Last updated Monday 16 November 2020.
Alert Level unchanged for Auckland
Auckland will remain at Alert Level 1.
At Alert Level 1, all New Zealanders need to get in behind and back our biggest city to overcome the virus again.
Your actions matter. Every QR scan counts. Every mask counts. Every test counts.
Urgent work continues to find common points between the latest Auckland community case of COVID-19 and a small cluster of Defence Force cases.
The Ministry of Health has used genomic sequencing to show the new Auckland case and a Defence Force employee who tested positive through their work at the Jet Park Quarantine Facility are linked.
Work is underway to determine how and where the new case became infected.
Wearing of face masks
Please wear a face mask or covering when taking any form of public transport.
We will be making face coverings mandatory on public transport in Auckland next week. We’ll also be making masks compulsory on domestic passenger aircraft.
In the meantime, we encourage you to make sure you have a mask or face covering and use it now – don’t wait for it to become compulsory.
As well as on public transport, wherever you are in New Zealand, you’re encouraged to wear masks or a face covering in public spaces where physical distancing is difficult.
See the Ministry of Health’s guidelines for safely using a face mask.
Watch a video on how to make a mask without sewing.
Advice for Aucklanders
There are some simple steps all Aucklanders, especially those who live in the city centre, can take to protect themselves, their whānau and their community.
Wear a mask or face covering on all forms of public transport and in enclosed public spaces where you are not able to physically distance from other people.
If you are sick, stay home and seek advice from your doctor or Healthline about getting tested.
We can successfully get on top of the virus – we’ve done it before. If we all do the right thing now, we can beat this.
Testing locations in Auckland
A full list of testing sites in Auckland is available on the Auckland Regional Public Health Service website.
Pop-up testing is available in central Auckland at:
· Ellen Melville Centre, 2 Freyberg Place
· Victoria Park Community Testing Centre, 20 Beaumont Street
· Quay Park Health Centre, 68 Beach Road
· Wynyard Quarter Carpark Community Testing Centre, Madden Street
The NZ COVID Tracer app also shows testing locations. Under the ‘View resources’ button on the app, click the ‘Find a testing location’ link to bring up a list of testing centres.
Advice to Auckland city centre businesses
Please encourage your staff to work from home and to stay home if they’re sick and to get a COVID-19 test.
If an employee has COVID-like symptoms, they should get tested immediately and stay home until they get a negative result. This includes going to the shops and other public areas.
Workers are entitled to take sick leave if they are sick and are encouraged to do so. If you have a staff member who has run out of sick leave, check whether you’re eligible for the COVID-19 Leave Support Scheme or consider alternatives, like sick leave in advance.
You may be able to apply for the COVID-19 Leave Support Scheme to help you pay employees who are told by a health official that they need to self-isolate and who can’t work from home.
Employment guidance for workers and workplaces on COVID-19 is available on the Employment New Zealand website.
Locations of interest in Auckland
If you were at any of these Auckland city centre locations, please get tested – whether or not you have COVID-19 symptoms:
· Mezze Bar on 5 November
· Liquor.Com bottle store, Queen Street on 5 November
· Red Pig Restaurant on 7 November
· Smith and Caughey’s, Queen Street on 7 November
· Sunny Town China Taste Restaurant on 8 and 9 November
· Starbucks Queen Street on 8 and 9 November
· The Gateau House on 8 November
· A-Z Collection on 8, 9, 11 November
· The Vincent, 7–12 November
· Auckland City Doctors on 10 November
· AUT Student Hub on 10 November
Full info on locations and times of visits in particular are on the Auckland Regional Public Health website.
COVID-19 case update
There are four cases of COVID-19 to report in New Zealand today, all in managed isolation.
One involves a recent arrival and three are classified as historical.
There are no new cases in the community.
For more information and frequent updates, click here.
What Lockdown Level are we at?
All of Aotearoa / New Zealand is at level 1.
What restrictions are there at level 1?
Apart from border restrictions (keeping visitors out of Aotearoa / New Zealand), there are no restrictions at Level 1.
What can I do to keep safe?
If you have cold or flu symptoms, stay home and call your doctor or Healthline on 0800 358 5453. There is no stigma to COVID-19.
People at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19, for example those with underlying medical conditions and Kaumātua are encouraged to take extra care when leaving home.
What do I do if I’m unwell or can’t get out?
You can call your own doctor or the free Healthline (0800 358 5453) to ask if they can help with any health issues. You can also order products on-line for home delivery, ask others to pick up supplies for you, or call 0800 NWOrakei (0800 6967 2534) if you need help.
What are the symptoms of the COVID-19 virus?
The symptoms include a cough, fever, shortness of breath, sneezing or a runny nose. These symptoms are also often a sign you have a cold of the common flu. This table, produced by the team at The Spinoff, is a useful guide to COVID-19 symptoms:
What do I do if I think I have the virus?
Call 111 immediately if you or someone in your household is having a medical emergency. If you are unwell with COVID-19 symptoms you should self-isolate from the rest of your household and call your regular doctor or, if you don’t have a regular doctor, call the free Healthline on 0800 358 5453, and self-isolate. There is good guidance on self-isolation on the Government’s COVID-19 information website: https://covid19.govt.nz/help-and-advice/for-everyone/self-isolation-if-youre-unwell/
How can I get a test for COVID-19?
You will only be tested for COVID-19 if you have the symptoms described above or work in a risk area (such as the border or a quarantine site). If you don’t have COVID-19 symptoms or do not work in a risk area, do NOT present for a COVID-19 test.
If you do have COVID-19 symptoms, call your regular doctor. If you don’t have a regular doctor, call the free Healthline on 0800 358 5453. Either your regular doctor or the Healthline will be able to give you a referral to a testing station for a test.
Where can I get help if I’m struggling to cope?
Reach out to your regular support people such as family, friends or your Church elders and check out the awesome resources on the NWO Whānau Hub: https://ngatiwhatuaorakei.com/nwo-lockdown/. Otherwise, you can call or text 1737 for free, anytime (24/7) to talk with a trained counsellor. There is good guidance on keeping mentally well on the Government’s COVID-19 information website: https://covid19.govt.nz/help-and-advice/for-everyone/looking-after-your-mental-health/
If you work, your employer may be part of the Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) which provides free counselling sessions for employees. Your employer will be able to provide you with their EAP details.
What do I do if someone in my household dies?
Contact your funeral director for guidance and check the separate online Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei tangihanga resource: http://ngatiwhatuaorakei.com/tangihanga-during-covid-19/
Can my employer make me come into work?
Yes. Talk to your employer about the measures they’ve put in place to keep you safe – these include social distancing, enabling good hand hygiene, frequently cleaning your work spaces, and PPE.
Does my employer have to pay me?
Yes, any changes or reductions to hours, tasks or pay outside your employment agreement need to be agreed with you and recorded in writing. If you can’t agree, your employer must go through a fair and proper process to restructure your hours, tasks or pay in consultation with you.
Can my employer make me take annual leave?
Yes, but only if you have accrued the leave (check your payslip) and only if they give you two weeks’ notice. You can agree another arrangement with your employer, but you must treat each other with good faith.
Where can I find out what my rights as an employee are?
Community Law has put together an excellent flow chart to help you understand your rights as an employee: https://socialink.org.nz/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Employment_flowchart_2_April_2020_v1.pdf
Where can I find information about my obligations as an employer?
The Government’s Employment website is the best place to go for up to date advice on your obligations and rights as an employer: https://www.employment.govt.nz/leave-and-holidays/other-types-of-leave/coronavirus-workplace/. If in doubt, get legal advice.
Do I have health and safety obligations to Kaimahi if they’re working from home?
Yes, you still have the usual health and safety obligations to your Kaimahi while they are working remotely. WorkSafe has some excellent guides on your health and safety obligations to your employees and on keeping employees safe during this period: https://worksafe.govt.nz/
Marama Royal, Chair, Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei Trust provides a brief update on the current Covid-19 situation. Matataki mai!