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Holding on to highest Covid testing rate in NZ

INCREASES in Covid-19 testing levels in Tairawhiti cannot be totally attributed to the impact of two women released from isolation in Auckland without being tested.

Hauora Tairawhiti spokeswoman Toni Lexmond says tests did increase after the women tested positive on June 16.

“The number of tests processed increased after June 16 from 20 to 40 tests a day on previous weekdays to 70 on Thursday, Friday and Monday (June 18, 19 and 22).”

The data does not say where the people were swabbed.

“We expected an increase in testing from more respiratory infections following the end of lockdown, so we can’t attribute all of the increase to publicity about the new cases.”

Tairawhiti still has the highest

Covid-19 testing rate in the country.

According to Ministry of Health figures, for the period January 22 to June 21, the Tairawhiti testing rate was 81 tests for every 1000 people. Counties Manukau followed on 75 while Waikato was on 70.

Tairawhiti also had the highest testing rate for Maori.

Hauora Tairawhiti medical officer of health Dr Osman David Mansoor said the risk from Covid-19 was not over.

“We need to remain vigilant with hygiene habits, including washing your hands and coughing or sneezing into your elbow.

“Hygiene will prevent the virus establishing itself.

“It will reduce all other respiratory infections, which are now increasing nationally and in Tairawhiti.

“At the moment, unless you have been exposed to a traveller you are not likely to be infected.

“But influenza and other respiratory infections can also cause serious and fatal infections.”

Hauora Tairawhiti liaison GP Dr Anna Meuli said people who had symptoms such as a runny nose, cough, sore throat, breathlessness or fever were still advised to phone their GP practice if they were worried.

“Their GP will decide if they need to be seen or tested based on their individual risk.

“People with sore throats, in particular, still need to seek advice to ensure they are tested and treated to prevent rheumatic fever.

“People who are unwell should stay away from work, school and public places until they are well again.”

Those who ring their GP will be assessed over the phone.

They may be advised to make an appointment, or to stay at home, or be referred to a nurse testing service.

The testing service staff will ring the patient to give an appointment time and directions on how to get there. Patients without an appointment will not be seen.

The service operates Monday to Friday only. GPs will contact patients with their swab results usually within two to three days.

Current Gisborne Hospital visiting hours

Visiting is permitted between 2pm and 8pm daily on most wards.

More than one person can visit at a time, and supervised children are welcome.

There may be restrictions visiting critical care areas such as Intensive care and the Neonatal Unit due to capacity.

Staff would appreciate the public only visiting only between the above hours.

This helps staff give the best possible care and allows people in hospital get the rest they need.

People in hospital are vulnerable.

If feeling unwell, have a runny nose or cough, please don’t visit anyone in hospital.

Keep washing your hands and cough or sneeze into your elbow.