SDHB expects hospital admissions to climb

by Kim Bowden - Mar 30, 2022

Southern health authorities are bracing for hospital admissions to climb as the Covid-19 outbreak reaches the older and more vulnerable in the region.

In a statement today, the Southern District Health Board says the drop in Covid-19 case numbers over the weekend was expected, and not a reflection of the virus having peaked in the south.

“Over weekends the Southern district regularly sees a dip in Covid-19 case numbers.

“For the last two days our case numbers have risen and sat at around 1400.

“We will know we have passed our Covid-19 case peak when we have a consistent fall in numbers over several days.

“In the coming weeks we expect to see our Covid-19 related hospital admissions climb as the outbreak reaches the older and more vulnerable members of our community.”

Today, the SDHB is reporting 1,386 new positive cases, 189 or which are in Queenstown-Lakes, and 71 in Central Otago. 

There are 26 people in hospital with the virus - two of them in intensive care.

It’s advising the public now is not the time to get complacent regarding public health measures.  

“It is more important than ever to continue to wear a mask in public, follow good hand hygiene, practice physical distancing and, if feeling sick, get tested and isolate at home until you receive a negative test result.” 

“Communities throughout the Southern district have pulled together in our collective effort to protect our families, communities and loved ones from Covid-19.

“We still have vulnerable people in our communities who could suffer adverse effects because of Covid-19 infection.”

Medical Officer of Health Dr Susan Jack is encouraging the one in five eligible for a vaccination booster who have not yet received it to do so.

“For many people, an Omicron infection will be mild, but the reason for a mild illness is because of having received a booster vaccine.”

Having a booster shot also decreases a person’s likelihood of ending up in hospital because of Covid-19 infection, she says.

While more than 97 percent of those eligible in the south have received a double dose of the Covid-19 vaccination, only 75 percent of those eligible for their booster dose have received it.  

“If you received your second dose of the Covid-19 vaccination more than three months ago, and are over the age of 18, you are eligible to get your booster dose.

“Do not delay, get it today.”

Yesterday, the SDHB reminded visitors to the district to prepare to self-fund their seven-day self-isolation, if they test positive for the virus during their holidays.

Current hospitalisations as at 8am, March 30, 2022 (Source SDHB) 

Hospital 

Inpatient 

ICU/HDU 

Ventilated 

Total 

 

 

 

 

 

Dunedin 

14 

16 

Southland 

10 

10 

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. 

Current cases as of 11.59pm, March 29, 2022 (Source SDHB) 

Territorial Authority 

New – Positive (PCR & RAT) 

Active Cases 

 

 

 

Central Otago 

71 

464 

Clutha 

55 

455 

Dunedin 

413 

2374 

Gore 

60 

405 

Invercargill 

360 

1897 

Queenstown-Lakes 

189 

1334 

Southland 

157 

897 

Waitaki 

80 

505 

Unknown 

<5 

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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