The Hawke's Bay District Health Board is operating well despite increasing demands caused by the gastro outbreak, the Ministry of Health says.

The health board was meeting all staffing needs in wards and the emergency department, Ministry of Health director-general Chai Chuah said.

It was business as usual for scheduled non-urgent surgery.

However it did anticipate some scheduled patients may be unwell with the gastro bug.


MidCentral District Health Board would provide additional staff if required.

Several residents in rest homes affected by the bug are also recovering and district nurses and infection prevention and control staff were providing advice and support.

Another four nurses from MidCentral DHB, based in Palmerston North, would arrive to assist in rest homes. St John also had extra staff to respond to calls from people with the bug.

While it was initially attending eight to 10 gastro call-outs a day, it was now down to around four per day.

Seven schools in Havelock North and eight early childhood education services were closed today.

Information about schools reopening would be posted on school websites and Facebook pages.

The Hastings District Council, Hawke's Bay DHB and local Civil Defence volunteers were door-knocking on 900 homes identified as being vulnerable to the gastro bug. They visited about half of the homes yesterday and planned to visit the remainder today.

The ministry would contact the families of those affected by the bug to check they were receiving appropriate support.

Organisations including Aged Care and Meals on Wheels had checked on all their clients and other social agencies were making checks by phone on other older locals in the area.