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Tairāwhiti Has First Positive Case

The Ministry of Health announced today (Friday, March 27) that a man has tested positive for COVID-19. The man in his 50s had travelled to Gisborne from the United States and had been in self-isolation since returning to New Zealand. He was one of 85 of new cases confirmed in Aotearoa today.

Hauroa Tairāwhiti Medical Officer of Health Dr Osman Mansoor said the man was in quarantine at home and recovering well. Everyone he has been in contact with since his return is being followed up with but because he has been in self-isolation, the number is low.

Gisborne District Council Mayor Rehette Stoltz is asking people to remain calm and continue to heed the Prime Ministers words.

“We urge everyone to stay home. This is not optional,” she says. “The only way we will stop the spread of the virus through our community is if we all stay home and practice social distancing to ensure that the virus has nowhere to go. Physical isolation is critical to slow down the spread of the virus. Failure to do so puts our people’s lives at risk.”

Civil Defence and Emergency Management Group Controller Dave Wilson says it is frustrating to see and hear that some people are still not taking the stay at home warnings seriously.

“We are relying on the people of Tairāwhiti to slow down the spread so our health system can cope with those who do return positive tests,” says Mr Wilson. “If we can’t do this our health services will be overwhelmed. We have vulnerable people in our community, and we all have a responsibility to protect them. These are people’s aunties, uncles and grandparents. We need you to do your part to save lives.”

All non-essential services are to shut down immediately. This will be enforced by the Police. There are no exceptions! From selling fruit on the side of the road to takeaway deliveries – none of these are permitted in this COVID-19 Level 4 Alert lockdown.

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