From Simon Bridges <[email protected]>
Subject Covid 19 - March 20th Update from Simon
Date March 20, 2020 2:50 AM
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Dear John 

I understand many of you will be worried in light of recent events regarding Covid-19. The reality is that this is an unprecedented event and I don’t blame you for having concerns. But I encourage everyone to keep calm and follow advice from public health officials, and do your best to limit contact and slow the spread of this virus.

Our borders are now closed and the situation is fluid. These are uncertain and challenging times for all us.

You will all be aware that we are closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation. We keep you up to date with information as it comes to hand from the many Government agencies involved in the response. 

Most of us remember when we knew our neighbours, but now in this online age we may not know as many.  Now is the time that we can all step up and look after ourselves, families, friends and neighbours. In particular we need to ensure that we protect the vulnerable in our community. Our seniors, a vulnerable group, are worried as not all have family support.

My electorate office is receiving an increasing number of enquiries from not only Tauranga constituents, but nationwide, as people don’t know where to go for information.  

The health and safety of our people and our community remains my main priority. You need to feel protected and supported, and it is vitally important that we protect ourselves too.

I’ve detailed below some of the most frequent queries and links to responses for the most common questions being asked.

How can I best protect myself?

Good handwashing and personal care are the best ways for you to protect yourself. These measures can be found here <[link removed]>. 

It sounds simple, but proper handwashing with soap, and ensuring your hands are 100% dry, is one of the best defences.

The Ministry of Health <[link removed]> is the Government agency leading the response to COVID-19 and provides health advice including symptoms, prevention, treatment and how the virus spreads.

Where can I go to get the most up to date information on the virus?

The official website for information about the virus is www.covid19.govt.nz <[link removed]>

How can access support for my business?

The Government Business website brings together all the Government information relating to Covid-19 <[link removed]> and how you can stay as up to date as possible

I am elderly or disabled, what support is available to me?

The Ministry of Health website references useful links on information for aged care providers, disabled people and residential care providers <[link removed]>.

Should the situation change and schools are closed, where will I find information on school closures?

The Ministry of Education website <[link removed]> offers the most up to date information and resources for parents, caregivers and teachers about COVID-19 and how it affects our education sector.

How can I look after my mental wellbeing?

Your emotional and mental wellbeing is important. It is normal to feel stressed or lonely when self-isolating, but there are some things you can do to feel better and keep well, visit this site to keep mentally healthy <[link removed]>. 

What can I do to help you?

If you don’t feel comfortable using the internet, we can provide you with information over the phone.

Please call the office on 07 577 0923 or 07 579 9016 and we’ll help you any way we can. Keep up to date with new information, follow me on social media <[link removed]> or subscribe to my newsletter <[link removed]>.

I know that the extra precautions we are taking, such as “social distancing”, seem odd, and sometimes hard to do. But together we will get through this, it’s vital that we take these extra precautions with our physical contact to keep healthy and safe.

Please look out for each other, stay safe and stay healthy, all of us can make a huge difference.



Hon Simon Bridges
www.simonbridges.org.nz <[link removed]>

p.s. Microbiologist Dr Siouxsie Wiles has created this great image of the differences between flu, a cold or Covid-19 (Image Credit The Spinoff). If you develop a fever, cough or shortness of breath, contact Healthline 0800 358 5453





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