Community & Environment

We’re a team of 5 million

Waikato, we’ve been in Alert Level 3 for a week. Now is not the time to take our foot off the pedal.

Merv Balloch, one of four controllers of the North Waikato Combined Emergency Operations Centre (NWCEOC), says being in Alert Level 3 is far from the end of the journey.

“Waikato has done a great job so far, but we must remember to continue physical distancing,” Mr Balloch says.

Hamilton City Council and Waikato District Council have joined forces to operate the centre, providing logistical and community support to assist the public health response.

Mr Balloch says it’s important to note this week’s reports of zero new cases doesn’t reflect what we’re doing in level 3.

“Please stay the course; we can’t squander the results when the end is so close. Zero new cases is the result of us doing a great job and staying at home during Alert Level 4.”

On Monday 11 May we are expecting a decision from the Government about when we could see a move to Alert Level 2. Monday will be the end of the two-week lifecycle of the transmission of the virus under Alert Level 3, it won’t be until then if we know Alert Level 3 has worked.

Mr Balloch says we shouldn’t be getting ahead of ourselves. “Please stick to your bubbles. We really need to keep up with our physical distancing. There has been a rise in movement of people using our playgrounds and skateparks in Alert Level 3. This should not be happening, and any reports of Alert Level 3 breaches need to be reported to the police by calling the 105 number,” Mr Balloch says.

The Government will share what Alert Level 2 looks like on Thursday. This will give clarity, certainty and time to prepare, but no decision has been made and will not be made until Monday.

“We are a team of 5 million – a small number of people are forgetting the gains from the lockdown period. Please remember why we’re doing this Waikato, we’re in it together.”

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