Covid 19 coronavirus: New Plymouth locals on edge after confirmed Covid-19 cases visit the region

Locals around Taranaki are on edge after it was revealed two confirmed Covid-19 community cases visited New Plymouth over Waitangi weekend.

The Ministry of Health has confirmed that the positive cases visited nine locations in the city including Te Rewarewa Bridge, Sumela Kebab, Amber Court Hotel, Pukekura Park, Egmont National Park, Cycle Inn, Puke Ariki Library and Museum, Pizza Hut and Back Beach.

Puke Ariki Library and Museum remained open on Sunday, with staff urging visitors to follow government advice.

“We are currently open as normal here but we encourage people to sanitise and scan in when they enter,” a staff member at the Puke Ariki Museum told the Herald, prior to the museum’s confirmation as a possible exposure location.

The museum confirmed at the time that they had not yet been contacted by the Ministry of Health and were awaiting the confirmed locations the positive cases visited.

“We’ll wait and see what we’re told and then act on that.”

Meanwhile, New Plymouth MP Glen Bennett told the Herald that he was concerned about today’s developments and was hoping for the best.

“I’m concerned, but also optimistic that our community is doing the right thing,” the first-term MP said.

“If they were contagious, I’m confident we will stomp it out as quick as we can. We don’t want to be a New Plymouth cluster or a Taranaki cluster.”

Bennett urged local residents to follow the Government’s Covid-19 advice and to remain vigilant.

“My advice is to follow the Government’s guidance. Wash your hands, it’s one of the most important things you do.”

“If you’re unwell or unsure, just stay home.”

On Devon St in the city’s CBD, most locals the Herald spoke to said they were concerned with the news.

“It’s pretty scary, but it’s just a case of waiting and seeing. Our family is a bit on edge,” local Steve Carter said.

“Just another reason to always scan in. This thing could just show up anywhere.”

Another resident, who did not want to be named, said that she was worried there would be a resurgence and is waiting to find out what strain the infected patients contracted.

“My husband and I are just waiting and hoping it doesn’t become anything too big, especially if it’s one of these new strains.”

“But it’s scary to see, especially so close to home.”

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