should consider adding extra items at each shop,” Mayor Boult added.

“Above all this is a time for cool heads and a time for community resilience to come to the fore. Connect with neighbours now and swap phone numbers in case they need your assistance or support in the future.”


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