Raglan rallies support for the Omicron wave

Just like the rest of Aotearoa, Raglan is riding the Omicron wave as numbers increase exponentially on a daily basis.

With health workers and testing labs overloaded with rising cases, the recent move to phase three is designed to help the health system handle the pressure.

Rapid antigen tests (RAT) are now being used in place of PCR tests and these are free to critical workers, household contacts, and people with symptoms. RATs are self-administered and give results in 15 minutes and are now available at the Raglan Rugby grounds seven days a week from 9.30-11.30am.

The community Covid response group formed during the first lockdown is also ramping up to coordinate a cohesive plan for supporting vulnerable people in isolation.

Raglan councillor Lisa Thomson has been working with the response group and organising volunteers to distribute the RATs.

Lisa says a role has been established through DHB funding for a community response coordinator to manage an 0800RAGLAN number and help people connect to the service that meets their particular need.

“We were able to give those hours to Fiona Cutmore. She has been involved in the food bank processes and she comes with a really high level of skills.”

A Whaingaroa marae collective has also been established, coordinated by Mike Edmonds, to respond to the needs of vulnerable whānau who are isolating. 

Lisa says cross coordination between all the groups is helping respond to a wide range of needs in the community. 

“All the marae in our rohe are working together and they are also working with the community response group. We are using all of our networks, as well as our wellbeing warriors such as Margaret Dillon, Amy Hanna and others who have networks out in the community.”

Raglan Medical Centre is operating business as usual and Doctor Mike Loten says it’s vital for people to access the clinic for medical concerns. 

“You still need to contact us if you’ve got another medical problem. We don’t want people saying – there’s COVID around, I’m just going to stay at home and put up with my symptoms. Because the biggest risk to people’s health is when they ignore other things.”

Mike says it is also important for people to notify the Ministry of Health about their RAT results as the centre gets alerted to registered patients who have tested positive.

“The best use of our time is to actually contact the people that are coming back with positive results, and to triage them and check that they’re safe. And the ones that we’re worried about, the high risk, we keep a closer eye on. We can be in contact with anyone who has symptoms every day and we can see them if we’re worried about them.”

Raglan Medical is also doing supervised RAT tests available for people unable to do their own.

Raglan Pharmacy is funded to provide supervised RATs for asymptomatic, unvaccinated domestic travellers over 12 years of age or people needing to produce a negative test when attending a court of law. 

The pharmacy will be undertaking a new service —Private Supervised Rapid Antigen Test Service for international pre-travel departure soon (this service will be paid for by the customer).

For general support to help access to kai, RATs, general help – contact 0800 Raglan, 0800 724 526, 7 days a week, 10am – 2pm or email raglancovid@gmail.com.

Raglan Medical Centre – to book a supervised RAT or medical appointment phone 07 825 0114

Raglan Rugby carpark RAT collection – Mon-Sun, 9.30-11.30am. You need to pre-order your tests (online requestrats.covid19.health.nz/or call 0800 222 478 and choose option 3, from 8am to 8pm) and bring your order number with you. 

To report a RAT result, go to mycovidrecord.health.nz/

Raglan Community House is part of the Raglan community response group and they also offer counselling and budgeting services via phone, email and video call to support those in need. Main office 07 825 8142, budget service 07 825 8500 or info@raglancommunityhouse.org.nz.

Timebank will also be working alongside the community response group. They have an extensive list to volunteers to cook, deliver and provide other services as needed. 

The Raglan Foodbank is working with the community response group and offering their usual food parcels to clients, as well as kai to people isolating who require support.  

SuperValue Raglan is offering free grocery deliveries this month as March is expected to see the peak month for cases. Online orders – raglan.store.supervalue.co.nz/ or phone 07 825 8300.