The move to COVID-19 Protection Framework Red will result in little change to Ashburton District Council’s services as they operated under Orange, except for new number limits at the Tinwald Pool and parts of the Networks Center EA.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced on Sunday January 23 that all of New Zealand is turning red today due to the growing risk of Omicron spreading in the community.
Chief executive Hamish Riach said the council had prepared for how it would continue to provide services in a red frame and was well placed to continue to operate its facilities safely.
The red setting also allows businesses to remain open and domestic travel to continue, but includes mask-wearing and collection restrictions to help slow the spread of the virus and keep pressure on the healthcare system.
“In many ways, business is business as usual for the Council and, subject to My Vaccine Pass requirements, people are still welcome at our public facilities. Health measures, like physical distancing, will be in effect, and we already have My Vaccine Pass requirements at our Administration Building, Ashburton Library, Art Gallery and Museum, Mt Hutt Memorial Hall, The Ashburton Holiday Park in Tinwald and the EA Networks Centre.”
At the EA Network Center, enhanced cleaning and hygiene measures have been implemented, along with increased verification of My Vaccine passes for members and occasional customers. Masks are mandatory for all staff and customers in public areas, unless the person is undertaking an activity or in the pool.
The center pools are scheduled to reopen on Monday, January 31 after scheduled maintenance. Occasional swimming will not be available Monday to Friday from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. and Saturday from 9 to 11 a.m.
At all times, the pool area will have a capacity of 100 customers, including spectators, so a waiting system to use the pool can be put in place. Users can check the EA Networks Centre’s Facebook page or website to check pool space availability.
Swim lessons for term 1 resume on January 31st but there will be no fun swims before or after lessons. Whenever possible, only one parent or guardian should attend swimming lessons.
The opening hours of the Tinwald swimming pool will be reduced for the summer on January 31. Hours will be 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The Tinwald swimming pool now has a maximum capacity of 100 customers.
In the center gym, there has been a slight reduction in equipment due to the one-metre spacing now required under Red.
The stadium area is defined as a space and has a maximum capacity of 100 people, or 25 people per court.
Spectators are not encouraged and sporting codes have been asked to manage their capacity for the courts they rent.
Ashburton Library’s click and connect service is also available. Borrowers can request items by emailing email@example.com or calling (03) 308 7192 and arranging a contactless collection.
There are no changes to the City Council’s refuse and recycling service under Red, and the district’s resource recovery parks remain open. People don’t need a My Vaccine Pass to access it.
Mr. Riach said the council has a business continuity plan. “Like all large companies, we anticipate that up to 30% of our workforce will self-isolate because they have covid or are in close contact.
“We ensure that garbage and recycling are always collected, that there is drinking water and that our sewerage system remains operational. All of our key services will operate as normal.
He said people visiting Council facilities should use the NZ COVID tracer app to scan or manually log in and wear a mask. If you have symptoms of Covid-19, please get tested and stay home.