Ministry Of Health Adds Taumarunui To Wastewater Testing
Medical Officer of Health Waikato, Dr Richard Vipond has requested Council to start testing wastewater from the Hikumutu Wastewater Treatment Plant in Taumarunui for COVID-19.
Council Environmental Manager Stuart Watson said although there is currently no evidence of COVID-19 in Taumarunui the decision by the Ministry of Health to start wastewater testing is a precautionary move to confirm if COVID-19 has spread into our area.
"As testing resources are limited the Ministry of Health who determines what populations to test needs to take a strategic approach on where to test,” he said.
In this case the decision to start testing Taumarunui's wastewater is in response to COVID-19 being in neighbouring regions.
Council has just received the test kits and the first wastewater samples will be taken on Monday next week (25 Oct).
The testing will now be done weekly as a normal course of business.
If test results show that COVID-19 is in the Taumarunui population the health authorities have a range of response measures.
These include pop-up testing and vaccination clinics through to increasing the Alert Level.
Ohakune and Raetihi will not be tested for now but that could easily change if their situation does.”