The Whanganui District Health Board is reassuring the community that essential health services will operate during the four-week Covid-19 alert level 4 period.

While Whanganui Hospital has adopted a restricted access policy, it will still treat acute cases and deliver essential services.

Whanganui District Health Board (DHB) chief executive Russell Simpson said there have been no cases of Covid-19 in the region.

A community-based assessment centre for possible Covid-19 cases has opened at the right of the hospital's main public carpark as people drive in.

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The service is free and is open from 8am to 9pm, seven days a week.

Other assessment centres have opened at Gonville Health and Te Oranganui to serve local communities.

Covid19.govt.nz: The Government's official Covid-19 advisory website

Anyone who has returned from overseas or has been in close contact with someone who has returned from overseas, is feeling unwell, has symptoms of a temperature, a cough, sore throat or shortness of breath, or is concerned they have been exposed to Covid-19 can go to the centre.

They will be assessed and, if necessary, a swab will be taken for testing.

 Incident controller Louise Allsopp is advising the community to check in on those who live alone and make sure they have everything they need. Photo / Supplied
Incident controller Louise Allsopp is advising the community to check in on those who live alone and make sure they have everything they need. Photo / Supplied

Whanganui's Emergency Operations Centre (EOC), based at the hospital, continues to monitor the Covid-19 situation and co-ordinate the response from the health sector.

EOC incident controller Louise Allsopp said their advice to everyone was look after yourself, look out for each other and be mindful of older people living alone.

"Take time to talk to children and to check in on your neighbours before the full lockdown commences at midnight Wednesday, March 25, especially those who you know are living by themselves."

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Whanganui Hospital will still treat acute cases and deliver essential services as the country goes into isolation. Photo / Lewis Gardner
Whanganui Hospital will still treat acute cases and deliver essential services as the country goes into isolation. Photo / Lewis Gardner

Allsopp said it was important to keep up the support via non-physical contact once the lockdown is in place and check to see if loved ones have everything they need.

Simpson said the DHB would be in regular communication with the community through traditional media and social media.