Aucklanders are grateful for the easing of COVID-19 restrictions after three long months of lockdown. The Government is signally an end to lockdowns and the response to the vaccination call-out is a major contributor as we inch closer to an end to Auckland’s lockdown. This is significant for our community and the clinical teams here at Counties Manukau Health are relieved to see the vaccination rates continue to rise.
The drive for a fully vaccinated population must continue and now is not the time to ease up.
Today we have 25 patients in Middlemore with COVID related illnesses, and across the Auckland region there are 70 Hospital admissions at 10am today. As Public Health restrictions ease there will be more hospitalisations of people with COVID related illnesses, and patients who are not vaccinated could get seriously ill with life threatening complications.
Vaccination is making the difference. In the last few weeks fewer COVID patients are becoming critically unwell and there have been lower than expected numbers of COVID patients admitted to our Intensive Care Unit (ICU).
The increase in COVID cases in our community is challenging and will continue to put pressure on our health system. We are prepared and we constantly adjust our response to keep people safe and well. I’m incredible proud and thankful to our workforce of over 8,500 Aucklanders delivering care and support every day to our community.
The reality is daily hospital admissions will continue to rise in Auckland and most likely peak at the end of this month. Hopefully we will start to see numbers declining as we get closer to Christmas. Summer weather and high vaccination rates will contribute to what we hope will be a drop in COVID related hospitalisations from mid-December.
It is important that we all learn to live with COVID. As our freedoms to socialise, attend events and live a more normal life return we encourage people to ensure we all continue to help stop the spread of COVID. Please keep following the health advice and wear your mask, wash hands regularly, maintain social distancing and stay home if you are not well.
It is key that everyone has a plan in place if they were to become unwell. We’ve got our hospital plan and people should have their own personal plans if they need to stay home and know who to call for support. We want people to think about how they will look after themselves, who they will call for help, and how they will get groceries and other supplies if they are unwell and recovering from COVID at home. Please call Healthline, contact your GP or local medical centre, and call 111 if you are very unwell.
The hospitals are busy, but they are safe. It is important to come to hospital if you need urgent care for any urgent life-threatening condition.
Most of all, please get fully vaccinated. We are concerned for the safety and wellbeing of people who are not vaccinated. The road out of this pandemic is vaccination, and as Chief Medical Officer for Counties Manukau community I personally do fear for the safety of unvaccinated people. Please, talk to the right people about your concerns and get vaccinated.
Manaaki to hauora. Keep safe and well
Dr Pete Watson, Deputy Chief Executive and Chief Medical Officer
Counties Manukau Health