Contact tracing underway to determine if COVID-19 infection is widespread

12 November 2021

Contact tracing is underway to determine the movements of six people who tested positive for COVID-19 in Stratford yesterday.

Three adults and three children from the same household all tested positive following the detection of COVID-19 in Stratford’s wastewater. One adult was admitted to Taranaki Base Hospital on Thursday night for assessment and is currently in a stable condition.

Medical Officer of Health, Dr Jonathan Jarman, says it’s important to determine where the six people had been during their infectious period as this would help to find anyone else who might be infected.

“Unfortunately, these people didn’t use the COVID-19 Tracer App which makes contact tracing a bit harder. But they have mostly been isolating at home during their infectious period.”

Several locations of interest have been identified in Stratford and Hāwera. The locations are listed on the Ministry of Health’s website - COVID-19: Contact tracing locations of interest | Ministry of Health NZ and more locations will be posted this afternoon.

Dr Jarman says “We are also following up some close contacts who are symptomatic. Five close contacts have been identified, have been tested and are also isolating.

“Two of these contacts are from the Wairarapa area so the PHU is working with Regional Public Health based in Lower Hutt as investigations continue.”

Dr Jarman encourages anyone who is symptomatic to get tested as soon as possible.

“To find out if we have widespread community transmission we need to test, test, test. We want to put this thing back in the box if we can.”

The affected people are currently isolating at home with support from Taranaki’s Public Health Unit and other local health providers.

There has been a surge in testing demand throughout the region with around 200 tests completed in the first two hours today. Testing locations around the region are prepared for further demand and people are encouraged to get tested if they:

  • have any cold or flu symptoms
  • have travelled out of the region recently
  • are a close contact of a positive case.

Taranaki DHB’s chief executive, Rosemary Clements, is very happy with the response to date.

“All of our providers have pulled together to ensure both testing and vaccination opportunities around the maunga are easily accessible for the people of Taranaki.

“We thank everyone who has waited patiently for testing today, for being kind and supportive to our testing teams, and most of all we praise them for doing their part and getting tested.

“This is also a fantastic opportunity for people to access COVID-19 vaccination if they haven’t already, as this will ultimately provide the best protection for our community.

“While this response is currently Stratford-based, we need to remind ourselves how much movement around the region our population has every day. It’s enough to trigger widespread transmission so please seek vaccination or get tested if you’re symptomatic,” says Mrs Clements.

For testing locations and times please visit TDHB - COVID-19.
For vaccination locations and times please visit TDHB - COVID-19 vaccine.

Last updated: Friday, November 12, 2021

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