High volumes of testing reveal no further COVID-19 cases

14 November 2021

Despite high volumes of testing in Taranaki there are still no further cases of COVID-19 to report today.

Around 4,000 tests have been completed throughout the region since 5 November, including 1011 from Stratford, 2033 from New Plymouth, and 633 from the South Taranaki district.

There was a total of 1114 tests completed on 12 November and almost 600 on 13 November.

Taranaki DHB’s Incident Management Team controller, Gillian Campbell, says the testing numbers are great for the region and shows people are taking the possibility of widespread transmission seriously.

“It’s good to see people taking our advice to get tested if they’re symptomatic or have been to a location of interest, but we’ve also been juggling a number of people who are just concerned or frightened and don’t fit the testing criteria. Unfortunately, these people take up space in the testing queue for others who might really need one.”

Since Friday 12 November a total of seven locations of interest have been identified in the Taranaki region, prompting an increase in testing and vaccination.

Mrs Campbell says local testing teams have upscaled to work more than their normal days and hours to accommodate the extra testing demands.

“Not all testing sites are open across the weekend, but we’ve called on staff to help during this busy period and we’re providing a service above our usual capacity. We appreciate these staff members giving their extra time to help our community during this challenging period.”

Mrs Campbell also acknowledges and thanks the DHB’s Māori Health and iwi partner providers who have collaborated to support testing and vaccination efforts.

“We are so fortunate to have a dedicated healthcare workforce in our partner providers who have helped us meet demand. At times they’ve taken on some extra hours of testing to ensure appropriate coverage which we’re grateful for. In situations like this we all need to work together to provide services for our community.”

The Public Health Unit has confirmed the six people from Stratford with COVID-19 are still isolating and doing well with their recovery. The five close contacts have all returned negative test results and two have been released from isolation following 14 days since their exposure to an infectious person.

Vaccination rates have also been good in Taranaki with 1,000 doses administered on Saturday 12 November, 305 being first doses and a third of those for Māori.

Mrs Campbell says 8,583 vaccination doses have been administered since Stratford’s positive wastewater detection.

“Thank you, Taranaki, for doing your part to keep everyone safe by getting vaccinated. We’re currently at 87 per cent for first doses and we really want to see that reach 90 per cent as soon as possible.”

For locations of interest in Taranaki visit COVID-19: Contact tracing locations of interest | Ministry of Health NZ.
For testing locations and times visit TDHB - COVID-19.
For vaccination locations and times visit TDHB - COVID-19 vaccine.

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