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Choose well for health care this Easter - Hawke's Bay DHB

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Hawke’s Bay health officials are reminding people to choose well for health care this Easter holiday period, make sure prescriptions are up-to-date and be COVID responsible by staying vigilant and sticking to the basics.

Medical Officer of Health Dr Nick Jones said while COVID community cases were decreasing, the virus was still circulating in the community with 355 new cases reported in Hawke’s Bay and 12 people in the hospital with the virus today.

"We are still in the middle of a pandemic so it’s important that people with cold and flu-like symptoms, no matter how mild, as well as household contacts of a positive case stay home and take a COVID-19 test."

People can order RAT kits through the website https://requestrats.covid19.health.nz/, or collect them from one of the drive-in testing centres. The opening hours for these are updated on Hawke’s Bay DHB’s Facebook page.

"Please remember to record your test result at https://mycovidrecord.health.nz/ to ensure you are provided with the necessary health and welfare supports."

"With Easter being an important time for faith-based gatherings it is also important that people attending services follow COVID rules. Even with changes to the orange setting, it is encouraged to wear masks indoors as it will help to reduce risks and further spread of the virus."

Dr Jones said vaccination remained the best defence against serious illness for both adults and children.

"People can still get vaccinated against COVID-19 if they’ve previously tested positive, however it’s recommended they wait three months before getting a COVID-19 vaccination.

"It is unlikely you will be re-infected during the three months and the vaccine will be more effective once the body’s immune response recovers from its reaction to the infection," Dr Jones said.

"The three month delay after infection applies to first, second, booster and child vaccination doses."

People can book a COVID-19 vaccination at www.hbcovidvaccine.nz.

Hawke’s Bay District Health Board Chief Medical and Dental Officer Dr Robin Whyman said Hawke’s Bay Hospital and health providers remained busy and if it was not an emergency, calling Healthline on 0800 611 116 or your GP was the best option for referral to an after-hours clinic if necessary.

"Seeking advice about your health care early can avoid situations becoming an emergency.

"We are asking people to please help us out and be sensible about their health care needs by choosing the right care, from the right place, at the right time.

"We strongly encourage people to use the hospital’s emergency department for emergencies only as priority will always be given to those with life-threatening conditions."

Dr Whyman said various 24/7 services for mental health and wellbeing support were also readily available for those who were struggling or needing support.

"Remember it’s okay to ask for help. Free help is available by texting 1737 anytime of the day or night. You can also call Lifeline on 0800 543 354 or text HELP to 4357. The DHB’s Emergency Mental Health service can also be contacted day or night on 0800 112 334."

After hours information, as well as a list of pharmacies and clinics that will be open during the Easter holiday period can be found on the Our Health website at www.ourhealthhb.nz.

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