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Te Whatu Ora Southern COVID-19 Update 19 July 2022

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Key Messages  

  • You can be infected with COVID-19 more than once. Many people throughout Southern and Aotearoa are now discovering this. Please be vigilant when out in the community and wear a mask, practise good hand hygiene and physical distancing where appropriate.   
     

  • It is not too late to get your COVID-19 booster. Apart from mask wearing, a COVID-19 booster dose is your best form of defence against severe COVID-19 infection. It takes about two weeks after vaccination for the body to build full protection against COVID-19, so the time to act is now.  
     

  • It is now more important than ever to wear a mask when out in public. Wearing a mask is the easiest way you can protect yourself, your whānau, and the vulnerable members of your community from getting COVID-19.  

Aged Residential Care in Southern 

Aged care facilities have been experiencing significant challenges for a long period of time. As of 3pm Monday 18 July 22 aged residential care facilities throughout the Southern district have residents positive for COVID-19 and 32 have staff off sick because of COVID-19 infection. A total of 34 facilities have COVID-19 infections throughout the Southern district.  

Some aged residential care facilities have closed to visitors in the short term as a precaution to protect their vulnerable residents. 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. They will be more than happy to speak to you and advise you of any safety measures they have put in place. 

People who are able to visit loved ones at an aged residential care facility are likely to find the following precautions in place: 

  • Strict enforcement of surgical-grade mask wearing at all times 

  • Strict enforcement of hand hygiene measures 

  • Physical distancing being observed 

Individual care facilities may have further visiting rules in place. Please check with the facility before visiting. 

People wanting to visit loved ones are also asked not to do so if they are feeling unwell, have cold or flu-like symptoms, are household or close contacts of a positive case, or have tested positive themselves and are still in their isolation period. 

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.  

All aged residential care facilities who have staff and/or residents affected by COVID-19 have contacted family, whānau and loved ones of their respective residents to inform them of what is happening in their facilities. 

The Te Whatu Ora Southern and Public Health South continue to support aged residential care facilities throughout the Southern district. 

  

 Supported Isolation Quarantine (SIQ) facilities in the Southern district  

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 (SIQ) facilities for tourists who test positive in our area.   

SIQ is a limited resource that is designed to provide members of our community who test positive for COVID-19 and meet other criteria, a safe place to isolate if they are unable to do so at their normal place of residence. SIQ is not a resource for travellers who test positive for COVID-19 while visiting our region.   

“Travellers who test positive for COVID-19 while visiting the Southern district will be required to self-fund their 7-day isolation period,” says Dr Susan Jack, Medical Officer of Health. “People who choose to travel must take responsibility for themselves and travel at their own risk.” 

It is highly recommended that anyone who chooses to travel should budget for a potential 7-day isolation period or take out travel insurance that covers COVID-19. 

Hospitalisation figures  

Current hospitalisations as at 9am 19 July 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 18 July 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.   

Testing locations and hours of operation can be found on the WellSouth website.   

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.  

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 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.