Taupō’s mayor has labelled the detection of Covid-19 in the city’s wastewater system a “worst-case scenario”.
Today the Ministry of Health revealed Covid-19 was detected in a wastewater test collected on November 8. A further sample collected on November 10 is being analysed.
Anyone in the area, who may have symptoms – no matter how mild – is encouraged to get tested, even if they are vaccinated.
Taupō’ District mayor David Trewavas told the Rotorua Daily Post they were “very prepared” for Covid-19 and had “endless meetings” about handling a potential outbreak.
“At some stage, we were expecting the worst scenario, it’s arrived.
“We’ll fight it and hopefully we’ll come out the other side good as gold.”
He expected the results of the second sample to be back tonight.
Trewavas encouraged people to wear masks, scan in, socially distance, and get tested and vaccinated.
“Go about life as per normal but be extra cautious about your surroundings and where you’re going and what you’re doing and please be considerate of others.
“Any sniff of a cold, please go and get tested.”
A Ministry of Health media statement said a positive wastewater test could sometimes result from a historical case that could continue to shed fragments of the virus for some weeks after their illness – even if they were not infectious.
Toi Te Ora Public Health medical officer of health Dr Lynne Lane said in a joint media release with the Lakes District Health Board and Taupō District Council it was important anyone in the Taupō district or who had visited the district in the past week and had Covid symptoms should get tested and remain isolated until they returned a negative test result.
“The wastewater result is an indication that there could be a positive Covid-19 case in the community.
“Getting a Covid swab if you are experiencing symptoms is important to help contain further spread of the virus.
“It is also important to follow other health measures including wearing face coverings, using the Covid-19 tracer app, practising good hand hygiene and social distancing.”
As of November 10, 75 per cent of those living in the Taupō district were fully vaccinated and 87 per cent had received their first dose.
Lakes DHB chief executive Nick Saville-Wood said it was becoming more urgent for people to be vaccinated to protect their whānau, whakapapa and community and ensure health services were not overwhelmed.
In the statement, Trewavas called for everyone to keep safe, get tested and vaccinated.
“It’s time to go to war against the virus.
“Let’s get vaccinated, let’s get serious about mask-wearing, let’s scan and let’s social distance – we can do this.”
“To protect our families, whanau and friends, let’s get these numbers up and keep staunch on masks and keeping safe distances,” Trewavas said.
Lakes DHB was increasing Covid testing hours in Taupō as a result of the positive wastewater test.
Where to get tested and vaccinated in Taupō
• 79 Miro St, 9am to 3pm daily.
• 6/29 Totara St, open for drop-in on Friday and Saturday from 8.30am to 4.30pm and Sunday from 8am to 4pm.
• Taupō Health Centre, 113 Te Heuheu St, drop-ins Saturday 9am to 1pm.
• Tutemohuta Community Hall, Waitahanui, drop-ins Saturday 10am to 2pm. There will be spot prizes and kai thanks to Tūwharetoa Health Charitable Services.
• Unichem MainStreet Pharmacy on Tongariro St. Booking available Sunday 5.30pm to 7.30pm. Call 07 378 2636.
• Tauhara suburb in Taupō – call Tūwharetoa Health 0800 Whariki to book.
The Lakes DHB Facebook page has daily updates on where to get tested. To book an appointment go to www.bookmyvaccine.nz or call 0800 28 29 26.
The Tūrangi Community Health Centre carpark on 28 Te Rangitautahanga Rd, Tūrangi will be open for testing and vaccinations on Saturday from 10am to 2pm and Sunday from 11am to 1pm.
For all testing and vaccination locations in the area, please visit the Healthpoint website.
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