Covid-19 response upgrade works that will enhance patient care and improve staff safety have been completed at Tauranga Hospital.
The project has seen ward 4C upgraded over the past few months, to establish an environment specifically designed to meet the needs of patients with virus.
The work is part of the national pandemic response planning being led by the Ministry of Health. The ward - a section of Tauranga Hospital’s Orthopaedic Ward - has been re-purposed to provide additional oxygen supply and improved air management for environments in the ward.
Bay of Plenty District Health Board chief medical officer Dr Luke Bradford says the opening of the ward, which has 24 beds, is an essential part of the pandemic response for the region.
“It means that as we go through the year and we learn to live with Covid-19 in the community as case numbers rise, we will be able to care for those with Covid in a way that keeps them safe, enhances the care of patients and their whānau, and improves safety for staff,” says Dr Bradford.
“Negative pressure rooms can safely manage the care of patients as the contagious fluids in the air does not leave the rooms - instead it is extracted from the rooms by new ventilation systems.
“Patients with Covid-19 can be managed in separate bays and each part of the ward can be divided from others.”
Vaccination milestone praised
The community effort that saw the Bay of Plenty reach the 90 per cent fully-vaccinated milestone is being recognised and praised.
“We’re gratified to have reached the 90 per cent milestone,” says Bay of Plenty District Health Board chief executive officer Pete Chandler.
“I wish to mihi the community effort to which this success is owed – from vaccine providers to iwi to community groups to Bay of Plenty DHB staff – thank you.”
The milestone means more than 195,000 people have received two doses of the Covid-19 vaccine in the Bay of Plenty.
The DHB says it will continue its focus on the vaccine, with booster doses underway, the five to 11-year-old rollout starting on January 17, and a strong commitment to obtaining the same double dose vaccination rate for Māori.
“The mahi continues until every community across the rohe is offered the same protection against Covid-19,” says Chandler. “We remain focussed on an equitable rollout.”
Those eligible can continue to get their first, second or booster vaccine doses at walk-in clinics throughout the Bay of Plenty. For more information visit: www.healthpoint.co.nz/covid-19-vaccination/bay-of-plenty
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