The Ministry of Health has officially reported 16 new cases of COVID-19 in the rural township of Eltham today. Fifteen of these cases were announced yesterday by Taranaki DHB, and one new case is being reported today, taking the total number of active cases to 20 in Taranaki.
Taranaki DHB’s Public Health Unit (PHU) is conducting interviews with the latest case to identify, isolate, and test any close contacts and determine any further locations of interest. Though initial investigations have confirmed this case is linked to previously reported cases in the area.
Earlier case interviews have determined a range of locations of interest, which have been added to the Ministry’s website, with further locations expected.
Taranaki DHB’s COVID-19 Response general manager, Gillian Campbell, urges the Taranaki community to keep monitoring locations of interest which are being updated regularly.
“There are more than 10 locations of interest across Hāwera, Manaia and New Plymouth. Anyone who has visited a location of interest and has COVID-19 symptoms should get tested as soon as possible.
“We know some people are concerned there have been no locations of interest announced in the Eltham area, but that’s because there has only been one location identified as being high risk to the public, and everyone who has been to this location has already been contacted by the PHU.”
Testing numbers have been steady around the region in the past 24 hours with over 300 tests completed in New Plymouth, Hāwera and Eltham yesterday.
Mrs Campbell says testing should be prioritised for people with symptoms.
“If you have symptoms – no matter how mild – please get tested, even if you are vaccinated. Once tested you need to stay home until you return a negative test result.”
Testing clinics will remain open throughout the region this week, including a further pop-up clinic planned at the Eltham Kohanga Reo, 24 York St from 10am - 1pm on Friday 17 December (run by Ngāruahine).
Mrs Campbell also reinforces vaccination as the best protection.
“If there’s ever been a better time to get vaccinated against COVID-19, it’s now. Please don’t be complacent, act now to ensure you and your whānau are protected.”
For testing information please visit TDHB - COVID-19 testing.
For vacation information please visit TDHB - COVID-19 vaccine.