Hawke’s Bay’s nine-day ‘zero new cases’ streak was broken by a single case on Tuesday (the partner of a confirmed case, in iso already, so no contact tracing required), and the signs remain positive as we count down to Level 3. We’ve had record numbers of testing in the Bay, with 777 tests undertaken since Monday, while national testing numbers have doubled with 6,961 tests yesterday yielding just 5 new cases. But it’s still not enough for certainty going forward and the DHB and Health Hawke’s Bay (representing primary healthcare providers), have agreed on an additional testing plan: 1) to make testing more accessible to rural folk; 2) to up testing of highly exposed and unwell workers; 3) and to proactively test all contacts of (new) confirmed cases.
Next Tuesday when businesses begin back in their reformed Covid-vigilent state, Hawke’s Bay Hospital’s new ED centre for respiratory illnesses will be up and running. The prefabricated building has been installed outside the ED entrance and will enable the safe assessment of potential Covid patients, who will be kept entirely separate from all other patients. You can watch an interview with ED consultant Andrew Germann here and take a virtual peek inside.
Next Tuesday too, teachers will be preparing for the return of some pupils alongside continuing their online lessons, although indications from families around the country suggest the numbers will be low.
There’s been some concern about the safety of kids going back, especially with early childhood centres, but recent studies looking at data from the US, UK and other countries, including China, show children under the age of 15 rarely become infected with Covid-19, let alone suffer serious effects, and most intriguing (and reassuring) of all, are hardly ever vectors of the disease. Siouxsie Wiles wrote an article about it this week, looking too at how NZ’s data compares – it’s worth reading.
Stay well, be sensible, and whatever you do, don’t try Trump’s latest proposed Covid cure: injecting disinfectant.
Hawke’s Bay Covid-19 Case Numbers
|Number of tests in HB|| 3,839
(as of 23 Apr)
|24 April||New Zealand||Global|
(1 in ICU)
Source: Ministry of Health, Hawke’s Bay DHB, and John Hopkins University.