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Anxious wait for older Coromandel residents

A community roadblock at Manaia, south of Coromandel township. Photo: Coromandel's CFM

Older people in the Coromandel region are nervously waiting to see whether Covid-19 cases pop up in the area.

Rest homes are shut for visits and local leaders are urging people to check in on their neighbours after a positive case visited the area over the weekend.

Age Concern Hauraki-Coromandel manager Glenis Bell believes older people are worried about how far and where the virus may have spread.

"There's a lot of discussion going around our networks, as to whether it's just Coromandel township or is it the whole Coromanel Peninsula? Is Pauanui and Whitianga part of that? There's all of that confusion at this stage as to what areas are impacted," she says.

The district's mayor, Sandra Goudie, is under fire for admitting she had not been scanning in using the Covid-19 tracer app.

Bell says she the mayor is not the only one.

"I have definitely noticed a lot of complacency."

But Bell thinks some older people simply are not equipped or have the tech know-how to scan in.

"It's quite common for us to come across people saying they can't do the cellphone stuff or haven't got a cellphone. The people we connect with often don't have cellphones," she says.

People who did not have a cellphone were encouraged to use the pen and paper sign in sheets.

Coromandel-Colville community board chair Peter Pritchard urges people to keep their older neighbours in the loop on the latest news and developments.

"They may not have the same access as everyone else to social media and the internet. Do check in with the elderly, ring kaumātua and advise them of locations and times - lets get this message out there."

There are pop-up testing centres in Coromandel Town and Thames, along with a second clinic in central Hamilton.

Bell is worried older people will have a tricky time getting to a testing station, as many can't drive.

"I'm sure people would get tested if they needed to, its just how they get there will be their biggest challenge."

While its unclear how long the stay-at-home order will be in place, she thinks people will be happy to sit tight for now.

"At the moment, I think everyone's just happy to hunker down, stay at home and keep connected."

New Zealand Aged Care Association chief executive Simon Wallace says rest homes around the country are on high alert - with staff decked out in full PPE and all rest homes closed to visits.

"We will facilitate visits in the case of end-of-life or where a resident is in palliative care, but those visits will be conducted in full PPE."

Wallace says vaccination rates among aged care workers are very high.

-RNZ/Jean Bell.

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They Shouted Anxious Too

Posted on 19-08-2021 11:17 | By

Because those that manned the illegal road block without proper PPE may have spoken to potentially infected Aucklanders and taken it back to their own people. Actions gave consequences.