Further wastewater testing results have come back negative in Tauranga and Mount Maunganui.
Health Minister Chris Hipkins told RNZ this morning no Covid-19 was detected in the wastewater "as of late yesterday".
"At this point, we still don't have a confirmed theory as to exactly what happened with the earlier test result for this positive one," Hipkins said.
"But if we were dealing with a potential outbreak in those areas we would expect to see further positive wastewater testing there and we're not."
A Ministry of Health spokesperson said ESR had arranged for further samples to be collected from Tauranga and Mount Maunganui to provide "further confidence" that it was unlikely there were undetected Covid-19 cases in the community.
Results were expected "over the coming days".
The ministry urged anyone anywhere in the country with cold or flu symptoms to call Healthline for advice on getting a Covid-19 test.
In the 1pm briefing on Tuesday, director-general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said a wastewater sample taken on September 23 in Tauranga had tested positive.
Four hundred people were tested in the Tauranga area after the positive result. Bloomfield urged Tauranga residents and those in the wider motu to get vaccinated.
Tauranga MP Simon Bridges told the Bay of Plenty Times the five days it took to inform people of the positive result seemed "too long", however a Ministry of Health spokesperson said it was "incorrect" to say it took five days.
The ministry received regular reports from ESR with results of its wastewater testing, the spokesperson said.
"While the sample was received on Friday, the detection in Tauranga was included in ESR's report, which [was] received on Monday evening.
"The result was reported within two working days of the sample being received by ESR. This included time for repeat analysis of the samples due to the low levels of the virus initially detected."
The spokesperson said unexpected wastewater results could be from a recovered case who was "excreting viral fragments", or an undetected acute case.
ESR scientists worked "around the clock" to provide wastewater and PCR testing results in an accurate and timely way, while also continuing to provide laboratory services for other test results, the spokesperson said.
The Ministry of Health was asked how many people were released from a quarantine facility and travelled to Tauranga between September 9 and 23.
A spokesperson said "nothing in the data" indicated that anyone left MIQ and went to Tauranga during that time.
Fifth Avenue Medical Centre GP Dr Luke Bradford said yesterday there had "definitely been an increased demand" for testing after the announcement.
"Most of the clinics put on extra capacity," he said.
"We certainly did at Fifth Avenue, and we slowly filled that capacity throughout the day, but it's nowhere near the demand we were seeing at the start of the Delta outbreak."
Second Ave Accident and HealthCare manager Dave Gilbert said he had not noticed "any major increases" in testing.
"It's still been busy but it certainly hasn't increased dramatically."
The Bay of Plenty District Health Board's Covid-19 incident controller Trevor Richardson said additional testing capacity had been made available at GP practices in the greater Tauranga area.
"At present, there has not been any significant increase in testing demand. GP practices will extend testing hours, depending on demand."
The DHB continued to manage testing capacity across the region and additional capacity could be stood up immediately, depending on demand, he said.
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 Rd
• Tara Road Medical Centre
• The Doctors Pāpāmoa
For a full list of Bay of Plenty testing sites, go to: https://www.healthpoint.co.nz/bay-of-plenty/tauranga/