Taranakiís Public Health team still working to determine if latest New Plymouth case is unlinked

17 December 2021

There are no new cases of COVID-19 to report in Taranaki today.

Last night the Ministry of Health confirmed three new cases in the region which were included in today’s national case numbers, taking Taranaki’s total number of positive cases to 23.

Two cases, an adult and a young child, have been linked to the Eltham cluster and one case is an adult from New Plymouth.

Taranaki DHB’s COVID-19 Response general manager, Gillian Campbell, says Public Health staff are still working with the New Plymouth case to determine links to any previously reported cases.

“At this stage it appears the case is unlinked, but we still need more information to determine if this is correct.

“We can confirm a New Plymouth kindergarten has been identified as an exposure event and we are working hard to identify potential close contacts and any further exposure events or locations of interest associated with this case.”

Locations of interest are public places that have had unknown people visit and exposure events are locations where people can be traced and easily contacted e.g workplaces, schools, private functions. Only locations of interest are published on the Ministry of Health website.

The best way to identify possible community transmission is through testing, says Mrs Campbell.

“Right now, we’re asking anyone in the region with symptoms to get tested. That’s our best way of knowing where the virus could be. Please get tested to be sure, and don’t forget to use the Tracer App, it really helps our contact tracing team work faster.”

Case update

There are currently 23 active cases of COVID-19 in Taranaki.

  • One is a pre-schooler
  • 18 are primary-aged children
  • Four are adults

Testing update

COVID-19 testing continues at a steady rate throughout the region with 342 tests completed yesterday.
Testing will be available across the weekend at the following locations and times:

  • Taranaki Base Hospital testing centre, 9am – 3pm
  • Hāwera Hospital testing centre, 10am – 2pm
  • Saliva testing may be offered by Ngati Ruanui Healthcare through pop-up clinics in Eltham which are yet to be determined for the weekend.

Mrs Campbell advises the current testing strategy is set by the Ministry of Health which allows Taranaki DHB to provide nasopharyngeal testing.

“There is also access to saliva testing through our Māori Health providers for more vulnerable populations. This testing is not always suitable for the general population, including children.

“We know some parents are a bit anxious about their children having a nasal swab, but please be reassured our testing staff are well trained and experienced with helping children through this process. Talk to your children about the importance of getting a test done if they’re feeling unwell and let them know it’s just a quick test which can be a bit uncomfortable for 5-10 seconds.”

Locations of interest in Taranaki (as of 17 December)

The Warehouse, Hāwera, Saturday 11 Dec, 3:00pm – 3:45pm
The Seaside Night Market,
 Ngamotu Beach, New Plymouth, Thursday 9 Dec, 5.20pm-6pm
Pizza Hut Hāwera
, Saturday 11 Dec, 5pm-5.20pm
Four Square Manaia, Saturday 11 Dec, 8am-7pm
Z Service Station Hāwera, Thursday 9 Dec, 7.12am- 7.17am and 10.16am-10.21am; Friday 10 Dec, 7.25am-7.30am, 10.25am-10.30am
Pak 'n Save Hāwera, Friday 10 Dec, 4.30pm-5.30pm and Saturday 11 Dec between 5pm and 6.15pm
Swete’s Dairy Manaia, Saturday 11 Dec, 7am-8.30pm
Bunnings Hāwera, Thursday 9 Dec, 3.22pm-3.52pm; Friday 10 Dec, 11.05am-11.35am
Unkas Jewellers Hāwera, Friday 10 Dec, 4.36pm-4.46pm
Saturday Market Hāwera, Saturday 11 Dec, 10am-11am
Q Variety Store Hāwera, Saturday 11 Dec, 11am-12pm
Domino's Pizza Hawera, Saturday 11 Dec, 6:15pm - 6:25pm
CR Dairy Eltham, Wednesday 8 Dec, 5pm - 5:30pm
Eltham Dairy and Lotto Eltham, Wednesday 8 Dec, 5pm - 5:30pm
Eltham Athletics Club Taumata Park Eltham, Thursday 9 Dec, 6pm - 7pm

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