“If there are any more cases of Covid in Kāwhia, we want to know quick,” Raukura Hauora o Tainui chief executive Terina Moke said, from a testing station set up in the wake of news of more positive cases in Kāwhia.
A couple who tested positive for Covid-19 in Kāwhia has since travelled to be with family in the Auckland region.
Ōtorohanga district mayor Max Baxter told Stuff it was originally understood a woman had crossed the Auckland border to visit her father in Kāwhia on Tuesday, putting the community at potential risk.
However, it appears she and her partner were in Kāwhia before the start of the Auckland lockdown and had since tested positive in the west coast town, he said.
“The young woman and her boyfriend were staying with her father in Kāwhia, and she has tested positive for Covid-19. She has since gone back to whānau in Pukekohe,” Baxter said.
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The Ministry of Health confirmed the cases were isolating in Auckland.
Both were in Kāwhia when they were tested but travelled to the Auckland region before receiving their positive results.
The cases come after a positive Covid-19 result was identified in the district on Thursday.
That Ōtorohanga case was linked to existing cases in the region and was identified following a positive test result from waste water taken on Wednesday.
Kāwhia hadn’t had a positive case since October 6, which prompted parts of the King Country to move into level three.
Baxter said the community thought they were “out of the woods”, but a potential outbreak in Kāwhia and Ōtorohanga shows that’s not the case.
“We thought we were protected for a while, but it’s proven through the cases in the South Island in more recent times that the reality is that people are moving around whether it’s legitimate or not – Covid is spreading really easily.”
He imagines some locals will be extra worried come this weekend, with level 3.1 restrictions now allowing for some outdoor activities and gatherings.
“The loosened restrictions give people the legal right to go to Kāwhia and go fishing.
“I imagine that’s going to be confronting for some people in the community.”
He urged all people in Kāwhia and the district to get tested if they have symptoms and to get vaccinated.
As of October 28, the Ōtorohanga district had one of the lowest number of people vaccinated in the Waikato region with 76.4 per cent of people having had their first dose and 56.2 per cent fully protected.
A testing station has been set up in Kāwhia at Maketu Marae for three days from 11am until 3pm.
“Please get tested and book a vaccination now if you have not already been vaccinated.
“Keep Kāwhia safe and stay in your bubble.”