Ōtorohanga Mayor Max Baxter confident COVID-19 not running rampant in Waikato town after two cases detected

Ōtorohanga District Mayor Max Baxter is confident COVID-19 isn't running rampant in the Waikato town despite two cases being detected on Sunday.

Two close contacts of a Te Awamutu case tested positive in the community on Sunday evening. The Ministry of Health said both are in isolation. 

Baxter says that's hopefully stopped the virus in its tracks.

"The wastewater in both Waitomo District and Ōtorohanga District, in the last test, have proven to be negative," he told Newshub. 

"One would surmise at this stage that it's not widespread - that these are isolated cases.

"Concerned for the community? Yeah, of course, I am and primarily because our vaccination rates aren't where they should be in comparison to the rest of the country.

"All I'm asking for of people in the community now is: if you have any symptoms whatsoever, please get tested."

Ministry of Health data shows about 55 percent of eligible Ōtorohanga residents are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Baxter said those low jab rates need to change.

"It's about people being safe and lessening the risk of, obviously, suffering through major health issues through contracting COVID.

Max Baxter.
Max Baxter. Photo credit: Ōtorohanga District Council

"We just want people to get vaccinated and be safe."

Baxter said anyone who isn't vaccinated should come forward and get the jab.

In a statement on Sunday night, the Ministry of Health said case investigations into the Ōtorohanga infections were underway and more details would be provided on Monday.

"Early indications are that these two cases are close contacts of a previously confirmed case from Te Awamutu. They were tested yesterday and received their results back today.

"The two cases are now isolating locally in dedicated accommodation, with public health oversight.

"Waikato DHB is opening a testing site in the township from tomorrow (Monday) between 11am and 3pm and is encouraging anyone in the township who may have any symptoms to take a test. The site will be at Ōtorohanga Club - 107 Maniapoto St."