Council offers money to E. coli affected Hawke's Bay residents

E Coli (Reuters)
E Coli (Reuters)

Health officials now believe 1000 people are affected by the gastro bug sweeping through Hawke's Bay.

In a development on Monday afternoon, the council has promised financial assistance to some of those who are affected.

Staff at Woodford House School are taking no chances as a third of its students are sick with gastro.

"At the moment we would say 95 girls have been affected and ten staff including kitchen staff," says Principal Julie Peterson.

At Te Mata Primary School 360 children were absent today - that's half the school roll.

"Not all of those are sick.  Some of our parents are keeping kids home for precautionary measures," says Principal Michael Bain.

While Te Mata was open today, it's been decided all schools in the area will be closed tomorrow.

"In the first hour and a half we had about 14 presentations, a couple of those needing some rehydration and IV fluids," says CEO Hastings Health Centre Andrew Lesperance.

The council and the Distict Health Board have been criticised for not informing residents earlier.

But they're adamant they did all they could.

"Some people have been off work for days looking after sick children.  They've had to buy supplies and medicine as well.  We've simply said we will put our hand up and provide some assistance," says Mayor Lawrence Yule.

For now, residents are still being told to boil their water.