In Counties Manukau we are experiencing a welcome decrease in the number of daily COVID-19 cases and the number of people requiring hospital level care. At the peak of the Omicron surge in our region there were days when nearly 40% of people coming to our Emergency Department tested positive with COVID-19. That number has now declined to around 10% which is another welcome indicator of a sustained decline in the number of COVID-19 cases in our community.
The pressure on our health system remains high however we are starting to resume some non-time critical planned care that was deferred. Working across the region we are collaborating with our DHB counterparts to address the challenges of restoring planned care capacity.
Some people are experiencing lingering COVID-19 symptoms and longer recovery times than most so please return to normal activity at a pace that is manageable for you and contact your health professional for advice on how to treat lingering symptoms.
While changes to the Government COVID-19 Response are being activated it is important we continue to follow hygiene and selfcare habits we have become use to such as frequent handwashing, staying home from work or school when unwell, wearing a mask, and seeking the right medical advice from your Doctor, Medical Centre or Healthline if you or your whaanau symptoms change.
Working with the Ministry of Health we will be supporting the programme for immunisation against Influenza. We will be providing more detail on selfcare as winter approaches as after two consecutive flu seasons with our borders closed, we are expecting more people to become unwell with influenza as the colder weather settles in Aotearoa.
The last two years have been challenging and for many maintaining a sense of wellbeing has not been easy. It is normal to feel anxious or stressed in times of difficulty so please seek help if you feel overwhelmed. Many experts recommend connecting with nature such as walk in a public park can help lift our mood. They also say it is important do what we can to enjoy what we do, and connecting with family, friends, colleagues and neighbours is important for our overall sense of wellbeing. The Ministry of Health Unite against COVID website has useful resources on how to look after your mental wellbeing. Please do not be afraid to seek help and support.
We continue to be concerned that 1 in 10 of children under the age of five years are behind on their childhood immunisation and are at risk of becoming unwell with diseases like measles that are preventable. Please check your records or contact your Doctor or Medical Centre and make sure your Tamariki are up to date on all their childhood immunisations.
We appreciate the understanding of our patients and remain committed to the ongoing care of our community.
Kia noho haumaru. Keep safe
Dr Andrew Connolly
Chief Medical Officer