A second test of Napier's wastewater for Covid-19 has come back negative, but more testing is needed before the region can relax, Hawke's Bay District Health Board says.
The city has been on high alert after the detection of Covid-19 in the city's wastewater on November 3 was announced.
Hawke's Bay Medical Officer of Health Nick Jones said while the negative result was encouraging, it was too early to be complacent as heavy rainfall last weekend may have impacted readings.
"We are encouraged by today's negative result.
"However, we cannot fully rely on just this test result as wastewater may have been diluted due to the heavy and consistent rainfall experienced last weekend.
"Another wastewater sample was collected in Napier today, with results expected later this week. If negative this will provide us with more confidence that the virus is no longer in the wastewater."
Jones said last week's positive result could still be linked to a person recovering in the community or someone who had recently returned from a Managed Isolation Quarantine (MIQ) facility.
"We know shedding of the virus can continue for some time after recovery and this could be the reason for last week's positive result.
"However, we cannot rule out that there is undetected community transmission."
Jones said it was "crucial" that people who were feeling unwell or had travelled to an alert level 3 region recently should get tested.
Jones said the DHB was opening up options to be tested without the need to book.
He said the DHB noted that not everyone liked or could make an appointment for testing.
No-appointment testing would be available in Napier tomorrow at the Whitmore Park vaccination drive-through between 10.30am and 7.30pm, with more testing clinics being finalised leading into the weekend.
Vaccination Programme Senior Responsible Officer Chris Mckenna said the DHB, together with providers across the region, continued to roll out vaccine clinics and raise coverage.
She said the DHB was focused on doing all it could to reach 90 per cent or more of the population fully vaccinated by the end of the year.
Apart from the clinics, mobile vans and Second Shot weekend, the DHB was also working with iwi, schools, disability support providers, transitional/emergency housing providers and others to offer pop-up and mobile education and vaccination events.
"Māori wardens have also been busy door-knocking in some suburbs to encourage people to get vaccinated.
"Getting fully vaccinated against Covid-19 is our best protection against the virus. People are less likely to require hospital care."