Middlemore remains busy as the number of COVID-19 community cases starts to plateau, the number of COVID-19 hospital admissions remains relatively stable with 30 cases in Middlemore and a total of 83 COVID-19 hospital admissions across the Auckland region today at mid-afternoon.
There is pressure on the system with hospital admissions from other illnesses and traumas rising, as well as the continuation of COVID-19 related illnesses.
Many in our community have responded positively to health information and advice, and for that our clinicians and services are relieved and grateful. I do remain fearful for unvaccinated New Zealanders and encourage everyone to help whaanau, friends and neighbours get fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
We’re continuing to develop and refine how we care for COVID-19 cases in the community. Working in partnerships with our Maaori and Pacific providers, our focus is to ensure people receive the right level of care at the right time. A few patients will need to be admitted to hospital, others might be under the care of our COVID-19 Hospital in the Home clinical team, but most people can safely isolate at home. Our priority is to ensure all those isolating at home receive the right level of clinical assessment, care and support.
Community cases of COVID-19 will remain steady for some time, and we are emphasising the need to be prepared and have a plan in place if COVID-19 finds you. Vaccination is the key to preventing serious illness but many of our community are likely to contract the virus and need time off work or school.
Please have a plan about what you will do if you or your whaanau get COVID-19. Think about who your support people will be, who you will call for help and support, how you will get food delivered to your home, and have some pain relief ready in case you need it.
With the continued spread of Delta and the recent discovery of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 we must all remain diligent and follow the Ministry of Health advice and the new protection framework. Most importantly please get fully vaccinated to help prevent the spread and the risk of serious COVID-19 related illnesses.
And it’s a good time to check your tamariki’s immunisations records and make appointments to catch up on other vaccinations that might have been missed. If the lockdown has disrupted any routine health checks, now is the time to get back on track with preventative health care and screening appointments.
With the new protection framework coming into play tomorrow we’ll be reconnecting more with each other which will be a welcome for many after such a busy and challenging year.
Being aware of stress and pressure at home or work is very important at any time of year, but particularly now as the end of year pressures can become even greater. Please stay kind to each other, play safe and stay safe this festive season.
Manaaki to hauora. Keep safe and well.
Dr Pete Watson, Deputy Chief Executive and Chief Medical Officer
Counties Manukau Health