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Covid case spike at the hospital

Covid-19 hospitalisations have escalated, with seven cases in Wairarapa Hospital yesterday.

Of those, six are aged over 65. None of the patients are in the high-dependency unit.

Since September 15, hospitalisations have ranged between zero and four per day, making yesterday’s rate the highest in three months.

Te Whatu Ora Wairarapa interim district director Dale Oliff said the hospital would review safety measures daily.

“Visitor restrictions will be considered alongside other escalation measures and only implemented when determined to be necessary.

“The hospital has a detailed and well-developed plan, and stocks for the escalation and management of covid-19 patients in the facility.”

Wairarapa had the third highest hospitalisations rate on Monday, with 14 per 100,000. Hawke’s Bay had the highest rate with 36 hospitalisations, [19.8 per 100,000], and Bay of Plenty had 48 hospitalisations [17.8 per 100,000].

Daily cases were also on the rise. There were 355 cases in Wairarapa last week, averaging 51 per day. The previous week there were 342 cases, average of 49 per day.

No further deaths with the virus were recorded in the region, total remains at 46.

Wairarapa-based epidemiologist Roger Morris said the biggest risk would be travellers bringing cases back to the region.

“There will be people who travel around over Christmas and New Year – especially to the big cities – and some of those will bring cases back.”

Otago University epidemiologist Michael Baker said models indicated the current covid wake would peak around Christmas time.

“We will see numbers climb till the end of the year.”

He said the rise was driven by reduced restrictions and waning immunity from the vaccine.

“It’s great to get out and about, back to our lives, but the more mixing we do, the more cases will rise.”

Baker said rising cases would be a risk for older relatives over Christmas.

“The risk of hospitalisations and mortality risk hugely rises in older people. When we reach 75 or over, the mortality risk rises quite rapidly. If you’re planning a trip to extended family and older relatives, that’s another reason to pay attention at social gatherings.”

Nationally there were 42,740 new cases last week, 12,809 were reinfections. There were 581 in hospital with 15 in intensive care, and 31 deaths attributed to the virus.

Helen Holt
Helen Holt
Helen Holt is a reporter at the Wairarapa Times-Age and enjoys reporting on a variety of topics, regularly covering Wairarapa events, tourism, local businesses, and the occasional health story.

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