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More scanning and 'digital high-fives' and less people in ED - health officials

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Health officials say they want to see more people using the NZ COVID Tracer app with the Bluetooth function enabled and less people in the emergency department ahead of the Six60 concert, which is expected to attract about 20,000.

Medical Officer of Health Dr Nick Jones said with the number of daily scans down significantly and a big weekend in Hawke’s Bay, visitors and locals must do their bit to keep Hawke’s Bay COVID free.

"We are fortunate that we can come together in large groups and enjoy events like this, unlike most other parts of the world. We all need to follow the rule for keeping summer unstoppable though and, along with staying away from events if you have any COVID symptoms, making full use of the COVID app is part of the deal."

Dr Jones said it’s vital people enable the app’s Bluetooth feature if this is possible on their phone.

"While scanning creates a diary record of where you have been, the Bluetooth tracing function is like your phone giving a digital high-five to other nearby phones using the app.

"At a big event this is really important. If a person attending the show turns out to have had COVID at the time most people attending will have had no contact with the case. The app will help those who may be a close contact by sending a message early on and telling them what to do. The record of proximity to another phone (digital high five) is stored on the phone and no information about where you have been, or when, can be seen by anyone else."

He said people should also wash their hands and check whether they need to get a COVID test if they have any symptoms.

"If you’re from out of town and need a test, please don’t wait until you get home," Dr Jones said.

With the warm weather set to continue, the Bridge Pa Wine Festival also on and a big concert line up, Mr Jones reminded people to drink enough water to stay hydrated and to cover up in the sun.

"Take it easy and remember the golden rule; drink one glass of water for every alcoholic beverage."

He also urged people to choose the right care if they are unwell or injured and leave ED to focus on emergencies only with Hawke’s Bay Hospital and ED currently very busy.

Hawke’s Bay COVID-19 testing centres

Contact your GP, Healthline or one of Hawkes Bay’s COVID-19 testing centres to get a test:

- Napier: 06 650 4000, open 9am-5pm Mon-Sun.

- Hastings: 06 281 2644, open 8am-8pm Mon-Sun.

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- Wairoa: 06 838 8333, open 8.30am-5pm Mon-Fri.

- Central Hawke’s Bay need to be referred from their doctor or Healthline, which offers dedicated COVID-19 health advice and information: 0800 358 5453

If you need urgent care in Hastings or Napier, here’s where you can go

These services are available for residents and visitors when you require urgent medical care that is not critical or life threatening, and your family doctor or GP is out of town, or closed:

- Hastings Health Centre: 06 873 8999, open 7 days 8am-8pm.

- City Medical Napier: 06 835 4999, open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

- Tukituki Medical (Central Hawke’s Bay): after hours phone 06 858 9090.

- Wairoa Queen Street Practice: after 5pm phone Wairoa Hospital’s acute ward 06 838 7099

- Or call Healthline 0800 611 116 for free 24-hour advice from a trained registered nurse.

If someone is seriously ill or injured and their life is at risk phone 111 for an ambulance. ED is for patients with sudden and acute illness or severe trauma, such as suspected heart attack, suspected stroke, serious head injury or serious accident.

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