COVID-19: New Waikato case travelled to Hawke's Bay last week before testing positive

A person who has tested positive for COVID-19 in the Waikato town of Te Awamutu travelled to Hawke's Bay last week, the Ministry of Health revealed on Thursday.

Eight new cases of the virus have been reported in the Waikato region on Thursday, all of whom reside in the Te Awamutu area. Seven have already been linked to existing cases. 

One of these cases travelled to Hawke's Bay last Friday prior to testing positive. The Ministry of Health confirmed the trip was permitted.

The person tested positive for COVID-19 after returning to Te Awamutu.

Two contacts of the case have been tested and returned negative day six results, the ministry said.

During the COVID-19 press conference on Thursday, Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said he was not sure of the person's vaccination status.

The person would have been infectious while in Hawke's Bay, he said, however, there are currently no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the region.

The Waikato District Health Board (DHB) is continuing to encourage testing throughout the region to ensure the virus isn't circulating undetected in other parts of the community. 

In particular, residents of Te Awamutu are urged to get tested if they, or anyone in their household, has symptoms consistent with COVID-19 - or if they have travelled out of Te Awamutu over the past week for work or other activities, whether they are symptomatic or not.

Testing locations in and around Waikato are available on Healthpoint and the Waikato DHB website.

Vaccination rates in Waikato remained high on Wednesday with 3276 people receiving a dose. Of these, 1058 were first doses, and a further 2218 were second doses. 

Meanwhile, 94 new cases of COVID-19 have been recorded in Auckland on Thursday, with the daily case number cracking 100 for the first time since the beginning of the pandemic.