Western Waikato Emergency Operating Centre staff are encouraging people to hang in there and don't get complacent.

Local controller Dave Simes says it may be harder to stick to the rules the longer lockdown continues but people need to remember that Covid-19 remains a serious threat.

"We're now in week three of the national Alert Level 4 lockdown, and while it's uncertain that the lockdown will be extended or changed to Alert Level 3, the risk of spread is still there," says Dave.

"NZ is still getting new confirmed cases of Covid-19 every day, so we need to make sure we continue staying at home, practicing good hygiene and keep physical distancing."

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Along with the stay at home message, spontaneous offers from well-meaning members of the community should also be declined.

"There are many offers to donate personal items, heaters, blankets or surplus fruit across community Facebook pages. These items carry a high risk of community transmission and should not be accepted," says Dave.

"It's great to live in such generous communities but at the moment we need people to phone 0800 800 405 for help getting groceries or other household goods and services."

The helpline number has received over 60 calls for help since it was started. Photo / Supplied
The helpline number has received over 60 calls for help since it was started. Photo / Supplied

Assistance with home heating such as firewood, pellets and coals has recently been announced as an essential service and can be requested through the helpline.

"Our welfare team has a volunteer network set up across the three districts (Waipā, Waitomo and Ōtorohanga) who follow the necessary Covif-19 protocols to help reduce the spread. They are ready and able to help."

People calling the Waikato Welfare Call Centre helpline are connected with local welfare teams for help.

Just over 60 people have been helped in the western Waikato area since the phone number was established.

When calling, people are reminded to provide the correct information so people can be connected to help quickly.

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