There have been no new cases of Covid-19 in Taranaki for almost a week now.

The number of cases in Taranaki has remained at 14 since last Wednesday.

Of those 14 cases, six people have now recovered, says Becky Jenkins, Taranaki District Health Board (TDHB) Incident Management Team controller.

One person has been in hospital, but they are now at home and recovering well she says.


Of the 14 cases, 13 are confirmed and one is considered probable.

Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield explained the term probable when it was first introduced into the daily case counts.

"This is a person who has returned a negative laboratory test result but the clinician looking after the person has diagnosed them as a probable case due to their exposure history and their clinical symptoms."

Becky says the recent changes to domestic flights, meaning none are now coming in to New Plymouth, meant the TDHB had to review arrangements for laboratory sample transportation.

"We continue to send COVID-19 test swabs to the Canterbury DHB laboratory for testing and analysis on weekdays. The test samples are couriered to Palmerston North and then flown by private arrangement to Christchurch for testing. On the weekends the test samples are driven to the Wellington laboratory where testing will be undertaken."

The system will be regularly reviewed and the turn around rate from test to result is between two to three days, she says.

People who are experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms should call the dedicated COVID-19 Healthline number 0800 358 5453 or their GP to be referred for testing or treatment if required. Once referred people will be advised which testing clinic to attend and be given an appointment time wherever possible.

In the period between March 28 and April 6, a total of 332 swabs for COVID-19 were taken at the DHB testing clinics in Hawera (119 tests) and at Base Hospital (213 tests). There are two other testing sites in Taranaki, in Waitara and Opunake, and their results aren't included in the 332 tests, says Becky.


There have been no cases with a link to the WOMAD festival which took place just over three weeks ago in the region, says Becky.

While details on all confirmed cases are made available on the Ministry of Health's website, there can be gaps in some of the areas at times, says Becky.

"The information is only uploaded once it becomes available and often there can be a lapse with this. However, travel and flight information relating to these cases does not affect the general public."

Ngākuru School 7-year-old Harriet Grainger-Allen delivers a mock news broadcast about the Covid-19 lock down.

The lapse doesn't need to concern people, she adds, as any close contacts are contacted automatically. Close contacts are people who have spent time in close proximity with a person with confirmed COVID-19 infection.

"People who are known to have been a close contact of any confirmed COVID-19 cases have been contacted by Taranaki DHB's Public Health Unit (PHU), including those who may have travelled on the same transport. The PHU follows up with close contacts immediately. They are asked to stay in strict isolation, are provided with information, and support is arranged if necessary."