The Whanganui DHB has said abuse of essential workers during the Covid-19 outbreak will not be tolerated.
Whanganui Emergency Operations Centre controller, Stuart Hylton, said there had been some abuse of frontline medical staff at the community-based assessment centres (CBAC).
He is reminding people that key workers, such as those working in supermarkets, dairies, accommodation, pharmacies and more, should be treated kindly and with patience at all times.
"Essential workers are doing their job for the benefit of all of us and they deserve kindness and respect during what is a stressful time for everyone. I would like to personally thank everyone who is on the frontline for the hard work and dedication they are providing for all of us," he said.
"Abuse of the CBAC team will not be tolerated under any circumstances. Police will continue to have a presence at the CBACs to enforce good behaviour and they will take action if people are being disruptive or abusive.
"The frontline CBAC staff are an important line of defence against the spread of Covid-19 in our region. They are doing a most important job and need the community's support."
Filming or photographing the CBAC buildings and staff members was also unacceptable, Hylton said.
Primary liaison doctor and clinical lead for the CBACs, Dr Paul Nealis, said teams in the Whanganui region were available to talk to people who were unwell to determine whether they needed to be tested for Covid-19.
"Doctors at the CBACs will make clinical decisions based on the symptoms people have when we see them. Not everyone who is unwell and shows up to a CBAC will be tested for Covid-19, but we might provide them with other medical advice or refer them," Nealis said.
"We have sufficient testing kits to meet the need at present and the situation is reassessed each day, with contingency plans to meet the need, should demand grow.
"But we also need the community to be patient and kind to the team at the CBACs as we are doing our best for the health of all people in our community and are on the frontline ourselves."
Community Based Assessment Centres (CBACs) are open at the following locations:
Whanganui - Whanganui Hospital Campus, 100 Heads Road - 8am to 9pm; seven days
Whanganui - Gonville Health Centre, Abbott Street - 9am to 4pm; Monday to Friday
Whanganui - Te Oranganui Health Centre, Wicksteed Street – 9am to 4pm (for those enrolled with Te Oranganui Trust services as well as other Iwi organisations and services) Monday to Friday
Marton – Blackwell Street, Marton – 9am to 4pm; Monday to Friday
Taihape - Taihape Hospital Campus - 9am to 4pm; Monday to Friday
Ruapehu - Raetihi Community Space, 42 Seddon Street - 9am to 4pm; Monday to Friday