Residents living in Waitomo, Ōtorohanga and Waipā districts who are in need of help are being asked to seek assistance through official channels.

Western Waikato Emergency Operating Centre (WWEOC) Controller David Simes says residents should follow the information set out on the Government website at COVID19.govt.nz.

He says the WWEOC is hearing of people in the community who are still unsure of where to go for help, particularly if they are feeling unwell, are unsure about self-isolation, are seeking financial assistance, or just need to talk to someone.

"The best way to find out what support is available is by going to the dedicated Covid-19 website," says David.

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"If someone in the household is developing symptoms of Covid-19 like a cough, fever, shortness of breath, sneezing or a runny nose, please follow the advice from the Ministry of Health and contact your regular GP or Healthline on 0800 358 5453. If you are in need of urgent assistance call 111."

He said managing mental well-being was especially important right now.

"Support with grief, anxiety, distress or mental well-being is available by calling or texting 1737 – free, anytime, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You will reach a trained counsellor," says David.

For anyone unsure of what financial assistance may be available, visit the website or call the free government helpline on 0800 779 997, which operates from 8am–1am, 7 days a week.

"The website also includes information on self-isolation, limiting contact with other people if you're unwell, and maintaining good hygiene practices. It's a great tool for us all to use and I encourage everyone to use this as their main source of information," says David.