Back to top anchor

Brought to you by Southern DHB and WellSouth primary health network

Open main menu Close main menu

COVID-19 Daily Media Update - Friday 20 March 2020

Issue date:
Content is brought to you by:

Situation Update

Southern DHB is alerting people in various locations that they may have come into contact with the Spanish tourist who tested positive for COVID-19 this week.

As part of its contact tracing process, Southern DHB is alerting people who may have been in locations where they may have come into contact with the individual. It is important for public health teams to notify the public about the movements of infectious cases to maintain awareness of possible transmission and ensure everyone monitors their own health.
 
The following locations relate to possible casual contacts by members of the public that can’t be identified through contact tracing. Casual contacts are people who may have come into contact with the individual, but for less than 15 minutes and/or at a distance of more than two metres.

The contact tracing team was unable to gather detailed information about the man’s activities in these locations, so is issuing general information and asking people to monitor their health.
 
The risk in these instances is considered to be low. Those who believe they may have come into contact with the case are advised to monitor their health and call Healthline on 0800 358 5453 if they develop symptoms such as a cough, fever, sore throat or difficulty breathing.

Location

Dates/time

 

Risk to public

Central Christchurch

13 March, 6-8pm
 

 

Casual contact – low risk

Dunedin Railway Station

16 March, 12-3pm

 

Casual contacts – low risk

Lumsden

17 March 6-7pm

 

Casual contact – low risk

 

 COVID-19 volunteer response
 

Southern DHB is delighted by the quick response by people wanting to volunteer to support our COVID-19 pandemic work.

A call for volunteers was posted on the Southern Health website this week and within 24 hours approximately 50 people had replied, many of whom had previous experience in the health sector.

Volunteers are asked to complete a short survey to register their interest.

DHB staff are currently working through the expressions of interest and sending out documents that will enable the volunteers to be brought on board, if needed.

The people who have responded as volunteers come from all over Southland, Central Otago and Dunedin.   They include nursing staff, allied health, student nurses, medical students and administrators.

Particularly sought after are volunteers who are Registered Nurses, with annual practicing certificates, or any health care volunteer with an annual practicing certificate.  A current Police check is also desirable.

 

Messages for the general public

We are receiving inquiries from some media outlets asking for advice around what members of the public should do if they become unwell.

A new government website has been created as a public-facing overview for issues and information related to COVID-19.  https://covid19.govt.nz

The Ministry of Health website is the key source of health information.  The Ministry continues to create and provide resources for both health professionals and the public. https://www.health.govt.nz/our-work/diseases-and-conditions/covid-19-novel-coronavirus

These two websites are reliable sources of information that media can use in their stories around COVID-19.

 

Southern DHB bed numbers
 
There has been media interest in the total number of hospital beds in Southern DHB.

Based on the current hospital configuration, as of today, bed numbers are as follows:

Southland Hospital = 157

Dunedin Hospital = 366

Lakes District Hospital = 14

Wakari Hospital = 85

Please note there is capacity to reconfigure and increase these beds if required.

 

Community Based Assessment Centre – Central Otago

Following the update yesterday about the CBACs in Dunedin and Invercargill, we have received inquiries about Central Otago.

General practices in the Central Otago/Lakes districts are doing a great job managing current demand.

Community Based Assessment Centres (CBACs) are set up when demand increases. As such, a CBAC will open in Queenstown mid-next week. There are no current plans for a CBAC in another Central Otago/Lakes location at this stage.

Patients should continue to call Healthline on 0800 358 5453 in the first instance. Those with suspected COVID-19 symptoms will be directed to the CBAC.

CBACs do not accept walk-ins.

ENDS.