Southern aged care facilities under pressure as Covid hits residents, staff

by Kim Bowden - Jul 19, 2022

 Aged care facilities throughout the Southern region are under pressure as Covid-19 infections spread among residents and staff.

In its twice-weekly briefing to media of the Covid-19 situation in the region, Te Whatu Ora Southern says aged-care facilities have been experiencing significant challenges for a long period of time.

A total of 34 facilities have Covid-19 infections throughout the Southern district, with 32 having staff off sick because of the virus.

"Some aged residential care facilities have closed to visitors in the short term as a precaution to protect their vulnerable residents," the health authority says in today's statement.

"If you have a loved one in an aged residential care facility and are unsure if you can visit them, please phone the facility in question.

"All staff at these facilities are putting the care and safety of their residents at the forefront of all that they do."

Surgical masks, hand washing, and physical distancing are required of anyone visiting an aged care facility, and anyone who is unwell should stay away, it says.

"We would ask that all people are kind and considerate when visiting these facilities. Staff are working above and beyond to provide the best care possible to all residents in extremely difficult circumstances."

 

Te Whatu Ora Southern is also reminding visitors to the South in the second week of the school holidays that they're not immune from getting sick needing to isolate.

"As case numbers throughout Aotearoa increase, so too does the instance of people testing positive for Covid-19 while they are away on holiday.

"The Southern district is seeing a rise in the demand for supported isolation facilities for tourists who test positive in our area."

But the facilities are not a resource for travellers that test positive while visiting our region, it says. 

“Travellers who test positive for Covid-19 while visiting the Southern district will be required to self-fund their seven-day isolation period,” medical officer of health Dr Susan Jack says.

“People who choose to travel must take responsibility for themselves and travel at their own risk.” 

Hospitalisation figures  

Current hospitalisations as at 9am, July 19, 2022   

Hospital  

Inpatient  

ICU/HDU  

Ventilated  

Total  

  

  

  

  

  

Dunedin  

22 

22 

Southland  

19 

19 

Gore 

Waitaki  

Lakes 

Dunstan  

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 (incidental COVID-19 infection).   

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

  • 917 new positive cases   
  • 5903 (not recovered from last 7 days)   

Current cases as of 11.59pm, July 18, 2022   

Territorial Authority  

New – Positive (PCR & RAT)  

Active Cases  

  

  

  

Central Otago  

64  

454  

Clutha  

52  

211  

Dunedin  

423  

2925  

Gore  

22 

110 

Invercargill  

124  

636 

Queenstown-Lakes  

111 

841  

Southland  

69  

377  

Waitaki  

52 

347 

Unknown  

<5  

<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:

  • Testing locations and hours of operation can be found on the WellSouth website.  
  • For help accessing Covid-19 testing in the Southern region and to find your nearest testing center please call the WellSouth call center on 0800 VIRUS19 (0800 847 8719).   
  • If you have any questions about Covid-19, self-isolation, or what you need to do if you test positive, please call Healthline on 0800 358 5453.  
  • If you are self-isolating and require welfare support such as help getting groceries, please call 0800 512 337 Monday-Friday 8am-6pm and Saturday/Sunday/Public Holidays 8am-1pm.  
  •  If you have concerns about COVID-19 symptoms, please call your general practice or Healthline on 0800 358 5453 at any time. If you are very unwell or having breathing difficulties, please call 111 immediately.  

 

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