A traveller to Hawke’s Bay from Waikato who has tested positive for Covid was potentially infectious in the Hawke’s Bay community.
One of Thursday’s Covid-19 cases in Waikato was a permitted traveller with an exemption to travel to Napier last Friday, October 15, and returned a positive test once they returned to Waikato.
Their “infectious” period includes the time they were travelling, director general of health Ashley Bloomfield said.
Two close contacts have returned negative tests including one who lived in Wairoa.
The Waikato case is isolating at home.
No cases were reported in Hawke’s Bay today and both close contacts in Hawke’s Bay had returned negative day 6 tests.
Wairoa District Council mayor Craig Little said he knew the close contact in the town and believed the man had done “everything right”.
“He’d been double vaxxed, he isolated straightaway and tested negative.”
He said the Ministry of Health were notified and he was deemed “a low-risk” case.
“This individual did nothing wrong, and the fact he tested negative should be a motivation for all the people out there who are still thinking about not getting then vaccination.”
He said he wasn’t aware of any locations of interest in Wairoa at the present time.
Nationwide there are 102 Covid cases in the community today – the highest daily number since coronavirus hit our shores last year.
Hospital numbers are also at their highest – 46 people are on a ward or in ICU today.
Ninety-four cases are in Auckland and eight are in Waikato, Bloomfield said.
Case numbers have hopped around in recent days, with 94 cases on Tuesday – the highest daily number since the pandemic began – and 60 yesterday.
Ikaroa-Rawhiti MP Meka Whatiri said while no one wanted Covid-19 to come to Hawke’s Bay, the community had been preparing for this and she was confident the individuals involved had followed the correct procedures.
She said contact tracing was “critical” but vaccination remained the best form of defence.
Low vaccination rates in parts of the region, particularly around Māori communities remained a concern, she said.
“That’s what’s kept me up at night.”
She urged anyone with symptoms to isolate at home and get tested, and follow other MoH advice.
Tukituki MP Anna Lorck said the entire region was working together to keep Covid out, as evidenced this Super Saturday.
“But we must keep focusing on protecting our communities and keep vaccinating.”
She said 82 per cent of people in HB had at least one dose of the vaccination and she thanked them for their vaccination efforts.
“Super Saturday was an enormous success, and alongside the lives saved, it reminded us that we are still a team.
“While Super Saturday was a fantastic effort, the job is not done yet. “
She said vaccinations helped slow the spread by making people less likely to catch Covid and less likely to pass it on to others.
“On Friday, we will set out the new Covid Protection Framework, a plan to continue to protect New Zealanders from the virus in a highly vaccinated environment.”
MORE TO COME
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