Saturday, November 27

Possibility of Covid-19 in Tauranga, so people with symptoms should get tested – Verrall

People in Tauranga are urged to get tested for Covid-19 symptoms after the virus was detected in a sewage sample collected last Thursday.

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Photo: RNZ / Samuel Rillstone

Yesterday, Health Director General Ashley Bloomfield said the result could point to a recovered case still shedding the virus, or an undetected acute case.

More sewage samples have been taken and results are expected tomorrow.

The Deputy Minister of Health, Dr. Ayesha Verrall, said Morning report A cautious approach is being taken and anyone in the Bay of Plenty with symptoms should get tested.

“We are eager for people in Tauranga who have symptoms to get tested in case it turns out to be a really positive result in the sewage,” he said.

“There is a possibility” that Delta is in the area, he said, but there have been false positives in the sewage in the past.

Several thousand people contribute to wastewater in a single sample, so it is unwise to try to read tea leaves on the level of PCR positivity, he said.

When asked if the truck driver who recently tested positive after traveling from the Auckland border to Tauranga was an area of ​​concern, Dr. Verrall said there were a wide range of sights after the case.

Locations of interest in the area were BP Tauriko in Tauranga on September 11 and Uppercrust Bakery in Mt Maunganui on September 11 and 24.

“[From] Investigating his movements and behavior will recall that he was very diligent in wearing PPE and distancing protection while working, “Verrall said.

Verrall also said routine vaccinations and tests are required for all workers at the port, he said.

“And I know that extensive work has been done at the Bay of Plenty port recently, but to my knowledge there are no clues as to what the positive outcome of the sewage would be.”

More information on the outcome of sewage in Tauranga will be released today in the Covid-19 update at 1pm

Tauranga Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Matt Cowley says people are anxious and want to avoid any increased alertness heading into the summer, when the hospitality and tourism sectors do most of their business. money.

But he hoped it was either a false positive or the virus that was being spread by historical cases that had completed MIQ.

“Let’s follow all the rules, but let’s also get vaccinated, that’s the only way to protect ourselves from the psychological and economic costs of confinement.”


With the announcement of the next level looming, so is the goal of a 90 percent vaccination rate throughout Tāmaki Makaurau.

Verrall says they always knew that the last 10 percent of the people they need to reach would be the longest.

“As the campaign progresses, we continue to offer different and more individualized ways that people can get vaccinated.

“The kinds of things that are being done across the country include more vaccines at home for people who can’t go to a larger facility, it includes very detailed work with the data that we have to make sure neighborhoods or communities specific are to be contacted. “

She says that working closely with Maori and Pacific providers includes making sure they have access to data that is relevant to their communities.

Verrall says GPs are calling in the remaining 65+ to give them a chance.

“Currently, I think 93 percent of those over 65 have been vaccinated or have a reserve.”

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