The Ōpōtiki community is being asked to get tested if they have Covid-19 symptoms after a local case was confirmed today.
Ōpōtiki District Council and Toi Te Ora Public Health confirmed this afternoon that an Ōpōtiki resident had tested positive.
The individual was tested outside of the region and returned to Ōpōtiki to complete the required isolation with public health support.
In a media release, the public health officials stated investigations were continuing as to any exposure risk for individuals and whānau in the Ōpōtiki community.
If any locations of interest were identified for the area, these will be published to the Ministry of Health website and notifications sent out through the Covid-19 Tracer app. Any close contacts identified will be contacted directly by public health services and provided with testing and isolation advice.
Dr Lynne Lane, Medical Officer of Health at Toi Te Ora Public Health, said: "Testing is important to help prevent further spread of the virus in our communities."
"It is also important to keep following other health measures at all times, including wearing masks or face coverings, using the Covid-19 Tracer app to scan in everywhere you go, practicing good hand washing, and maintaining distance from others where you can.
"The spread of Covid-19 into our Bay of Plenty districts is also an important reminder of the need to get vaccinated. Getting fully vaccinated helps protect yourself and those you love against Covid-19," said Dr Lane.
Testing is available this week between 10am to 2pm on Thursday and Friday, and from 9am to 1pm on Saturday, at 7 Moody Place, Te Pou Oranga o Whakatōhea Social and Health Services Building.
Scheduled testing times will be extended to accommodate demand.
Further testing times will be advertised.
The most common symptoms of Covid-19 include fever, cough, tiredness and loss of taste or smell. Other, less common symptoms can include a sore throat, headache, aches and pains, diarrhoea, a rash on skin, or discolouration of fingers or toes, red or irritated eyes.
Ōpōtiki mayor Lyn Riesterer said the local case was not surprising and the community was prepared.
"This case is very recent so we will wrap support around the household and go through the formal process to ensure that we know of any close contacts or locations of interest – it is still very early days and we'll know more soon," she said.
"As a community, this is a bit of a reminder that Covid-19 is still out there and we need to be prepared – make sure you are keeping up to date with locations of interest, you are scanning in and practising good hygiene. And of course, get vaccinated if you can – it is our best defence against the virus and it is a way of looking after ourselves and the vulnerable in our community."
Vaccination clinics are being held on Thursday at Church Street Dispensary, Friday and Saturday at the Ōpōtiki Health Centre vaccination clinic 32a King Street, and Sunday at the Church Street Dispensary.