Current modelling indicates March will be the peak month for Covid in HB, with nearly 6,000 cases. Two-thirds of those are expected from the unvaccinated population.
Here’s the official projection of Covid’s expected reach as the Omicron variant reaches Hawke’s Bay, as communicated in a January 26 internal memo from HBDHB chief executive Keriana Brooking:
“Hawke’s Bay DHB, like all DHBs, has been provided modelling data from TAS on what we can expect to see from an Omicron outbreak. Most DHBs are doing further modelling work and we are working in partnership with Waikato University to further develop this and expect to be in a position to update or confirm the data below by the end of this week. [BayBuzz: No later update as we write.]
“The modelling we have received from TAS shows we can expect 18,668 COVID cases for Hawke’s Bay over the next 12 months, with peak cases of 5,993 in March (1,922 from vaccinated population and 4,071 unvaccinated population). The modelling suggests Māori will be affected by Omicron substantially more than Pacific or other ethnicities. It also forecasts peak hospitalisations of 177 in March, with three additional ICU cases, rising to five ICU cases in April.”
The stresses to watch for:
- HB’s dedicated health care team — overworked even when healthy, but many health workers, even with universal vaccination, will get sick like others in the community adding strain to the system.
- Small businesses — even with most identified cases addressed by home care, the multiplying effect of their household members and other close contacts also having to isolate will begin to ripple out and compound. Many smaller businesses won’t have the staff ‘redundancy’ to remain open.