Covid 19 Delta outbreak: No new cases as Hawke's Bay hits first dose vaccine milestone

Covid 19 Delta outbreak: No new cases as Hawke's Bay hits first dose vaccine milestone

Hawke’s Bay has hit an important Covid-19 vaccine milestone – more than 90 per cent of the eligible population have now received their first vaccine.

There were also no new cases in the region announced on Monday.

It comes as the country prepares to move to the traffic light system later this week.

But a Hastings community case announced on Sunday has a prominent epidemiologist suggesting the region should go to red rather than orange level settings.

Epidemiologist Professor Michael Baker says any regions that have established Covid-19 transmission should be placed in ‘red’ in the traffic light system, alongside Auckland.

Hawke’s Bay hit the 90 per cent milestone on Saturday. A total of 2043 vaccinations were administered over the weekend – of those, 733 were first doses and the remaining 1310 were second doses, and now sits at 91 per cent with 132,229 first doses.

Covid 19 Delta outbreak: No new cases as Hawke's Bay hits first dose vaccine milestone

A new Hastings case announced on Sunday was picked up through routine testing after the person visited the Hawke's Bay Hospital emergency department after feeling unwell. Photo / NZME

Hawke’s Bay District Health Board is now also at 82 per cent fully vaccinated though a further 12,175 second doses are needed to get the region to be 90 per cent fully vaccinated.

Hastings currently has the highest percentage rate with 91 per cent of its population (64,308) having received their first dose with Napier at 90 per cent (49,872) and Central Hawke’s Bay at 89 per cent (11,263).

Wairoa is currently at 82 per cent (5757).

There were no news cases announced in the region on Monday after a Hastings case announced over the weekend was picked up through routine testing after the person visited the Hawke’s Bay Hospital emergency department after feeling unwell.

No ED staff were stood down as a result, as all were wearing the appropriate protective PPE and some patients in the waiting room at the time, considered to have a “low exposure risk” were contacted directly by the DHB with further advice and asked to self-monitor for symptoms.

The case has been linked to an Auckland case and is now isolating in a community isolation facility – two close contacts in the case’s household have returned negative tests.

Other close contacts identified to date have also been contacted and are now isolating at home.

Four locations of interest have so far been identified:

“Lick This” Ice Cream Parlour, Napier: Sunday, November 21, 2pm-3pm.

Pak’nSave Napier: Thursday, November 25, 8.30pm-10pm.

Unichem Stortford Lodge Pharmacy, Hastings: Saturday, November 27, 4.15pm-5.15pm.

Flex Fitness 24 Hour Gym Hastings Tuesday, November 23, 6pm – 7.30pm.

Covid 19 Delta outbreak: No new cases as Hawke's Bay hits first dose vaccine milestone

Unichem Stortford Lodge Pharmacy in Hastings has been identified as a location of interest visited by the Hastings Covid-19 case. Photo / NZME

Region reaches 90 per cent mark

HBDHB’s Covid-19 senior responsible officer Chris McKenna said the region’s primary care providers, councils, community leaders, iwi and Pasifika communities along with all the vaccination teams had worked really hard to tick this off.

She said everybody needed to be congratulated and passed on her thanks to the staff of the vaccination clinics, run by the various providers.

“These people have worked huge hours.

“A number of staff have come out of retirement to help deliver this vaccine rollout, which is the largest and most complex health programme in New Zealand’s history.”

However, the work continued, with mobile vans introduced to help reach some of the region’s remotest areas.

“With Covid-19 now circulating, across the motu, we are working hard to reach people who are hesitant, isolated or simply haven’t yet got around to it.

“We know people are busy at this time of year, but by protecting yourself and those you love you can take away a large chunk of the worry by getting vaccinated,” she said.

She said the region remained on track to hit the 90 per cent doubled-vaxxed milestone by the end of the year if everyone who is due for their second dose gets vaccinated on time

The alternative Astra Zeneca vaccine was now available to anyone over 18 at the Hastings Racecourse, The Taradale Club and Waipawa Rugby Club clinics by booking through bookmyvaccine.nz

Booster shots are now also available to anyone who had their second dose six months ago.

People just need to turn-up to any of the walk-in clinics with their vaccination information for a booster.

Meanwhile about a dozen protesters, many of them former healthcare workers, stood outside Hawke’s Bay Hospital on Monday morning over the Covid-19 vaccine mandate which saw them lose their jobs.

It follows protests in Hastings and Napier ahead of the order requiring healthcare workers to be vaccinated against Covid-19 coming into effect earlier this month on November 16.

Covid 19 Delta outbreak: No new cases as Hawke's Bay hits first dose vaccine milestone

About a dozen protesters, many of them former healthcare workers, were stood outside Hawke's Bay Hospital on Monday morning over the Covid-19 vaccine mandate. Photo / Warren Buckland

Hawke’s Bay locals urged to get tested

People were being urged to be tested for Covid-19 following news of the case.

Testing locations in Hawke’s Bay include:

• Pukemokimoki Marae drive through: 10am-3pm.
• Flaxmere Village Green drive through, behind the supermarket: 10am-3pm.

Testing by appointment:

• The Doctors Napier: Saturday and Sunday (call 0800 TEST19).
• Hastings Health Centre: Saturday (call 06 281 2644).
• Queen Street Practice, Wairoa: Saturday and Sunday (call 06 838 8333).

The new Hastings case comes one week after another case was announced to be isolating in Napier’s Kennedy Park Resort after travelling down from Auckland.

The permitted traveller had returned a positive result for the virus from tests taken on November 14 before he arrived in Hawke’s Bay that same day.

He was notified of the result on November 17, at which point he was in Hawke’s Bay though health authorities still believed him to be in Auckland.

It was only brought to the DHB’s attention after it was raised with them by a family member when he was moved into isolation.

He has now recovered. Close contacts had so far returned negative results.

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