Local News kindly sponsored by: New World DANNEVIRKE

MONDAY 23 MARCH 2020

There is still only one confirmed COVID-19 case in Hawke's Bay.

The Ministry of Health said on Friday that a man, aged in his 30's, had recently returned from the United States.

He had been in self isolation since returning to New Zealand on March 17th.

Health authorities said the man did everything he should have by self isolating, and following precautionary advice.

Meanwhile the Hawke's Bay District Health Board has put new measures in place at Hawke's Bay Hospital in wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Medical Officer of Health Dr Rachel Eyre said the changes were to protect vulnerable patients and staff to reduce the chance of any infection spread.

A new visitor policy has been introduced, and staff in full Personal Protective Equipment will be stationed outside the front entrance of Hawke’s Bay Hospital’s emergency department to double-check travel history and the reason for coming to ED, before entering.

The number of support people allowed is being reduced to one in most departments at the hospital, and no children under 16 are allowed to visit.

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Both local councils have activated emergency response teams in response to COVID-19.

The Central Hawke's Bay District Council says a decision has been made to close the Waipawa Library from today for the foreseeable future.

Controller Doug Tate says the decision has not been made lightly, but is required to allow Council to deploy staff and equipment, to better resource and support critical areas.

Mr Tate says at this stage, the Waipukurau Library and other facilities will remain open, but Council is prepared to quickly respond and enact any required change.

The Tararua District Council is closing all libraries, the Woodville i-SITE and service centres across the district, except Dannevirke, until further notice.

The Dannevirke Service Centre will remain open during normal business hours with appropriate social distancing and safety precautions in place.

The Council says activities such as landfill transfer stations and campgrounds remain open as normal.

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A new Facebook page has been setup to support the Central Hawke's Bay Community through the pandemic.

Page creator Kate Luff says there has been an incredible response from the community.

The page, Central Hawke's Bay Covid-19 Support, has been designed to help people find, and offer support, for those directly affected by
Covid-19 in CHB.

As at this morning, there are 688 members offering suggestions as well as offers of being able to deliver supplies to people in isolation.

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Bright lights seen in the sky of CHB on Friday night were a series of satellites.

The satellites belong to US billionaire Elon Musk, and were reported as a string of 30 to 40 lights crossing the ksy in a straight line.