For more detail about the virus, including the topics below, please visit the Ministry of Health Novel coronavirus (COVID-19) web page which will be regularly updated.
- What is novel coronavirus (COVID-19)?
- Signs and symptoms
- Current status
- Advice for travellers
- History of COVID-19
- Further information and resources
- Advice for health professionals
Coronavirus / COVID-19
Taranaki has joined the rest of the nation and moved to an Alert Level 4, where people are being asked to stay at home to reduce the risk of COVID-19 spread.
We are also in a state of national emergency which gives authorities additional powers to support and enforce the Level 4 status.
Everyone needs to be in self-isolation. This is our one chance to keep the virus out and stamp it out. Be calm, be kind, but please stay at home.
All non-essential services are now closed, but essential services such as hospitals, supermarkets, pharmacies, clinics, and lifeline utilities remain open.
Travel is severely restricted and only for essential services. Alert Level 4 is expected to continue for four weeks at this stage.
Taranaki DHB, along with the wider health sector and government agencies, have planned for this and have systems in place to manage cases, prevent spread and protect the health of our local community.
Information to ensure local residents are well informed about this new virus and are supported are available at www.health.govt.nz (for health guidelines) and covid19.govt.nz an All-of-Government response website with everything you need to know about COVID-19 in one place. The aim of this site is to give people simple steps to unite against the virus and slow its spread.
- 1 April - COVID-19 cases continue for Taranaki
- 31 March - Taranaki has 13 people confirmed with COVID-19
- 28 March - First confirmed COVID-19 case hospitalised in Taranaki
- 27 March - Temporary no-visitors policy now in place at Taranaki DHB
- 27 March - Sporadic cases of COVID-19 throughout Taranaki
- 26 March - Fifth confirmed case of COVID-19 in Taranaki
- 22 March - Two more confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Taranaki, brings total to four
- 22 March - Temporary changes to visiting, outpatient services and planned surgeries at Taranaki DHB
- 19 March - Protect friends and whānau in hospital – stay home if you are unwell
- 19 March - New Zealanders advised not to travel overseas
- 19 March - Taranaki has two confirmed cases of COVID-19
Frequently asked questions about COVID-19
Are there people with COVID-19 in our community?
There are people in Taranaki with confirmed COVID-19 infection living in North, Central and South Taranaki. ;At the end of March 2020 all of these people with COVID-19 had either recently returned from overseas travel or were household contacts of people who had recently returned from overseas travel. There is no evidence of sustained community transmission in Taranaki at this stage.
Am I a close contact?
Close contacts are people who have spent time in close proximity with a person with confirmed COVID-19 infection. Taranaki DHB’s Public Health Unit follows up these people immediately. They are asked to stay in strict isolation, are provided with information, and support is arranged if necessary.
lf you have not been notified by the Public Health Unit you are not considered to be a close contact.
People who have had brief encounters of a person with COVID-19 are not considered to be close contacts.
Who undertakes contact tracing?
The Public Health Unit does the contact tracing for close contacts. As soon as the Public Health Unit are notified of a person with COVID-19 contact tracing begins. This is a high priority activity and is carried out immediately.
What is contact tracing?
The main aim of contact tracing is to identify people who are at higher risk of being infected. The people most at risk of infection are the household contacts of a person with COVID-19.
‘Close contact’ is defined as any person with the following exposure to a suspect, confirmed or probable case during the case’s infectious period, without appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE):
- direct contact with the body fluids or the laboratory specimens of a case
- presence in the same room in a health care setting when an aerosol-generating procedure is undertaken on a case
- living in the same household or household-like setting (e.g. shared section of a hostel) with a case
- face-to-face contact in any setting within two metres of a case for 15 minutes or more
- having been in a closed environment (e.g. classroom, hospital waiting room, or transport other than aircraft) within two metres of a case for 15 minutes or more
- having been seated on an aircraft within two metres of a case (for economy class this would mean two seats in any direction including seats across the aisle, other classes would require further assessment)
- aircraft crew exposed to a case (a risk assessment conducted by the airline is required to identify which crew should be managed as close contacts).
Should I get tested?
The purpose of testing is to determine if a person with symptoms has COVID-19 infection.
A referral for testing will be made if you meet the current case definition which is:
Any acute respiratory infection with at least one of the following symptoms: cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, coryza, anosmia with or without fever.
Testing is also available for unwell healthcare and other essential workers in some circumstances.
What should I do if I need to get tested?
Call the dedicated healthline number 0800 358 5453 or ring ahead to your GP. They will direct you for testing or treatment if necessary.
Can I get tested locally?
There are designated testing clinics in New Plymouth, Waitara, Hawera and Opunake so you won’t be required to travel out of Taranaki to be tested.
What if I have COVID-19 symptoms?
If you are experiencing symptoms such as fever, cough, sore throat and shortness of breath please call the dedicated healthline number 0800 358 5453 or ring ahead to your GP. They will direct you for testing or treatment if necessary. If there is a medical emergency please call 111 and ask for an ambulance.
Where can I get more information?
For more health information please visit the Ministry of Health website www.health.govt.nz
For more public-focused all-of-government information please visit covid19.govt.nz