There are two new cases of Covid-19 in Taranaki.
A media release from the Taranaki District Health Board today states the two cases are in isolation in New Plymouth. The new cases are from the same household.
These are the first cases of the new year, taking the region's total number of active cases to four, with two from the Eltham cluster identified in late 2021 still recovering.
DHB Covid-19 response manager Gillian Campbell says investigations are under way to determine if the people are linked to any current clusters.
"At this stage we're waiting for genome sequencing to get a better understanding of where the virus has come from. These people have been between the Bay of Plenty and Taranaki over the New Year holiday so our Public Health team is working to identify any locations of interest which may pose a risk to the public."
A department at Base Hospital has been identified as a location of interest, she says.
"We can confirm that Taranaki Base Hospital's Emergency Department has been identified as an exposure event in early January and we are working with those who may be affected, including staff. We have completed a risk assessment of ED and no staff have had to be stood down. ED will be listed as a location of interest on the Ministry of Health's website."
The exposure event was between 6.30pm on Saturday, January 1, and 12am on Sunday, January 2. Anyone who was in ED during this time should follow the advice from the Ministry of Health.
Testing rates have been low across the New Year holiday with 276 tests completed throughout the region over the holiday period, and the new cases are a reminder to be extra vigilant at this busy time of year, says Gillian.
"With so much travel around the country right now, it's important people stay alert to even mild Covid-19 symptoms. People have been away in other regions, and we have visitors from out of the region, so it could be the perfect breeding ground for Covid-19 to come into our community."
Testing centres are open daily at Taranaki Base Hospital from 9am to 3pm and Hāwera Hospital from 10am to 2pm, with the ability to increase hours if there is demand. For more testing information go to TDHB - COVID-19 testing.
Locations of interest are updated frequently on the Ministry of Health's website.
Gillian says it's important people continue to be vigilant with regards to their health and alert to any symptoms.
"Please don't delay getting tested if you have any cold or flu-like symptoms, get tested to be sure."