We will endeavour to provide regular COVID-19 updates to help keep you informed. This includes where necessary, redirecting you to official websites. This means information you need, is always up-to-date. There is a dedicated Healthline 0800 number for COVID-19 health advice and information. The Healthline is free and available 24/7.
The number is 0800 358 5453.
Alert Level 2
COVID-19 Alert Level 2
New Zealand has a four-level COVID-19 Alert System. We moved to Alert Level 2 at 11.59 pm on Wednesday 13 May. The information here is accurate as at 12 May. Cabinet will review Alert Level 2 restrictions on Monday 25 May. Here is an MP3 to listen to this information. Or read about this by selecting the MS Word file or PDF for information about what to do during Alert Level 2.
COVID-19 – Ministry of Social Development Alert Level 2
You will find important details from the Ministry of Social Development and Work and Income about ways to make contact during Alert Level 2. Here is an MP3 file to listen to the information, or read this by selecting the MS Word File or PDF.
COVID-19 – Total Mobility Subsidy to 30 June 2020
Waka Kotahi, the NZ Transport Agency has extended the support for fare-free travel on Total Mobility services (up to the regional cap). As of 14 May, the subsidy now applies until 30 June 2020, irrespective of New Zealand’s COVID-19 Alert Level. From 1 July 2020, the normal fare payment processes will resume. Here in full, is the information you should find useful – you can listen to the MP3, or select the MS Word or PDF.
COVID-19 – Services and Support Contacts
During COVID-19, as we work through this together, it is important to have at hand, contact details for a range of services and support. There is a range of advice, help or support for people and agencies able to support you here by listening to this MP3, or reading the information by selecting the MS Word file, or PDF.
Supported Decision Making
This guide is an introduction to supported decision-making. As we move through the levels in this COVID-19, this information reminds family, carers and supporters about their role when supporting people to make decisions for themselves. The guide describes what supported decision-making is, and what it isn’t, what the responsibilities of a support person (supporter) is, and the aspects of supported decision-making that make sure a disabled person is truly part of the community in which they live. You can listen to the MP3, or select one of these files – MS Word or HTML.
Minster for Seniors Tracey Martin – COVID-19 Special Edition update (14 May 2020)
Take this link to read what Minister Martin has to say as we enter Alert Level 2…
COVID-19 Alert Level 3
We moved to Alert Level 3 because we have reduced the spread of COVID-19 by staying at home. However there is still a chance the COVID-19 virus could begin to spread quickly again. Now that we have moved to Alert level 3, you need to think carefully about what you need to do to make sure you don’t catch COVID-19. Here is an MP3 file to listen to the information, or read this by selecting the MS Word File or PDF.
COVID-19 Alert Level 4
New Zealand has a four-level COVID-19 Alert System. We are at Level 4 of the alert system now. It is the first time this has ever happened, so it is a new experience for everyone. We are all learning about what to do and what not to do.
Here is an MP3 to listen to this information. Or read about this here by selecting the MS Word file or PDF for information about what to do during Alert Level 4.
COVID-19 – Ministry of Social Development Updates
Ministry of Social Development have three important COVID-19 messages. These are about Work and Income Working at Alert Level 3, Essential Workers Leave Support, and Where to go for services and support. Here is an MP3 file to listen to the information, or read this by selecting the MS Word File or PDF.
You will find important details from the Ministry of Social Development and Work and Income about items such as benefit increases, Winter Energy Payment rates for 2020, Essential costs (Work and Income)… Here is an MP3 file to listen to the information, or read this by selecting the MS Word File or PDF.
COVID-19 Ministry of Housing and Urban Development
The Government has made new rules to look after renters during COVID-19. You can read about these by selecting the MS Word File or PDF. Or you can listen to the MP3.
COVID-19 – Looking after your mental health and wellbeing
Here are some things you can do during Alert Level 4. You can find what works for you and keep doing it while you stay at home by listening to this MP3, or read the information here by selecting the MS Word file, or PDF.
Minster for Seniors Tracey Martin – COVID-19 Special Edition update (9 April 2020)
Take this link to read what Minister Martin has to say…
New Zealand Blind Organisations Statement Re: COVID 19 – the way we are going to get through this is together
Blind Consumer Organisations across Aotearoa, New Zealand are working collaboratively to support Kiwis living with sight loss during the COVID-19 crisis.Together we are committed to connecting with our networks, checking in and offering support where needed. We know many people who are blind, deafblind, low vision or vision-impaired have limited or no access to technology so it is critical for us, and the organisations we work with, to check-in on the health and wellbeing of our clients and members who maybe feeling more isolated at this time.
COVID-19 Community Awareness and Preparedness Grant Fund
As part of the Government’s response to COVID-19, new funding is being prioritised to support community efforts on the ground. We recognise there are community groups and individuals doing critical work in the fight against COVID-19. This funding will allow them to continue to support their communities and help them through challenges they may face in the coming months.
Or, you can take this link for the item on MSD’s website
This short video provides some information about your “bubble” and what this means during COVID-19
Getting Food during Alert Levels 3 and 4
During Alert Levels 4 and 3, we will all still have access to essential services such as getting food from supermarkets and dairies. The following information tells you:
- where you can get food while we are at Alert Levels 4 and 3;
- how you can get the food that you need if you are not able to leave your home ;
- where to get help if you can’t find or afford food.
Here is an MP3 file to listen to the information, or read this by selecting the MS Word File or PDF.
Here now are updates, and targeted COVID-19 information…
For latest updates issued by the Prime Minister, Director General Ministry of Health, and other officials, take this link
Information that is mainly for people and families who need health and disability support services, especially if you are over 70 years old, or have certain health conditions as listed on the Ministry of Health website is available at this link https://www.health.govt.nz/our-work/diseases-and-conditions/covid-19-novel-coronavirus/covid-19-novel-coronavirus-information-specific-audiences/covid-19-information-disabled-people-and-their-family-and-whanau/alert-level-3-and-4-information-people-and-families-who-need-health-and
If you want to find out more about Covid-19, its symptoms and how long it takes for these to appear, and how it spreads? You will find answers to these questions and more, at this Ministry of Health link
Information for disabled people and residential care providers, informed by Blind Citizens NZ and many other stakeholders across the disability sector is available at this link
Managing your Mental Wellbeing
– a great source of information at this link
Official websites to get more information…
- Ministry of Health: https://www.health.govt.nz/our-work/diseases-and-conditions/covid-19-novel-coronavirus
- New Zealand Government: https://covid19.govt.nz/
- World Health Organisation: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019
A description of current handwashing advice created for blind people by Audio Described Aotearoa with assistance from the Auckland Branch of Blind Citizens NZ and individual blind contributors
One of the consistent pieces of advice we hear, to assist keep each other safe from COVID-19, is to wash our hands. Most of us know what to do and when, but do we? Audio Described Aotearoa (Kevin Keys, Nicola Owen and Paul Brown, with assistance from lots of blind people who now have lovely clean hands) have created this recording, and text description, that explains just how to wash your hands.