Our COVID-19 summer resurgence plan
Nelson Marlborough Health (NMH) is prepared to manage any potential resurgence of COVID-19 cases over summer.
NMH has contributed to extensive national resurgence planning undertaken by the Government. This planning involved all district health boards, local Government, iwi and community leaders, Civil Defence and Emergency Management and the private sector.
The planning is extensive because the summer holiday period poses unique challenges in responding to an outbreak of COVID-19. Large numbers of people will be travelling for holidays or seasonal work, there are more social gatherings and large events such as festivals — and like other Kiwis, health system workers will take well-deserved leave.
The Government’s planning has revolved around three broad scenarios. You can find out more about the resurgence planning scenarios here.
The health system is ready for a resurgence
The health system is prepared for a resurgence of COVID-19 during the summer. People and resources are on call. Our supply chains are stocked. Testing services will be available throughout the Christmas, New Year and holiday period.
It’s important to remember that a resurgence of community cases is a worst-case scenario. But if a positive case is found in the community we will work fast to assess the situation and provide advice as quickly as possible to people. We would use the usual approach to communicating with the public – updates and advice would be provided by the Prime Minister, the COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins and/or the Director-General of Dr Ashley Bloomfield.
Are you ready for a resurgence?
If you’re going away on a break, consider packing hand sanitiser, a face mask, cleaning products, a phone to scan QR codes or a booklet to keep a written record of where you’ve been.
If you become unwell while on holiday, contact Healthline (0800 358 5453) for advice on whether you should be tested, and the closest testing service to you. If you are advised to get a test, please do so; do not wait until you get home to get tested. You can also find the closest testing service available to you on the Healthpoint website.
People holidaying in remote locations would very likely be safe from exposure to COVID-19, but you would need to follow public health advice upon your return home.
In a worst-case scenario where it is clear there is a high risk of widespread transmission, you would need to stay where you are in your bubble until you get official advice. We don’t want people rushing home and possibly taking the virus with them. So you should also think about what you would do if you’re required to stay at your holiday location while you wait for official advice during an outbreak. You need a back-up plan for homes or pets if you can’t get home when you had planned to.
Your role in making summer unstoppable
Aotearoa - let’s make our summer unstoppable! This year, more than ever, we’re hanging out for our summer holidays. We all want an uninterrupted summer – uninterrupted by the weather and uninterrupted by COVID-19. While we can’t control the weather, we can control COVID-19 by continuing to do those simple things we all learned during 2020:
- Wash your hands regularly and thoroughly
- Scan QR codes to keep track of where you've been
- Turn on Bluetooth tracing on the NZ COVID Tracer app
- Stay home if you’re feeling unwell and get advice about a COVID-19 test.
Let’s have a stunner – don’t let COVID-19 stop the summer!