Following the detection of COVID-19 in wastewater in Tauranga and Mount Maunganui, Toi Te Ora Public Health is advising people living in the greater Tauranga area to get tested for COVID-19 if they have any symptoms.
ESR has reported positive wastewater detections for COVID-19 in Tauranga for samples taken on 11 November and in Mount Maunganui on 10 November and 11 November.
The Medical Officer of Health at Toi Te Ora, Dr Lynne Lane, says the results could be due to recently recovered cases returning to the region from MIQ who are shedding the virus, transient visitors to the region, or could signal undetected cases in the community.
There are no MIQ facilities, or known COVID-19 cases self-isolating, in Tauranga or Mount Maunganui.
“Getting swabbed for COVID-19 if you have symptoms is important to help contain further spread of the virus in the community,” Dr Lane says. “People need to get tested even if they only have mild symptoms of COVID-19.”
Vaccination is a key protection measure against the virus and the positive wastewater results are a timely reminder to get vaccinated, says Dr Lane; “Getting fully vaccinated will help protect you and the people you love against COVID-19.”
Other health measures are also important including, wearing face coverings, using the COVID-19 tracer app, practicing good hand hygiene, and social distancing, she says.
Bay of Plenty District Health Board EOC Incident Controller Brent Gilbert de Rios, reinforces Dr Lane’s comments and encourages people who are unwell and have symptoms of COVID-19, including mild symptoms, to get tested.
Symptoms of COVID-19 include: a new or worsening cough, sneezing and runny nose, fever, temporary loss of smell or altered sense of taste, sore throat, and shortness of breath.
The BOPDHB has two testing centres in Tauranga open today:
- Accident & Healthcare, 19 Second Avenue, Tauranga. Open to 9pm
- Te Manu Toroa 11 Tebbs Lane (off Courtney Rd) Gate Pa. Open to 3pm.
The BOPDHB also encourages people to get vaccinated if they are not already vaccinated as it is the best way to keep our communities safe from the virus.
To find the locations for vaccination centres that are open, please visit Healthpoint.