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Close Contacts – Initial Results Negative. Further Identifying And Testing Of Close Contacts Underway

Initial test results of identified close contacts linked to a known COVID-19 case isolating in the region have returned negative for COVID-19, but more testing is being processed with urgency.

Hawke’s Bay District Health Board Medical Officer of Health Dr Rachel Eyre said investigations continue with the case and identified close contacts. More close contacts were being interviewed today and priority testing was underway.

“The case, from Auckland, was tested before departure for COVID-19 and received results after arriving into the region. This case is not in any way linked to a potential exposure investigated by public health in Central Hawke’s Bay last week where the risk was deemed low,” Dr Eyre said.

Dr Eyre said the case agreed with public health to go to a community isolation facility (Kennedy Park) last night where their health and welfare needs could be met over the coming days. 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.

“We are working through all lines of enquiry for due diligence to gather a clearer picture of any exposure risks related to this case. This work is fluid and ongoing but as at 1pm today public health has not identified a location where deep cleaning or closure has been requested.

“However, it is important people continue to monitor the Ministry of Health’s locations of interest page as locations will be added should new information came to light as a result of our investigations. The DHB will also actively share this information.“

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Dr Eyre said the case anyone feeling unwell with cold or flu symptoms, no matter how mild should get tested as a priority even if they are vaccinated.

“Both drive-in and appointment testing is available at various locations in Hawke’s Bay today and into next week.

“It is also a reminder to continue 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.

“Getting vaccinated this weekend also remains the best way to get protected from COVID-19 as you are less likely to fall seriously ill and require hospital care. Anyone aged 12 and over can get a free vaccination at a range of clinics open across the region.”

Identified close contacts being tested would remain self-isolating until additional tests were undertaken and managed appropriately under public health guidance.

The DHB will continue to provide regular updates.

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