People in Tauranga are being urged to get tested if they have symptoms of Covid-19 after the virus was detected in a wastewater sample collected last Thursday.
Yesterday, Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield said the result could point to a recovered case still shedding the virus, or an undetected acute case.
Further wastewater samples have been taken and results are expected tomorrow.
Associate Minister of Health Dr Ayesha Verrall told Morning Report a cautious approach is being taken and anyone in Bay of Plenty with symptoms should get a test.
"We're just eager that people in Tauranga who do have symptoms do get tested just in case that turns out to be a true positive result in the waste water," she said.
"There's a possibility" Delta could be in the area, she said, but there has been false positives in wastewater in the past.
Several thousand people contribute to waste water to a single sample so it's not wise to try to read the tea leaves on what level of PCR positivity there was, she said.
Asked if the truck driver who recently tested positive after travelling from Auckland border to Tauranga was an area of concern, Dr Verrall said there was a wide sweep of locations of interest following the case.
The locations of interest in the area were BP Tauriko in Tauranga on 11 September and Uppercrust Bakery in Mt Maunganui on 11 and 24 September.
"[From] the investigation of his movements and behaviour you'll recall he was very diligent with using PPE and protection distancing while he was working," Verrall said.
Verrall also said routine vaccination and testing is required of all workers at the port, she said.
"And I know extensive work has been done in the Bay of Plenty port recently but to my knowledge no leads there as to what the positive wastewater result would be."
More information about the wastewater result in Tauranga will be released today at the 1pm Covid-19 update.
Tauranga Chamber of Commerce chief executive Matt Cowley says people are anxious and want to avoid any rise in alert level heading into the summer, when hospitality and tourism sectors make most of their money.
But he was hoping it was a false positive or the virus being shed from historical cases who had completed MIQ.
"Let's all follow the rules but also get vaccinated that's the only way to buffer ourselves from the psychological and economic costs of the lockdown."
With the next level announcement looming, so is the target for a 90 percent vaccination rate across Tāmaki Makaurau.
Verrall says they always knew the last 10 percent of people they need to reach would take the longest.
"As the campaign has gone on we are continuing to offer different and more individualised ways of people being able to get vaccinated.
"The types of things that are being done across the country includes more in-home vaccinations for people who can't make it to a larger centre, it includes very detailed work with the data that we have to make sure specific neighbourhoods or communities are being reached out to."
She says close work with Māori and Pacific providers includes making sure they have access to the data that is relevant to their communities.
Verrall says GPs are ringing around the remaining over-65s to get them in for a shot.
"Currently, I think, 93 percent of over-65s have either been vaccinated or have a booking."
Where to get tested in Tauranga
Mount Maunganui Covid testing services
• Dee Street Medical Centre
• The Doctors Bayfair
• Mount Medical Centre
• Girven Road Medical Centre
• Farm Street Family Health Centre
Tauranga Covid testing services
• Chadwick Healthcare - South City, Greerton, Tauriko, Bethlehem
• The Doctors - Welcome Bay, Bureta, Tauranga
• Fifth Avenue Family Practice
• Pirirakau Hauora
• Healthcare on Fifteenth Avenue
• Family Doctors
• Gate Pa Medical Centre
• Ngati Kahu Hauora GP Service
• Otumoetai Doctors
• Hairini Family Health Centre
• Accident and HealthCare
• Te Manu Toroa Tauranga Moana City Clinic
• Bethlehem Family Doctor
• Epic Health Medical Practice
• Bethlehem Medical Centre
Pāpāmoa Covid testing services
• Pāpāmoa Beach Family Practice
• Pāpāmoa Pines Medical Centre - Palm Springs, Domain Road
• Tara Road Medical Centre
• The Doctors Pāpāmoa
For a full list of Bay of Plenty testing sites, visit the Healthpoint website: https://www.healthpoint.co.nz/bay-of-plenty/tauranga/