23 new COVID cases in Hawke’s Bay

Hawke’s Bay DHB has 23 cases of COVID-19 to report today, including positive cases confirmed at a number of schools or early childhood centres in recent days.

Medical Officer of Health Dr Rachel Eyre said Hawke’s Bay DHB’s public health unit was working closely with the Ministry of Education and the schools/ centres providing support.

“All schools and early childhood centres affected have processes in place to communicate directly with their school communities. All children and staff deemed close contacts have been contacted and are following public health advice to isolate and get tested.

“However, in many instances the risk of exposure in schools has been significantly reduced due to Omicron Response Phase 2 rules whereby all students in Year 4 and upwards must wear masks inside classrooms. 

“This, including many other COVID safety precautions in place at schools, means the risk of possible exposure is far less likely.”

Dr Eyre said any updates regarding schools/centres affected with positive cases would be supported by the Ministry of Education. Schools/centres would also be communicating regularly with their school communities/enrolled caregivers.

Dr Eyre said testing centres continued to be busy and she urged that only people who had been notified and asked to be tested, or those who had cold or flu like symptoms, to get tested.

“If you have no symptoms and you have not been identified as a close contact and asked to isolate and get tested, then please do not join testing queues.

“It is very important we test those who need them, so that processing and results can flow.”

Dr Eyre said people who test positive are sent a text message that includes useful links to information and a form people need to fill out to help identify those that may need more support.

“However, anyone who tests positive to COVID-19 and experiences breathing difficulties or chest pain should call 111 immediately and let the operator know they had tested positive to COVID-19.” 

Getting vaccinated against COVID-19 remained the best defence from serious illness for both adults and children as those vaccinated are far less likely to fall seriously ill and less likely to transmit the virus to others.

“Vaccine clinics are open right across the rohe with loads of capacity.

“It’s great to see Wairoa’s eligible population today reaching 90% first dose vaccinated, with just 224 people remaining to achieve 90% second dose fully vaccinated.

“There continues to be good uptake of the paediatric dose for children aged 5 to 11 years with good information to help inform parents/caregivers at www.covid19.govt.nz.”

A full list of COVID-19 testing and vaccination sites in Hawke’s Bay can be found here.

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