The mayors of Waimate, Mackenzie, Waitaki and Timaru are working together to help communities get through the COVID-19 outbreak, and are stressing the importance for people to stay home.
The mayors and chief executives have formed an incident management group to align the response across the four councils and ensure residents across the region have access to the services and help they need to get through this period.
Speaking on behalf of the group, Timaru District Mayor Nigel Bowen said that the message for message was simple, stay home.
“We’ve got essential staff out there providing healthcare, producing the food we eat, stocking the shelves of our supermarkets, transporting goods and keeping our essential services like water and waste operating normally,” he said.
“The best thing everyone else can do to help keep these people, and their families, safe is to stay home.
“You may not feel particularly heroic sitting at home, but you’re making a huge difference to your community by helping break the chain of virus transmission.
“If you have to go out for supplies it’s essential you remain physically distant from others, particularly those working, and follow strict hygiene practices when you get home.
“The more strictly we follow this self-isolation period, the better chance we’ve got to eliminate it then starting to get back to normal as soon as possible. If we fail to take this seriously, we could force the government to extend the lockdown period for much, much longer.
“Our joint civil defence teams have been mobilised to work in partnership with the local District Health Board and other agencies in the weeks ahead to ensure that vulnerable people get access to supplies and their essential needs.
“We’ll get through this as a community, and the best thing you can do to ensure that our most vulnerable people such as the elderly and those with chronic conditions don’t come to unnecessary harm is to follow this one simple step, STAY HOME.”
Civil Defence Emergency Operation Centres have been activated under regional control and will be working in a co-operative way to ensure that no area is left behind in the response.
More information can be found at each local council website or on their Facebook page.