More positive wastewater results for Stratford but rest of South Taranaki clear

10 November 2021

Taranaki DHB’s Public Health Unit (PHU) has confirmed today that two of three further wastewater results for Stratford were positive.

Wastewater samples taken from the Stratford area on Saturday 6 November and Sunday 7 November have detected more positive Covid-19 results, however samples from Monday 8 November did not detect viral fragments.

In contrast wastewater tests taken on 8 November from Hawera, Kaponga, Opunake, Patea, Manaia and Waverley were all clear of viral fragments.
Taranaki DHB’s medical officer of Health, Dr Jonathan Jarman, says the results are very concerning as it shows that it is likely that an infectious person was in the Stratford area since the start of the month.

Dr Jarman says “We are working on the assumption that the positive result was probably an infectious visitor or visitors to the region from an area where there is Covid-19. The alternative is we have undetected community transmission in Stratford, but this seems less likely.

“The only way of really having confidence is to carry on testing the wastewater and testing people to ensure we don’t have widespread transmission in our region.”

The PHU is aware of several visitors to the region for the recent Taranaki Garden Festival, and other events.

Dr Jarman confirms the PHU is working with the Ministry of Health to send push notifications to users of the Covid-19 Tracer App who were in the region at selected events over the last 10 days.

He says “We’re also asking every garden owner who took part in the festival to monitor their health closely over the coming days and if they develop any cold or flu-like symptoms, even if they’re mild, to please go and get tested.”

“It is also really important that businesses that catered for the visitors in the Stratford area keep a close eye on their health over the next couple of weeks.
“There is not a lot of flu-like illness at this time of the year so a cough or cold would be unusual and should be tested.”

Testing locations around the region are prepared for further demand and people are encouraged to get tested if they have any symptoms.

The Taranaki community is reminded to be extra vigilant whilst testing continues around the region and to follow health protocols with social distancing, wearing masks, hand sanitising, and getting vaccinated.

People who are concerned about their health can call Healthline on 0800 358 5453 for more information and advice.
For information on testing locations and times please visit TDHB - COVID-19.

Last updated: Wednesday, November 10, 2021

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