Being vaccinated and following the COVID-19 guidelines are key to keeping our community safe says Wairoa Mayor Craig Little.
“Vaccinating, testing, isolating, mask wearing, hand washing and staying home as much as possible will all go towards limiting the spread of COVID-19 and the Omicron variant. Thank you to those people who are being careful and remaining in isolation. It is your vigilance that is helping keep our community safe.”
Mr Little said it was disappointing to read recent media coverage around about what could happen if the COVID-19 virus rapidly spreads through Wairoa. “We already know we are vulnerable with limited hospital in-patient beds and no intensive care unit or ventilators. Being isolated and having limited resources is what we are used to. We need to stay resilient and make up for what we haven’t got by keeping our communities as safe as possible.”
Mr Little said it was also irresponsible of the media to fall back on Wairoa’s pandemic plan that was developed in November last year. “That was four months ago before Omicron was even in New Zealand, and our vaccination rates were a lot lower than they are now.
“Modelling in the pandemic plan was a snapshot at that time to help us plan as best as possible. It’s about planning for the worst result but working towards creating the best result. Nationwide, COVID planning and modelling has been all over the place because this is unchartered. No one knows what is going to happen, which is why we are all working hard to keep our people as safe as possible.
“What is happening in our town is no different to community transmission in any other place across the country. People just have to remember that Covid-19 is here, and we cannot be complacent.”
As at Monday, Wairoa had 283 positive COVID-19 cases as reported by the Hawke’s Bay District Health Board. That equates to around 3.26 % of our population using Statistics NZ data.
This figure is below the total Hawke’s Bay average positive COVID -19 figure of 4.25% and Tairawhiti figure of 8.3%.
“This demonstrates currently Wairoa is holding its own, we know there are challenges ahead of us and no one knows what the future will bring, but at the moment we are doing okay and need to keep this up.
“I urge anyone who hasn't been vaccinated to do so, most of the cases who I know personally are fully vaccinated people, and they have recovered pretty quickly.
“I have heard some wonderful stories about our community coming together to support whānau and friends who have been impacted by COVID and are, or have had to, isolate.
“Whānau and friends offering to do shopping, cooking meals and dropping them off, or just ringing and checking and seeing how each other is. This is what it means to be Wairoa - we come together as a community to support each other when we need to, and it makes me proud to be part of this community.
“I want to also acknowledge our social service agencies that are supporting our communities. In particular our rural hubs, our iwi partners, Kahungunu Executive and the vaccination team, our staff at MSD, Te Whare Maire o Tapuwae and many more.
“You see the best of who we are as a community when we pull together to support each other.”
As the COVID-19 Omicron variant moves throughout New Zealand it is important people follow the self-isolation rules
If you have COVID-19 symptoms such as a cough, sneezing and runny nose, fever, sore throat or shortness of breath you should isolate and arrange for a test.
Rapid Antigen Tests (RATS) can be ordered online at RequestRats.Covid19.health.nz and collected from the Queen Street Practice and the Wairoa Pharmacy. Unfortunately, while the pharmacy is a collection site and RATS tests have been ordered, the pharmacy has still not yet been supplied with any tests.
Alternatively phone the Queen Street Practice on 06 838 8333 and arrange for a family member or friend who does not have symptoms to collect the test.
Due to high demand for the RATS tests, the Queen Street Practice encourages people to only order a test if you are symptomatic and/or household contacts. Please note, the Queen Street Practice is not supplying RATS tests for staff surveillance testing.
For people carrying out a RATS test, the instructions are on the packet and results are visible within about 20 minutes from testing.
If you test positive, please phone the Queen Street Practice so your risk factors and symptoms can be managed by health professionals.
If you have symptoms and have no one to collect a test on your behalf, please phone the Queen Street Practice (06 838 8333) to make an appointment for the 1.30pm contactless collection clinic and drive to Gate 3, off Kitchener Street at the hospital site.
For those returning a positive result, you and everyone in your household will need to self-isolate.
If you test negative but have symptoms, stay home and test again 24 hours later. If you test negative again and still have symptoms contact a health professional for support.
If you are a close contact but not experiencing symptoms monitor yourself and limit your contact with other people.
While self-isolating, food and supplies must be contactless delivery. This can be arranged online or ask friends, whānau and neighbours to help.
You will need to tell people that you have COVID-19, and your household is isolating.
For most people, COVID-19 will be mild to moderate and able to be managed at home.
If your symptoms get worse or you need urgent medical care call the Queen Street Practice on 06 838 8333 or Healthline on 0800 3585453.
If your whānau need extra support while you are self-isolating Work and Income may be able to help with money for essential costs, supplies and support. For more information, please call the COVID Welfare line on 0800 512 337.
17 March 2022
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