Please stay home, this is not a holiday 25 March 2020 A nationwide state of national emergency has now been declared due to the unprecedented nature of the COVID-19 global pandemic. A nationwide state of national emergency has now been declared due to the unprecedented nature of the COVID-19 global pandemic. It means Civil Defence Emergency Management powers will be used when necessary to slow the spread of COVID-19, reduce its impact and manage the consequences.These powers include: providing for the conservation and supply of fuel and other essential supplies closing of roads stopping people doing activities that may contribute to the emergency excluding people from places prohibiting or regulating traffic In our district this means the Thames-Valley Emergency Operating Area team (Our Council, Hauraki District Council, and Matamata-Piako District Council) will be revived to share resources, especially welfare. An Emergency Operating Centre (EOC) will be set up at our Thames Council office tomorrow, working with the main EOC in Hamilton. The Coromandel in lockdown New Zealand's COVID-19 Alert Level 4 will be activated at midnight which means people are instructed to stay home and limit contact with others for the next four weeks. "We are aware many people are planning to escape to the bach for the lockdown period. But, we ask you to please stay in your permanent place of residence, this is not a holiday,” urges our Mayor Sandra Goudie. “The capacity of our medical and other essential services is not the same as the larger centres.” "We discourage freedom camping over this lockdown period and freedom campers need to make appropriate arrangements." See further below for updates on our council facilities such as boat ramps, public toilets, parks and reserves, and more. Use of self-contained vehicles for self-isolation Campgrounds are essential services and permitted and encouraged to stay open during Alert Level 4. However, shared facilities must not be used, and owners may wish to close these off where possible.Self-contained vehicles can be used as accommodation for anyone self-isolating. Self-contained vehicles have a toilet, water and waste facilities and will display a sticker confirming they meet the Self-Containment Standard.Those using self-contained vehicles to self-isolate are strongly encouraged to stay at commercial camping sites, if available. They must remain at the same site for four weeks or until the Alert Level is reduced. Department of Conservation campsites will be closed, along with many local council-owned freedom camping spots.Vehicles that are not self-contained must not be used for self-isolation. Those currently living in vehicles that are not self-contained must find alternative accommodation while New Zealand is at Alert Level 4. People seeking assistance with finding temporary accommodation for self-isolation should call the Temporary Accommodation Service on 0508 754 163. If you are a visitor or tourist, click here for more information. Police are urging the public to keep 111 for emergency calls rather than concerns about people not self-isolating."We understand that COVID-19 is having a significant impact on members of our community, and many people are feeling very anxious and unsettled," says Superintendent Dave Trappitt, National Manager Communication Centres. Police stressed to keep the lines free for emergencies only. If you have concerns regarding people who are not self-isolating, email NHCCselfisolation@health.govt.nz. All other matters should be reported to police either by online reporting, or by calling 105. What about our community facilities? Our Council playgrounds and customer-facing sites such as libraries, pools and customer service centres have closed. Over the coming weeks, we may need to close some of our public toilets to enable a higher level of servicing. Toilets that are closed will have closed signs on them and we will list them on our website here. At this stage all toilets are open. Some areas of our parks and reserves may need to be restricted, or serviced at a lower frequency, to enable our contractors to focus on public toilets. There will be restricted or no access to our parks and reserves. Dog dispensary bags will not be refilled after today so please take your own when out walking with your dogs over this period. Cemeteries remain open. Hikers, hunters, mountain bikers and other outdoor enthusiasts are being asked to stay home while high level restrictions are in place. The Government has said people can get outside and get some fresh air, but stay close to home. Boat Ramps The Government’s clear intention at this stage is that fishing and hunting are prohibited during the Alert Level 4 lockdown period. Therefore, our boat ramps are closed and Fish & Game New Zealand is urging all anglers and hunters to do the right thing and stay at home during this period. Click here to read more. Coastguard New Zealand is also asking people not to go out on the water during the lockdown period to avoid putting themselves or Coastguard volunteers in harm’s way. See more from Coastguard here. Kerbside and Refuse Transfer Stations We are also looking at our mobile compactors to see if there’s better sites they can be located to, where they will get more use. Water Services Our three waters, (wastewater, drinking water and storm water) services are operating as normal. You can rely on our core services continuing, which means there will still be safe drinking water coming out of your taps and we are still around fixing emergency issues such as water leaks. We still have water restrictions in place, however these have been reduced today and will be reassessed regularly. Whitianga, Coromandel Town and Hahei - Alternate Days: Hoses, sprinklers and garden irrigation systems can only be used on alternate days. If your address is an even number you can use your hose on even numbered days, and vice versa for odd numbered houses. All other areas - Conserve water: Everyone is asked to keep using water carefully to ensure our supply continues. A reminder that Thames Valley has a permanent total watering ban in place. Water restriction levels are continuing to be reassessed. See our website at tcdc.govt.nz/water for updates. Contact Us Building and resources consents are still being processed and we will continue with any urgent road repairs and fixes, so please contact us. While our service centres are closed, many of our services are still available online at tcdc.govt.nz/onlineservices, and you can contact our customer services team on 07 868 0200 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Keep up to date with any changes in Council’s services that may affect you at tcdc.govt.nz, on our Facebook page or on our email newsletters. Subscribe at tcdc.govt.nz/subscribe if you haven’t already. We offer online payment option for rates, dogs, parking and other infringement notices - tcdc.govt.nz/pay Our District Library members can also access over 18,000 e-books and e-audiobooks, which can be borrowed online 24/7 - tcdc.govt.nz/libraries. Community Based Assessment Centres (CBAC) The Waikato District Health Board is in the process of establishing Community Based Assessment Centres (CBAC) throughout the Waikato. These centres are for assessment and swabbing if you think you may have COVID-19. This is not a place for treatment or vaccinations i.e. influenza - you need to contact a general practice or doctor or pharmacy for these. Click here for opened centres and locations. See the Ministry of Health website health.govt.nz for health advice and information or contact the Healthline on 0800 358 5453 or your local GP’s office. See covid19.govt.nz for everything you need to know. Business Support Please check the Government’s COVID-19 website covid19.govt.nz lists essential services. They are updating the website with more detail about specific occupations and setting up an 0800 number, so keep checking back if you run a business and are unsure if it’s an essential service or not. The government’s COVID-19 website also has details of the government’s financial support package, which includes a wage subsidy and business cash flow and tax measures. Our Council is working with Te Waka, the Waikato’s regional economic development agency, on business assistance they can offer. If you need support or advice, get in touch with one of Te Waka’s business advisors on 07 857 0538. They can offer an ear, advice and connect you with the right help. More information is available on their website tewaka.nz Thames-Coromandel COVID-19 updates Check our website COVID-19 page for information on non-Council activities, services and events that we know have been cancelled, such as the Whitianga Ferry, which stops operations effective 7:30pm Wednesday, and the Thames Connector which is still operating with restrictions and changes in place.