Get tested, get vaccinated and check locations of interest. This is the advice from Toi Te Ora Public Health following two positive COVID-19 test results in the Bay of Plenty, one in Tauranga and one in Mount Maunganui.
The results follow further positive detection in wastewater samples taken from Tauranga and Mount Maunganui earlier this week.
Medical Officer of Health at Toi Te Ora, Dr Bruce Duncan, says it is imperative that people get tested if they have symptoms, even if these are mild, so that we can help contain further spread of the virus in the community.
“We are asking people in the wider Tauranga area, or anyone who has visited the region in the last two weeks to get a test if they are symptomatic. Symptoms can be mild so it is important to get tested even if you are not feeling particularly unwell,” says Dr Duncan. “After you are tested, you need to remain isolated until you return a negative test result.”
Dr Duncan is also asking people to keep checking the Ministry of Health’s website for locations of interest as these continue to be investigated. Locations of interest are updated regularly and can be found here.
Dr Duncan says the rapid increase in cases in our region is a timely reminder for people to get their COVID-19 vaccination. “Vaccination is the best way to keep yourself, your loved ones and the community safe from the virus. If you haven’t already had your vaccination, now is the time to get it.”
Other important health measures against COVID-19 include wearing face coverings, using the COVID-19 tracer app, practicing good hand hygiene and maintaining distance from others, says Dr Duncan.
Bay of Plenty District Health Board EOC Incident Controller, Trevor Richardson, reinforces Dr Duncan’s comments and encourages people who are unwell and have symptoms of COVID-19 to get tested.
Symptoms of COVID-19 can 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 also encourages people to get vaccinated if they have not already done so as it is the best way to keep our communities safe from the virus. “Getting fully vaccinated will help protect you and the people you love against COVID-19” says Trevor.
Commission Chair for Tauranga City Council, Anne Tolley, adds “Unfortunately we do now have COVID in our community and that emphasises how important it is for everyone who has not already done so to get vaccinated.”
“The evidence is clear – vaccination hugely reduces the impact of COVID-19. People who have been fully vaccinated are less likely to catch the virus and they’re much less likely to need hospitalisation or to die as a result of infection. It is also crucial for everyone in our community to keep wearing face coverings, socially distance, maintain good hygiene and use the NZ COVID-tracer app. Let’s do everything we can to keep our whānau and friends safe,” says Anne.
For available testing sites, including GP services, see the Healthpoint website: https://www.healthpoint.co.nz/covid-19.
Additional testing is also available at a number of sites in Tauranga and Mount Maunganui this week, including:
- Tauranga Race Course, 1383 Cameron Road: Friday 10:00am – 6:00pm, Saturday 10:00am – 4:00pm
- 100 First Ave, Tauranga central: Monday to Friday 8:00am – 4:00pm
- Accident & Healthcare, 19 Second Avenue: Monday to Sunday 8:00am – 6:00pm
- 35 Hartford Ave, Tauranga
- Mount Sports Centre, corner of Maunganui and Hull Roads: Thursday & Friday 10:00am – 6:00pm, Saturday 10:00am – 4:00pm.
Testing is also available at other sites around the Bay of Plenty:
- Whakatāne Med Central Portacom, 52B King Street: Monday to Saturday 10:00am – 4:00pm
- Murupara, Koromiko Street: Monday to Friday 10:00am – 4:00pm.
Location details for vaccination centres can be also found on the Healthpoint website: https://www.healthpoint.co.nz/covid-19-vaccination/bay-of-plenty/.
* 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.