Covid-19 has spread beyond the Waikato alert level 3 boundary. At the time of the Te Awamutu Courier going to print there was one confirmed case in Karapiro near Cambridge and one in Kawhia.
The cases were confirmed yesterday and Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said no decisions had been made about whether or not the alert level 3 boundary would be expanded but it would be discussed further.
Yesterday there were also seven other community cases in the Waikato and 30 in Auckland. The nine Waikato cases are linked to known cases.
Waipā Mayor Jim Mylchreest said the news may be unsettling for some but reminded the community to stay calm and take appropriate steps to stop any spread.
"Covid-19 has now reached our community. It shows just how determined the Delta variant is to spread far and wide. Our best defence is to get vaccinated, contact trace and get tested if you have any symptoms," says Jim.
A pop-up testing station was set up immediately at Mighty River Domain and is open today from 8am to 4.30pm.
Residents who are symptomatic and who have been at a location of interest are encouraged to go and get tested.
Fifty Waikato Hospital Emergency Department staff have also been stood down after a patient who visited the hospital tested positive. They were asymptomatic.
The case spent around three hours in the children's emergency department area on Friday night, and was likely infectious during this time, Waikato DHB said.
Any member of public who was present at the ED will be notified directly as a potential contact.
Director of Public Health, Dr Caroline McElnay, yesterday announced that a shorter gap between doses is now being encouraged.
In August, the gap was extended from three to six weeks but now officials are recommending a change back to three weeks so more people can get vaccinated sooner.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's message to New Zealanders is to get vaccinated against Covid-19 "if you want to avoid level 3".
Following cases being found in Raglan and Hamilton on Sunday, Ardern said that if the vaccination rate was at 90 per cent or above in either areas, then it would've been "highly unlikely" she'd have announced the level 3 restrictions for the areas.
In response, the New Zealand Herald and NZME have launched The 90% Project which aims to see at least 90 per cent of the countries eligible population vaccinated against the virus by Christmas.
The campaign is presented by the NZ Herald, Newstalk ZB, Northern Advocate, Bay of Plenty Times, Rotorua Daily Post, Hawke's Bay Today, Whanganui Chronicle and NZME's community papers.
It brings readers all they need to know about why vaccination protects against Covid, how to get vaccinated yourself and how to help friends and whānau understand why they
should do the same.
A big focus of the campaign will be to ensure that under-represented communities, including young people, Māori and Pasifika, get the same high rates of protection as all New Zealanders.