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Close Contacts Return Negative Results For COVID-19 But Two Locations Of Interest Identified

Initial tests of all identified close contacts linked to a known COVID-19 case isolating in the region have returned negative for COVID-19, but further interviews have identified two locations of interest.

Hawke’s Bay District Health Board Medical Officer of Health Dr Nick Jones said today the negative results from initial tests were promising and further tests were pending with results expected over the coming days.

“These close contacts remain self-isolating safely and are following all the appropriate public health advice. However, extensive interviews with the case have revealed two locations of interest where there is the potential for exposure, although the risk is deemed low,” said Dr Jones.

“Up until today any exposures identified were assessed as limited and close contacts were identified early. Further assessment with the case has revealed dates and times of two locations of interest that were visited for very short periods, by the case, while wearing a face covering, but where exposure could have occurred with unknown contacts.

“These locations of interest are being uploaded to the Ministry of Health’s locations of interest page this evening. They are:

  • Big Barrel, Carlyle Street, Napier on 15 November between 6pm and 7pm
  • Paper Plus, Hastings Street, Napier South, on 16 November between 3.30pm and 4.30pm

Dr Jones said the advice remained the same for anyone whether they had visited a location or not, to get tested for COVID-19 even if experiencing cold or flu symptoms, however mild. People were also reminded to follow strict Level 2 rules of wearing a face mask, practising social distancing and tracking your movements using the COVID-19 tracer app or personal diary.

“There are multiple options for testing across the region so it is important anyone gets tested, however mild their symptoms and even if they are vaccinated.

“More than 250 people were tested yesterday but we would anticipate more people to come forward for testing over the coming days,” he said.

The case, from Auckland, remained in a community isolation facility (Kennedy Park) where health and welfare needs were being met.

“The case is well supported and is isolated in an appropriate part of the facility, which is completely self-contained and there is no further risk to anyone else.”

However, he warned of bullying by members of the community on social media.

“We have been made aware of social media bullying of close contacts of the COVID positive case.

“While we understand there is a high level of anxiety in the community, these people are doing all the right things and they need our community support.”

Full testing and vaccination information is available at www.ourhealthhb.nz

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