Hawke's Bay COVID case: Close contacts of positive case test negative, more testing urgently underway

Hawke's Bay COVID case: Close contacts of positive case test negative, more testing urgently underway
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Close contacts of the COVID-19 case isolating in Hawke's Bay have returned negative tests but further testing is required to rule out any spread of the virus. 

The person who tested positive for COVID-19 in Hawke's Bay was a permitted traveller from Auckland.

The Hawke's Bay District Health Board (DHB) says investigations continue with the case and identified close contacts.

"The case, from Auckland, was tested before departure for COVID-19 and received results after arriving into the region," Medical Officer of Health Dr Rachel Eyre says.

"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 the positive case is currently at the Kennedy Park isolation facility where there is no further risk to the community. 

She said the district DHB is still trying to get a full understanding of any exposure risks related to this case.

"We are working through all lines of enquiry for due diligence to gather a clearer picture of any exposure risks related to this case," Dr Eyre says.

"This work is fluid and ongoing but as at 1pm today [Sunday] public health has not identified a location where deep cleaning or closure has been requested."

Dr Eyre has urged anyone in Hawke's Bay with COVID-19-related symptoms - no matter how mild - to get tested, even if they are vaccinated.

"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," she says. 

"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."