1 in 3 have had Covid in Taranaki

Te Whatu Ora Taranaki figures show that more than 41,400 people have contracted the virus in the region.

Taranaki Medical Officer of Health Catherine Jackson said the true infection rate was likely higher still.

“It’s important to note that this is the number of reported cases only and we anticipate that the actual infection rate is higher, as we know many people do not report positive test results or test for Covid-19 at all.

She urged everyone who tested positive for Covid-19 to report the results of their rapid antigen test.

“This is essential for letting know your GP and the Covid Hub know you have Covid so you can quickly access medical and welfare support if you need it.”

It was especially important for people who were at high risk of getting severe Covid-19 to report their RAT results, Dr Jackson said, as they “may be eligible for medicines they can take at home that can reduce the severity of illness and help them to avoid being admitted to hospital”.

Results could be recorded online through My Covid Record or by calling the helpline: 0800 222 478.

Jackson said with a month left of winter she still expected to see Covid-19 cases and other respiratory illnesses circulating in the community.

“Recent modelling suggests that from August Covid-19 cases may remain high, and could be above 200 a day until September.

“This is just one scenario that could happen – again, testing and reporting Covid-19 results helps us better understand how we are tracking and what may come next.”

Jackson said part of the reason behind the increase in Covid-19 cases was the BA.5 variant, which is more transmissible than previous variants. Winter conditions also made it easier for respiratory illnesses to spread.

“The more layers of protection we put in place – particularly vaccinations, but also mask wearing, washing your hands, social distancing and staying home from work and school if you’re māuiui/sick – the more we can reduce the spread of respiratory illnesses,” Jackson said.




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