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Positive COVID-19 Case Under Investigation In Northland

Northland DHB has been notified that a person tested for COVID-19 at the Community Testing Centre in Whangarei on 4 October has returned a weak positive result which may turn out to be a false positive.

The situation is under investigation and a repeat test has been organised. The person is an essential worker who was asymptomatic when tested and the test was a nasopharyngeal surveillance test.

“It is only a matter of time before Northland has a positive COVID-19 case and it is imperative that everyone who can is vaccinated against COVID-19 as soon as possible,” noted chief executive Dr Nick Chamberlain.

“Even if it doesn’t turn out to be positive, this would be the second near-miss in the last week after a case last week in the Far North that turned out not to be infectious while up here.

“We’ve seen in nearly every other country in the world what happens when the virus rolls through a community of unvaccinated people, and it’s grim.”

Of the 164,526 eligible people (12 years and older) there are still 60,000 people to be vaccinated in Northland. 66,639 people have had two doses and 37,780 have received one dose.

Recent scientific modelling [1] gives us a grim outline of how things might look with various vaccination coverage levels in our population.

If 70 percent of Northland's population were vaccinated, 60,000 to 80,000 Northlanders would become infected with COVID-19 over two years.

In addition, we'd lose over 100 of us to the virus - likely our most at-risk Northlanders who are older or have underlying health conditions.

Hospitalisations would peak at 200, putting considerable strain on our health system.

The wait for Northlanders to access healthcare such as hip replacements, cataract surgeries and some cancer treatments would be prolonged.

At 90 percent, there would still be an impact that we must carefully manage, with the number of people affected significantly reduced.

Around 4000 Northlanders would be infected with COVID-19, two people at any one time would be hospitalised, and approximately ten people would lose their lives to the virus.

The more vaccinated we are, the less the impact and the harder it will be for the virus to hang around.

“Vaccination is our best protection against COVID-19. You can’t keep relying on lockdowns and staying in our communities hoping it won’t affect you, because it will find you!

“Remember, the COVID-19 delta virus is seeking out unvaccinated people who have no resistance to it. The higher our vaccination rates, the fewer restrictions we’ll need to keep the virus under control.”

COVID-19 Vaccination clinics are available throughout Northland, at general practice, pharmacy, māori health providers and DHB clinics.

“I can’t stress enough how important it is for our whole community that as many of us are vaccinated as possible,” Dr Chamberlain reinforced.

To find out where COVID-19 Vaccination clinics are in Northland go to the HealthPoint website.

No appointment is required however if someone wants to make an appointment they can book via Book My Vaccine.

© Scoop Media

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