New locations of interest or exposure events have been identified in Taranaki after news broke that a local family had tested positive for Covid-19.
A Bunnings store, pharmacy and supermarket are among the new locations in the region announced by the Ministry of Health just after 12pm.
The Bunnings Warehouse at 175 Glover Rd, Hāwera, was visited by a person with the virus on Tuesday between 9.30am to 10.30am.
The Unichem Mackays Pharmacy at 289 Broadway, in Stratford, has been linked to a positive case or cases three time in the last week - the latest visit being yesterday.
The visit times have been reported on Tuesday, November 9, between 11.45am and 12.15pm, Wednesday, November 10, from 4.15pm to 5.30pm, and yesterday between 9.15am and 9.45am.
A local supermarket - New World Stratford, on Regan St - is also connected to a person with the virus there last week on Thursday, November 4, between 9.45am and 10.30am.
Three other locations or exposure events have been recorded in Ōtorohanga, Waikato.
The Dollar City store at 37 Maniapoto St, Ōtorohanga, was visited twice last week; firstly on Wednesday between 4.15pm and 5.30pm and the next day, Thursday, between 2.45pm and 3.30pm.
Kmart Te Rapa on Kārewa Place in Pūkete, Hamilton, has also made the list. A Covid-infected person was there last week on Wednesday from 3.15pm to 5pm.
Taranaki locals urged to get tested and vaccinated
People in and around the town of Stratford are being urged to get tested after news broke yesterday that a family of six in the area had been struck with the virus.
All have been isolating after a visitor from Auckland returned a positive result for Covid after previously testing negative before leaving the city for the visit.
Taranaki District Health Board medical officer of health Dr Jonathan Jarman said the group of three adults and three children had kept to themselves.
But they had been very reluctant to be tested for Covid and had not been using the tracer app, he told Radio NZ.
The children have not been to school or pre-school during their infectious period and he said there might be one or two locations of interest linked to the family.
That information would be released later this morning, he said.
Stratford district mayor Neil Volzke said this morning officials were due to go into a meeting at 8am and more information would be made known afterwards - including whether a boundary may be put in place as a result of the new cases.
He told Newstalk ZB's Mike Hosking the news would bring a lot of angst in the community.
But this did not come as a shock given there had been traces of Covid found in wastewater samples recently.
Volzke said more pop-up testing clinics would be set up over the weekend as a result, but acknowledged that testing rates had gone up slightly before this.
On vaccination rates in the area, which remain somewhat low, he said the new cases would certainly move people to get the jab.
"There's certainly some hesitancy, but I think as well as that, there is a degree of complacency.
"This will certainly prompt some people in getting vaxxed and those that are unwell, of course, we want to get tested."
Volzke later told TVNZ's Breakfast that there had been limited - if any - outside connection to the family involved as they had largely stayed at home.
No locations of interest had been linked to them as of early this morning. If any were identified, however, the mayor said there could be very few.
He called on his community to get out and get tested this weekend and get vaccinated.
"I don't think anyone would've expected to find six in one go - that will be a surprise to people.
Latest anyone with Covid was out and about was Tuesday, in Waikato
"But the message is stay calm, do what you need to do around social distancing, wearing your masks, those kinds of things. And if you're feeling unwell, go and get tested."
The latest anyone with the virus has been out in the community, according to the Ministry of Health's locations page, was three days ago in Ōtorohanga.
A person who has tested positive for Covid was at the Countdown Ōtorohanga supermarket, on Maniapoto St, for just under two hours on Tuesday morning.
The affected time is between 9.30am and 11.15am. Anyone who was at the supermarket at the time is advised to monitor their health for 14 days after being exposed and get a Covid test if any symptoms start to develop.