15 new cases of COVID-19 confirmed in Taranaki today
15 December 2021
There are 15 new cases of COVID-19 in Taranaki today and locations of interest are being frequently updated.
The cases were reported to the Public Health Unit yesterday and all of them are linked to Eltham.
Of the 15 cases 14 are children and one is an adult. The total number of active cases for the region is now 19, all of who are isolating in New Plymouth, Waitara, Eltham and Hāwera. The six cases confirmed in Stratford in November have now recovered.
Taranaki DHB medical officer of health Jonathan Jarman says COVID-19 infection in children tends to be milder than in adults and children can often have no symptoms at all.
“The real issue is children can pass on the infection to their brothers, sisters and adults in the family. We expect to see more cases emerge in the next few days.”
This is going to be a tough time for families as the isolation time will be over the Christmas period, he says.
“All the children were too young to be vaccinated so will be considered to be infectious for two weeks.”
“Some families will need to isolate for three to four weeks at least. The community needs to wrap their support around them as it’s going to be tough.”
“There are likely to be locations of interest all over Taranaki.”
Locations of interest, linked to the public and considered high risk, will be published on the Ministry of Health’s website whenever these are identified.
Dr Jarman says if you’re sick ring Healthline and get a COVID-19 test. Stay home until test results are negative and you’ve been well for at least 24 hours.
He says the contact tracing team has found contact tracing to be much easier if people use their COVID-19 tracer app on their phones.
At this stage contact tracers have been unable to find where the original person in Eltham caught their infection.
Dr Jarman says it’s hoped that genome sequencing of the positive test will give clues where the virus came from.
More than 800 COVID-19 tests were completed throughout Taranaki since the first case in Eltham was announced Saturday evening.
With the Taranaki COVID-19 response growing, the DHB, iwi, Māori health providers, primary care and the Ministry of Social Development are all working together to ensure health and welfare needs are supported.
The ability to deliver so much testing has been pivotal on the efforts of Ngāti Ruanui and their saliva testing and Ngāruahine supporting pop-up clinics.
Dr Jarman says vaccination is our best protection against the virus.
“We expect further cases in our region with the country having more freedoms to move around so please don’t delay getting your vaccinations.”
Anyone experiencing COVID-19 symptoms should get tested. Clinics will be open at:
- Base Hospital New Plymouth 9am – 3pm
- Hāwera Hospital 10am – 2pm
- Eltham, Kohanga Reo, 24 York St, Wednesday, 10am – 1pm (run by Ngāruahine)
Times will be extended as needed and other locations added as new locations of interest emerge. Check Healthpoint at https://www.healthpoint.co.nz/covid-19/taranaki/
Anyone not experiencing symptoms, but who wishes to be tested, should have a surveillance saliva test. These are available at:
- Hāwera TSB Hub car park, Waihi Rd, Wednesday, 9.30am – 4pm (run by Ngāti Ruanui)
Testing is also available at various clinics around the region, for details please visit https://www.tdhb.org.nz/covid19/public.shtml
Eltham Pharmacy is open for walk-ins 8.30am – 5pm on Thursdays and Eltham Health Centre also offer COVID-19 vaccinations by appointment only – book at BookMyVaccine.nz.
Other vaccination clinics are open throughout the region. For locations and times please visit https://www.tdhb.org.nz/covid19/vaccine.shtml