MOH still investigating how Covid entered Tauranga

Covid testing at Tauranga Racecourse in Greerton. Photo. John Borren.

The Ministry of Health are still unsure of how Covid-19 found its way into the Bay of Plenty District Health Board region.

Tauranga and the surrounding area have now had 40 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the region since the first case was announced on Thursday, November 18.

Cases have been confirmed in Tauranga and Mount Maunganui with school communities across the area particularly impacted.

This week also saw the first case emerge in the Eastern Bay of Plenty as part of the current outbreak, with Covid-19 testing sites popping up in Waimana as a result.

Numerous locations of interest have also been reported by the Ministry of Health, across Tauranga, Mount Maunganui, Pāpāmoa, Te Puke, Paengaroa, Whakatāne, Taneatua and Rotorua.

But how Covid-19, which had been spreading across New Zealand, including Auckland, Waikato, Northland and the Lakes region, found its way into Tauranga has not yet been established.

A link between known Bay of Plenty Covid-19 cases and reported cases outside the region is still being investigated,” says a statement from the Ministry of Health.

Four days prior to the first Tauranga cases of this outbreak, on November 14, the first two community cases of the current outbreak were reported in Rotorua, part of the neighbouring Lakes DHB region.

This followed a positive test result in Taupō the previous day.

Mount Maunganui had also returned positive wastewater detections for Covid-19 on Wednesday, November 10 and Thursday, November 11, with a positive detection in Tauranga on November 11 so it is possible Covid was already in the community prior to that initial positive detection.

Yesterday saw confirmation of two new cases of Covid-19 in Tauranga and one in Rotorua.

Anyone who has symptoms of Covid-19 should seek a test.

Symptoms of Covid-19 include: a new or worsening cough, sneezing and runny nose, fever, temporary loss of smell or altered sense of taste, sore throat, and shortness of breath.

Details of testing stations in Bay of Plenty can be found on the Healthpoint website.

The BOPDHB also encourages people to get vaccinated if they are not already vaccinated as it is the best way to keep our communities safe from the virus.

To find the locations for vaccination centres that are open, please visit Healthpoint.

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