Southern emergency departments remain under pressure

by Kim Bowden - May 02, 2022

Local health officials are asking people with Covid-19 not to turn up at hospital emergency departments as hospitals continue to come under pressure from the Omicron outbreak.

In its daily media update on the outbreak, the Southern District Health Board says there are 26 people in hospital with the virus in the Southern region.

It's a drop from the SDHB's last update on Friday, when it reported 39 people in hospital with the virus across Dunedin, Invercargill, Queenstown and Clyde.

However, the numbers of Covid-19 positive patients at local hospitals is still stretching health services, particularly emergency departments, it says.

"Please keep emergency departments for emergencies.

"If you or a member of your household have Covid-19, please do not show up at the hospital emergency department without contacting them prior to your arrival.

"The best way you can support healthcare workers and hospital emergency departments is to get your Covid-19 booster dose if you are eligible.

Across the region, the SDHB is reporting 784 new positive cases, bringing the total number of active cases in the last seven days to 6,287.

In Queenstown Lakes, there are 101 new cases; in Central Otago, 52.

Current hospitalisations as at 8am, May 2, 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.   

Current cases as of 11.59pm, May 1, 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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