Local News kindly sponsored by: New World DANNEVIRKE

26 MARCH 2020

Hawke's Bay's leaders have responded supportively to yesterday's national state of emergency declaration by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

Hawke's Bay Regional Council Deputy Chair Rick Barker, who chairs the Hawke's Bay Civil Defence Emergency Management Group Joint Committee, says the region's leaders are committed to supporting the Government's declaration and ensuring local communities get the help they need.

He says COVID-19 is a rapidly evolving situation, and the government is making tough decisions to make sure we can contain the virus by going hard and going early.

Mr Barker says the declaration sends a very strong message to our communities that we need to protect our most vulnerable and at-risk people.

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The Dannevirke community health shuttle service has stopped operating in the wake of COVID-19.

St John issued a directive last Saturday that the shuttle service, which takes patients from Dannevirke to Palmerston North, was to stop.

The service has run for the past 16 years, and is suspended for the next three months at least.

MidCentral DHB chief executive Kathryn Cook said efforts were being made to ensure any patients who require transport to Palmerston North Hospital are supported.

She said there are arrangements in place to transport patients to hospital, with each patient being contacted directly.

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The chapel at the Hastings Cemetery will be closed until further notice.

The crematorium will remain operating however.

The Hastings District Council says is aware that this is an uncertain and unsettling time for the community, and is trying to minimise disruption as much as possible.

A Council spokesperson says while Council understand and respect people’s need to be together when grieving, they have no choice but to direct people not to gather at cemeteries for burials, or at the crematorium.