Christchurch’s Covid cases live in a highly vaccinated suburb of the city, an adviser said. David Williams reports
Bishopdale is about average for Christchurch, according to City Councilor Aaron Keown. But in a way that has become much more relevant today, the city’s northwest suburbs, not far from the airport, are a bit of the spotlight.
“Bishopdale is not the oldest suburb of Christchurch, but it is one of the oldest. A lot of people will remember this because they’ve walked down Harewood Rd before and seen the big park that has the elephant with the slide on it – it’s a pretty memorable sight, so a lot of people think of “Elephant Park”.
“Bishopdale is pretty much the average suburb you can find in the whole city – in terms of house value, type of people. They are genuine Christchurch people who work for the most part, send their children to local schools, are good people. It’s as normal and average as Christchurch is.
Today, it is the center of the latest spread of the Auckland Delta outbreak.
As revealed this morning, two people from Christchurch tested positive last night – Stuff reports that they are a woman in their 50s and a man in their 40s, both of whom are not vaccinated and do not scan not regularly.
Keown says the news was a bit of a shock.
“The only positive point for the moment is that I am proud to be the representative of a highly vaccinated neighborhood.
Yesterday, according to the Covid19map website, more than 90% of people living in Bishopdale North and Bishopdale South suffered at least one jab, compared to a national average of 87%.
“It will definitely slow down any spread, if there is any spread,” Keown said. (One of the largest testing and immunization centers in town is nearby at Orchard Rd. Vaccines are also available at the Bishopdale Mall Pharmacy. “This is where I got my duplicates. vaccines, ”Keown says.)
The two cases in Christchurch are among 89 announced today, including 83 other cases in Auckland, where the Delta epidemic is concentrated. Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said there would be no change in alert levels.
Dr Rod Jackson, professor of epidemiology at the University of Auckland, said Bishopdale’s vaccination rates aren’t high enough to make a real difference in a delta outbreak, so he was interested he didn’t there is no change in alert level. “What I think that means is their feeling is that they can keep a lid on this, based on what they know they haven’t released yet.”
Health Director General Dr Ashley Bloomfield said the two cases were now in a quarantine facility and nine close contacts from three households were isolated and tested.
The second positive case works as a truck driver, Bloomfield said, and their employer was helping to trace his movements from the three-and-a-half days he worked when he was potentially infectious.
The test centers were busy this morning and had been expanded to meet expected demand.
Wastewater samples taken on Tuesday, covering around 300,000, were negative for Covid-19.
Bloomfield: “That rules out that there is a reasonable number of cases out there, but of course he may not detect an additional case or two. There will be an increase in testing over the next few days there, as well as ESR testing of the Waimakariri, including Rangiora, Kaiapoi, and Woodend, as well as the addition of Ashburton. “
Hipkins added: “The person concerned, in relation to their trip to and from Auckland, had a legitimate reason to travel and they took a test before returning to Christchurch.”
‘Stroke of luck’
Keown, the city councilor, said the infected couple visited other people last week.
“But we don’t know if they were contagious at the time. I hope they weren’t, and by the time they got sick it seemed like they hadn’t been in much contact with other people. Hopefully Christchurch dodges a bullet.
The public health team is monitoring the movements of the infected couple, to identify place of interest.
Mayor Lianne Dalziel said it was fortunate that the city could stay at level 2.
“The two cases that have been confirmed in Christchurch should be enough to break any residual reluctance to get the vaccine. “
Dr Helen Skinner, the Canterbury District Health Council’s senior officer for the Covid-19 response, said in a statement that there were 36 physical beds in the intensive care unit and care areas Christchurch Hospital Children’s Intensives that can be used in a pandemic response.
“The DHB has 54 negative pressure chambers in its facilities. 38 of them are at Christchurch Hospital.
An area of Christchurch Hospital is being upgraded to provide more capacity in the event of a major outbreak of COVID-19 cases. “The enhanced service, named Parkside Ground Medical, will provide dedicated DHB space to treat COVID-19 positive patients. We expect work on the new space to be completed by the end of this month.
Keown hopes that by the end of today, when places of interest are announced, spirits can be reassured.
“Until then, people obviously have to do the right thing – hide, go online, and get vaccinated if they haven’t already.
“If people have friends or family who are not yet vaccinated, contact them and have a rational conversation. Don’t go there for insults or ridicule or anything like that. Just ask them why. Just have a conversation. For many people, this is the authority telling them they need to do something that seems like a problem.
It might be statistically average, but Keown’s confident Bishopdale residents will support each other.
“An event like this certainly won’t tear our neighborhood apart, it just brings everyone a little closer together.”