Jacinda Ardern takes to social media to address NZers' concerns about coronavirus as fourth case confirmed

The Prime Minister has shared information about how to protect yourself from the virus and what the Government is doing about it. Within hours of her post a fourth case was confirmed.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has begun posting regular updates on social media about coronovirus to help address New Zealanders' concerns and keep them informed.
She announced the move on social media on Thursday evening with an Instagram post that read, "I'm really mindful that people are keen to have as much information as possible about COVID-19, so I've pulled together answers to some of the questions I'm hearing most frequently."
The information she shared is as follows:
"If you're short on time, here are the top three things I wanted to share to help keep you and your family well:
1. COVID-19 is mostly spread through droplets in sneezes and coughs, so the best way to stop it spreading is by staying home when you're sick, sneezing and coughing into your elbow, and washing your hands with soap (and drying them well!)
2. Self-isolation is a really effective tool used by public health officials, and it's been wrking really well here in New Zealand.
3. This is a global issue, which is why we've been taking concrete measures, including border controls, to help keep New Zealanders safe."

How to prevent the spread of COVID-19

She then went into "the long form version".
"You will have heard that today there has been a further case of COVID-19 confirmed in New Zealand... Dealing with new cases isn't unexpected. It's something we have planned for, and we're continuing to act on the advice of medical experts and closely monitor what's happening overseas to keep New Zealanders safe…"
On how you can help prevent the spread of the virus, she wrote:
"Everyone has a role to play in stopping COVID-19 from spreading through simple hygienic precautions, things like washing your hands with soap, sneezing and coughing into your elbows, and staying at home if you're sick – the kids of things we do to prevent the spread of colds or flu…
"That takes me to the first common question I've seen – how does the virus spread? COVID-19 is transmitted from person to person through droplets from sneezes and coughs. These droplets are too large to stay in the air for long, which means they're only spread through sneezes and coughs, close personal contact, or by touching a surface with the droplets in it...
"This means it's really unlikely to get COVID-19 unless you've been in close contact with someone who has the virus. Close contact generally includes standing les than 1.5m away, face-to-face, for more than 15 minutes.
"The way COVID-19 spread is also why self-isolation is such an effective tool for stopping it. While the majority of people who have it will experience mild to moderate symptoms, it can make more vulnerable people with underlying health issues really unwell. Going into self-isolation ensures anyone who has COVID-19 doesn't get close enough to share these droplets with others."


"I've seen a few people here on Facebook asking about self-isolation, and so that's' the second thing I wanted to talk about.
"First up, we know that self-isolation works. We've used it succesfully here in New Zealand in post cases like swine flu, for example, and we've already had more than 8000 people go into voluntary self-isolation to prevent COVID-29 spreading.
"We've also taken measures to ensure everyone who has to self-isolate is supported and knows what they need to do. Health staff are stationed at the airport, and everyone arriving in New Zealand who has been in South Korea and northern Italy in the past 14 days is required to register, before self-isolating for 14 days.
"Healthline is there to support anyone who needs to self-isolate, and are calling those who have registered at the airport.
"They're also the first port of call for any queries you might have about things like what to do if you live with flatmates and how to get essential supplies like groceries. You can get in touch with Healthline on 0800 358 5453.

What the government is doing to keep New Zealanders safe

"Finally, I've read a couple of queries about he Government response so far, so I want to finish up with an overview of all the things our Government is doing to keep New Zealanders safe.
"Our pandemic plan has been in operation since early January, and we're continuing to act onexpert medical and scientific advice, and the latest information from overseas and here at home.
"We've put in place extra border controls, staffed up checks at airports, and implemented self-isolation procedures. We've reviewing our border restrictions constantly, taking into account the spread of the virus to other countries and advice from experts.
"As I talked about in yesterday's post, we're also responding to the economic impacts of COVID-19, supporting affected business and workers. We'll continue to monitor this closely going forward.
"This is a dynamic and global situation, and I understand this is a stressful time for many, but we have the information, workforce, and plan we need to carry us through, just as we have to date.
"Finally, if you do have any concerns, you can call Healthline for advice and information. The number is 0800 358 5453 (or +64 9 358 5453 if you're using an international SIMS)."

Fourth case confirmed in New Zealand

At the time of writing this the Ministry of Health confirmed a fourth case of coronovirus - the husband of a woman who had previously been confirmed.
The man, in his 30s, returned with his wife from a trip to Italy last week - they have children at two North Shore high schools - Westlake Boys High School and Westlake Girls High School, which have been alerted. The family is in isolation, and have been subject to social media bullying.
Westlake Girls has been inundated with phone calls and emails from concerned parents, who have asked for the identity of the student and why the school has not been shut down.
The most recent email from the school's principal Jane Stanley assures parents it is safe to send their child to school. She wrote:
"We have once again be [sic] assured by the Ministry of Health that there has been no exposure to COVID-19 at this school from this student or their parent. The student has not been infectious and we need to protect their privacy. For that reason, we will not be confirming the year level of the student. The student has not been to Italy and they have not had the virus – so parents do not need to worry about transmission in classes, on buses, on surfaces or at sports games.
"Other students do not need to stay away from school as the student concerned has not been infectious at school. The student is in isolation at home and will not be returning until the family is cleared," she wrote.
In a previous email Stanley wrote: "Both schools are taking advice from the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Health who assure us that the two students do not have any symptoms, are in self-isolation, and that there is no risk to students or staff at either school. Therefore, our expectation is that all students will be at school."
New Zealand confirmed its first coronavirus case last Friday.