A traveller to Hawke's Bay from Waikato who has tested positive for Covid was likely infectious in the community, the Ministry of Health says.
Kmart in Napier has subsequently been identified as a location of interest.
If you were at Kmart last Friday between 3:53 pm and 5:13 pm the advice is:
- Sellf-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms for 14 days after you were exposed at this location of interest.
- If symptoms develop, get a test and stay at home until you get a negative test result AND until 24 hours after symptoms resolve.
One of today's Covid-19 cases was a person who had an exemption to travel to Napier on Friday, October 15.
They then returned a positive test once they returned to Waikato.
Their "infectious" period included the time they were travelling, director general of health Ashley Bloomfield said today.
Two of the person's close contacts in Hawke's Bay returned negative day 6 tests this afternoon.
One of the close contacts lives in Napier and the other in Wairoa but was visiting Napier on the Friday the traveller was in the city.
The two contacts would also have a day 12 test next Wednesday, a ministry spokesman said.
No cases of Covid were reported in Hawke's Bay today.
The Waikato case was asymptomatic when they entered and left the region.
A ministry spokesman said the person travelled to Hawke's Bay the day before developing symptoms, but people can be infectious for up to 48 hours before symptoms develop, which is why the ministry traces contacts 48 hours before symptoms begin.
"Some people remain asymptomatic or have very mild symptoms throughout, but can still potentially infect others."
The Waikato person is now isolating at home. The spokesman reminded Hawke's Bay to "be kind".
A spokesman did not confirm if the Covid case was double vaccinated.
"For privacy reasons, wherever possible, the Ministry of Health does not comment on individual cases and at this stage, we are not commenting on the vaccination status of this case."
Wairoa District Council mayor Craig Little said he knew the contact in Wairoa and believed the man had done "everything right".
"He'd been double vaxxed, he isolated straight away and tested negative."
He said he was deemed "a low-risk" case.
"This individual did nothing wrong, and the fact he tested negative should be a motivation for all the people out there who are still thinking about not getting the vaccination."
He said he wasn't aware of any locations of interest in Wairoa at the present time.
Hawke's Bay DHB medical officer of health Nick Jones thanked the close contacts identified in Hawke's Bay for following public health advice and "doing the right thing".
Jones said investigations continued and people should keep an eye on the ministry's locations of interest, which would be updated if any locations in Hawke's Bay were identified.
"The DHB would also actively share any new information to ensure the public were well informed.
"It is reassuring negative results have been returned at the six-day mark, which is good news.
"However, today's news is a timely reminder for Hawke's Bay residents to continue to follow level 2 Covid advice when out and about."
He urged people to get vaccinated.
"It remains your best protection against Covid-19 and I strongly urge people to get protected and get it done."
Nationwide there were 102 Covid cases in the community yesterday, the highest daily number since coronavirus hit NZ shores last year.
Hospital numbers are also at their highest - 46 people were on a ward or in ICU today.
Ninety-four cases are in Auckland and eight are in Waikato, Bloomfield said.
Case numbers have hopped around in recent days, from 94 on Tuesday - the highest daily number since the pandemic began - to 60 yesterday.
Ikaroa-Rawhiti MP Meka Whaitiri said although no one wanted Covid-19 to come to Hawke's Bay, the community had been preparing for it and she was confident the individuals involved had followed the correct procedures.
She said contact tracing was "critical" but vaccination remained the best form of defence.
Low vaccination rates in parts of the region, particularly among Māori communities remained a concern, she said.
"That's what's kept me up at night."
She urged anyone with symptoms to isolate at home and get tested, and follow other MoH advice.
Tukituki MP Anna Lorck said the entire region was working together to keep Covid out, as evidenced on Super Saturday last weekend.
"But we must keep focusing on protecting our communities and keep vaccinating."
She said 82 per cent of people in HB had at least one dose of the vaccination and she thanked them for their efforts.
"Super Saturday was an enormous success, and alongside the lives saved, it reminded us that we are still a team.
"While Super Saturday was a fantastic effort, the job is not done yet. "
She said vaccinations helped slow the spread by making people less likely to catch Covid and less likely to pass it on to others.
"On Friday, we will set out the new Covid Protection Framework, a plan to continue to protect New Zealanders from the virus in a highly vaccinated environment."