Health teams are working to establish whether there are undetected cases of Covid in the Gisborne region after two wastewater samples tested positive for the virus.
The tests were taken between Monday and Wednesday in Napier and Gisborne, with the positive results coming this afternoon.
A Ministry of Health spokesperson said there are no MIQ facilities, or known Covid-19 cases self-isolating, in Napier or Gisborne.
That meant the positive tests could be from recently recovered cases returning to the region from MIQ who are shedding the virus, visitors to the region, or it could signal undetected cases in the community.
Gisborne District Council reiterated there were no confirmed Covid community cases in its Tairāwhiti District Health Board region at the moment.
"Further tests are being carried out to determine if there is undetected community transmission of the virus in our region," it said in a Facebook post.
"If you haven't had your first Covid-19 vaccination, or are due to have your second dose, then please do this as soon as possible."
The council urged anyone in the DHB region who has cold or flu-like symptoms and who may have been exposed to a Covid infected person or travelled out of the area, such as to Auckland, to get tested immediately.
"Please only get tested if you meet this criteria," it said.
Mayor Rehette Stolz told Checkpoint everyone in the region with flu-like symptoms should get tested immediately.
"And also, get vaccinated."
Tairāwhiti has the lowest vaccination rate of any DHB in the country, with 65 per cent of the eligible population fully vaccinated, and 80 per cent with one dose.
For eligible Maori, only 52 per cent are double dosed and 70 per cent have had one dose.
In Hawke's Bay DHB, 85 per cent of eligible residents have had their first dose and 72 per cent are fully vaccinated.
Government funded science research group ESR will carry out further wastewater testing samples in coming days with results expected early next week.
Gisborne residents can, meanwhile, get a Covid test this Saturday and Sunday at a drive-through station set up at 110 Peel Street from 9am-5pm, no appointment required.
Testing is also available by appointment at the following locations across Hawke's Bay
- Napier: 06 650 4000 open 9am-5pm
- Hastings: 06 281 2644 open 8am-8pm
- Wairoa: 06 838 8333 open 8.30am-5pm
- Central Hawke's Bay resident should phone their GP or call Healthline: 0800 358 5453.
The ministry also urged anyone yet to get a first dose or waiting on their second to get the jab as soon as possible.
"The Covid-19 vaccination is (the) number one protection against the virus," it said.
This weekend people in the Tairāwhiti DHB region can get vaccinated at the following locations with no appointment:
- Te Tini o Porou, corner of Huxley road and Tindall road: 9am – 5pm
- Drive-through at Harry Barker Reserve (enter from Gladstone road): 10am – 7pm
- Community vaccination clinic 295 Palmerston Road (walk in): 9am – 5pm
- Patutahi clinic (at the Patutahi Hall) drive-through clinic 10am – 2pm (Sunday only)
Addition reporting RNZ