Week of high case numbers in South

Photo: Getty Images
Photo: Getty Images
Covid-19 case numbers have remained stubbornly high in the South this week, yesterday topping 600 for the fourth day in a row.

The week of high cases began on Tuesday, when 733 new cases were reported.

That figure was attributed to the usual delay in cases being reported over the weekend, a common trend exacerbated by a public holiday.

However, 679 were reported on Wednesday, 617 on Thursday and a further 675 yesterday.

Overall, there were 3876 active cases in the South yesterday. Only the Auckland regions, Wellington and Canterbury have a higher number of active cases.

Both Covid-19 and winter ailments in general are surging in Otago and Southland, causing severe disruption in many workplaces, including hospitals and medical centres. Dunedin Hospital had to defer all non-emergency and non-cancer surgery on Monday due to staff shortages.

"Keeping up healthy habits such as mask-wearing when in public and, importantly, ensuring all your vaccinations are up to date are important things we can all do to protect ourselves and those we care about," a Health New Zealand Southern spokeswoman said.

Figures released earlier this week showed there were 1666 active cases in Dunedin, up from 1273 a week ago.

Active cases had also jumped from 387 to 426 in Queenstown-Lakes, from 224 to 256 in Central Otago and from 95 to 122 in Clutha.

Cases had fallen slightly in Invercargill, Waitaki, Southland and Gore.

Meanwhile, ward 4C at Dunedin Hospital has reopened to visitors.

The ward was closed earlier this week after a patient was exposed to Covid-19.

Strict infection control measures remain in place at all southern hospitals, including visitors having to wear a surgical-grade mask.

There were 26 patients with Covid-19 in southern hospitals yesterday.

There were 6984 new community cases confirmed in New Zealand yesterday, and the Ministry of Health also announced a further eight Covid-19-related deaths.

Two of those were in the southern region.



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