JUST IN: The Ministry of Health reported Friday evening ESR has detected Covid-19 in New Plymouth's wastewater.
A positive test result was detected from a sample taken in wastewater earlier today, and a second sample returned another positive result this evening.
The two results are likely due to cases that recently recovered but continue to shed the virus. Another possibility is cases coming from elsewhere around the country to visit New Plymouth at the time.
ESR considers a single recovered person to be shedding the virus and cause for detection in the wastewater.
Mariners aboard the Playa Zahara and Viking Bay vessels were recently docked at Port Taranaki earlier — the dates of their visits which were brief, including their activity, does not appear to be the source of such detections.
Additional testing for a small number of port workers and nurses who had been in contact with the mariners is underway to rule out any community transmission. Previously they were tested and returned negative results.
Anyone showing symptoms, especially within the vicinity of the New Plymouth area, are being asked to get advice by calling Healthline (0800 358 5453) to get a test. Capacity for testing has been ramped up a notch to maintain demand.
“We are closely monitoring this situation, and additional public health advice will be provided — if, and when, required,” a statement from the Ministry to thisquality says.
“ESR undertakes regular wastewater testing across the country, as an additional surveillance tool in the fight against COVID-19.”
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