Waipā District Mayor Jim Mylchreest is urging residents to get vaccinated following Cabinet's decision that Waipā will join North Waikato areas at alert level 3 from 11.59pm tonight.
At the 1pm stand up, Covid-19 response minister Chris Hipkins confirmed that as of 11.59pm on tonight Waipa, Ōtorohanga, and Waitomo will also move to alert level 3 to help stop the spread of the Delta variant of Covid-19.
The alert level will be reviewed on Monday, October 11.
Mylchreest says the move was a necessary step in helping to protect those most at risk and urged the community to get vaccinated.
"We need the vaccination numbers to skyrocket so we don't need to step in and out of alert levels over and over again. If you haven't been vaccinated, you only need to look at the data. Those who haven't been vaccinated are the vast majority of cases and hospitalisations. Those who have been vaccinated have recovered quickly and have had fewer complications. The science is there, just listen to it," says Mylchreest.
All Council facilities including the libraries, Te Awamutu Museum, skate parks, playgrounds, boat ramps, halls, pools, Council offices and other public venues are once again closed at alert level 3 but residents can access information and make requests at the Council's website www.waipadc.govt.nz.
Reserves and open spaces remain open for exercise, along with dog exercise areas with physical distancing required. At alert level 3, all dogs are required to be on-lead even when in off-leash areas in the Waipā to help limit the possibility of spread in any unintended interactions between dogs and owners not in the same household bubble.
Council staff continues to carry out essential services with the majority of staff working from home.
Urgent building compliance work where there is a risk to public safety, water treatment, repairs to wastewater connections and major water leaks, treescaping and line clearance when urgently required, cemetery duties, road safety, essential repairs to roading and monitoring of high-risk roads, accounts and urgent animal control work remain ongoing.
Council's narrow streets and assisted collection services will be on hold at alert level 3 and will restart when the Waipā reached alert level 2.
Information on what happens at Council at the current alert level is available online at www.waipadc.govt.nz/covid-19.
Mylchreest urges residents to open up a dialogue with those unwilling to be vaccinated to understand and alleviate concerns.
"We're the home of champions so let's lead the way and get vaccinated, Waipa. Do it for your, children, grandchildren, parents, grandparents and your friends. Do it for New Zealand," says Mylchreest.
A list of Covid-19 testing and vaccination centre locations is available at www.healthpoint.co.nz. Residents can book in for a vaccine at www.bookmyvaccine.nz or by calling a GP or local pharmacy for an appointment.