Covid-19: Eight new cases in the Waikato, all from Te Awamutu

There are eight new community cases of Covid-19 in Waikato, according to the Ministry of Health, and one of those has not yet been linked to the outbreak. All of the new cases are from the Te Awamutu area, Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said during the 1pm briefing on Thursday. One of the Waikato cases undertook permitted travel to Hawke’s Bay last Friday prior to becoming a confirmed case. The case returned to Te Awamutu before testing positive.Christel Yardley/StuffPeople queueing at the Te Awamutu testing station at the Te Awamutu Events Centre. READ MORE:* Four new community cases of Covid-19 in Waikato, two of them unlinked* Eight Te Awamutu Covid-19 cases, only three places of interest * Seven new community cases of Covid-19 in Waikato – the highest daily total in the past week “The eight new cases in the Waikato are all in the Te Awamutu area,” Bloomfield said. “Seven are in Te Awamutu and one is in Kihikihi.” The Te Awamutu case that travelled to Napier was a permitted traveller with an exemption to travel on October 15, he said. “They were not a confirmed case during their travel, but subsequently turned positive when they returned to the Waikato where they are isolating at home.” There were two close contacts identified one of whom lives in Wairua, however, both have since returned negative tests, so there’s “no risk of onward infection there”, he said Those close contact will be kept in isolation for the full 14 day period and will be tested on the twelfth day. There have now been 64 cases in the region. Seven of the new cases have been linked, but one hasn’t been yet. Bloomfield said he understood that the only two cases that haven’t been linked were the two in Hamilton from a week ago. The genome sequence has been linked, but the epidemiological link hasn’t been made yet, he said. “Waikato DHB is continuing to do testing across the region and there were over 3,000 swabs taken since [Wednesday]. “However, we would like to see higher testing numbers in and around Te Awamutu.” People in Te Awamutu are urged to get tested if they or anyone in their household has symptoms, or if they have travelled out of Te Awamutu over the past week for work or other activities, whether symptomatic or not. Wastewater testing in towns around the Waikato area, particularly around Te Awamutu will be increased, Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson said. A public health risk assessment on the Waikato alert levels was expected later this afternoon. “We will assess it as quickly as we can, to give certainty to the people of Waikato as quickly as possible,” Robertson said.

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