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Covid Infections: Most people will be able to self-manage at home. Support and care is available for people, particularly those who most need medical care



Thursday 24 February 2022

While Covid cases are rising across the country, and faster in Southern than many other places, WellSouth medical director Dr Carol Atmore says that residents and students should be assured the majority of people who get Covid will be able to safely self-manage at home and that health care and support are available when needed.

“Most people, if they are fully vaccinated and otherwise healthy, will be able to self-manage at home,” Dr Atmore says.  “From what we have seen elsewhere, in Auckland and overseas, in people who are fully vaccinated who catch Omicron, it presents like a cold or mild flu and we’ve been living with cold and flu all our lives.”

Healthcare is always available

For people who need more help and care, that care is available.

“Some people will get quite unwell and, in some instances, need hospital-level care. Unvaccinated and partially vaccinated people are particularly prone to this, and I urge all people to get fully vaccinated now, as it’s not too late to get this protection. In addition, those with several pre-existing health conditions, or immune-compromised individuals could experience more severe symptoms, and require more support and care,” she explains.  “The experience from Auckland is that Māori and Pasifika people experienced poorer health outcomes with Covid as well.

“We have care pathways in place to ensure people are cared for appropriately and received the clinical care, treatments and support that they need. People who fall into these groups will receive a call from their general practice team or the clinician network of GPs, nurse practitioners and nurses, to see how they are getting on. Those who need it will be sent a pulse oximeter. Everyone can contact their usual health care provider if they feel they are becoming more unwell, whether they are self-managing or in contact with health provider teams during their Covid illness.”

Dr Atmore says health providers in Southern - WellSouth primary health network, general practices, Southern DHB, St John, Public Health South, MSD and Māori and Pacific providers and others - have been working together for a number of months to get systems in place for Covid care in the community.

Other support – such as access to regular food and necessities - is being managed by the Ministry of Social Development along with Māori and Pacific Island health providers and other social agencies. Some Supported Isolation and Quarantine (SIQ) facilities are also available for those who can’t safely isolate at home and this is administered and managed by Southern DHB.

Prepare

“Covid infections rates are rising in our district and people should be assured that we have been preparing for this. There will be disruptions, we will have a few weeks ahead of us where cases will continue to rise, but we have been preparing. 

“People should do what they can to be prepared, and look after themselves, but don’t hesitate to seek medical attention when you need it,” Dr Atmore says. “And stay home if you are unwell. It will help stop the spread. Wear your masks, wash your hands, use your QR codes – keep doing the basics right and  that will help flatten the curve.”

 

If anyone is unwell or your symptoms worsen, contact your general practice, your usual health provider, general practice, Student Health or HealthLine on 0800 611 116.

 

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