Covid-19 sticking, flu starting this winter: SDHB

by Kim Bowden - May 10, 2022

Local health officials are warning Southerners Covid-19 is here to stay, as the winter flu also starts to take hold after several years respite.

In it's daily briefing to media, the Southern District Health Board says the region has entered the "long-tail" of the Covid-19 outbreak, as the winter months set in.

“As a community we need to accept that Covid-19 is with us for now, and make choices accordingly,” SDHB Covid-19 response lead Dr Hywel Lloyd says.

“We need to all assume that when we are out in the community there is a very real risk that we will come in contact with the Covid-19 virus."

The statement went on to say this knowledge can cause anxiety for many people, especially those who are vulnerable to severe Covid-19 symptoms.

"The best way we can all protect ourselves and others, is to follow the simple actions that we have been talking about for a long time now: wear a mask when out in public and in social settings, practise good hand hygiene and physical distancing where appropriate and get your Covid-19 booster shot," it says.

"Doing these things will decrease your likelihood of infection and severe Covid-19 symptoms if you do catch it.” 

With the onset of winter, the South is also seeing an increase in influenza infection, with numbers arriving at emergency departments because of flu already increasing.  

SDHB medical officer of health Susan Jack says the community's seen an absence of flu infections for the last few years.

“New Zealand's borders have opened, and while we welcome visitors, we are also now seeing flu strains circulating in our communities.

"If you are eligible for a free flu vaccination, we would highly recommend that you go and get it now.

"A flu vaccination will reduce your risk of severe flu symptoms, reduce the likelihood that you will require hospital level care, and decrease the likelihood that you will pass the influenza virus onto others.”  

Flu vaccination is free for anyone over the age of 65, Māori and Pacific people over the age of 55, pregnant people, and anyone with underlying health conditions.

Many workplaces also offer free flu vaccination for staff, the district health board says. 

Yesterday, the health board announced from next week its daily Covid-19 updates will be pared back to twice-weekly communications.


Current hospitalisations as at 8am, May 10, 2022 (Source SDHB) 

















Please note that hospitalisation data does not differentiate between patients admitted because of Covid-19 infection versus those admitted for a separate reason who happen to also have Covid-19. Hospital numbers reported by the Southern DHB include those in mental health wards.   

The Ministry of Health total figures for Southern for the previous 24 hours are: 

  • 889 new positive cases  
  • 5620 (not recovered from last 7 days)  

Current cases as of 11.59pm, May 9, 2022 (Source SDHB) 

Territorial Authority 

New – Positive (PCR & RAT) 

Active Cases 




Central Otago 


























Please note, the Ministry of Health’s daily reported cases may differ slightly from those reported at a DHB or local public health unit level. This is because of different reporting cut off times and the assignment of cases between regions, for example when a case is tested outside their usual region of residence. Total numbers will always be the formal daily case tally as reported to the WHO. Due to the increased use of RATs and system lag issues there may be a discrepancy in the number of total active cases from the territorial authority breakdown. A decision has been made nationally that areas with less than 5 new cases per 24-hour period will be reported as “<5”. All territorial authorities with less than 100 cases will have their case numbers rounded to the nearest 5. We are unable to supply further information. Please contact the Ministry of Health directly for more information about these decisions.  

Covid-19 in the South - What you need to know:

  • Please only get tested if you have symptoms or are a household contact of a confirmed case.
  • Testing locations can be found on the WellSouth website.
  • If you test positive on a RAT test you do not need to have that confirmed by PCR – you are a case. Please update your My Covid Record with your result. Call 0800 222 478, option 3, if you need any support to do this.
  • If you receive a text notification that you are positive, please do the online survey in the link you receive in the text message as soon as possible. This will ensure you can receive the appropriate care and support when you need it. Please be aware that, after filling in your My Covid Record with your positive RAT result, there can be a 24-hour delay before you receive this text message. 
  • Prepare now to self-isolate if you or a family member or housemate tests positive.
  • If you are self-isolating and require welfare support such as help getting groceries, please call 0800 512 337.
  • If you have concerns about Covid-19 symptoms, call your general practice or Healthline on 0800 358 5453 at any time. If you are very unwell or having breathing difficulties, call 111 immediately.



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