Eastern Bay of Plenty community asked to isolate after positive Covid case

Source: 1News

A community in the eastern Bay of Plenty has been asked to enter self-isolation for at least the next 48 hours by local iwi and health officials following a confirmed Covid case in the area.

People line up to be tested for Covid-19 in Waimana.

Waimana has quickly locked itself down and has united with Tūhoe iwi in the self-isolation effort to try and stop Covid in its tracks. A move Tūhoe iwi and Te Waimana say is backed by Bay of Plenty DHB.

“We need to work together and take immediate action in order to prevent spread and protect our whānau,” says Tūhoe Te Uru Taumatua chairman, Tamati Kruger.

“We are asking everyone in Te Waimana Valley to take three immediate steps: get tested, stay at home and ask whānau not to visit at this time. If you don’t live in the Valley, please stay away for now.

“Getting tested is the most effective and efficient way we can check whether we have wider Covid spread – widespread testing is critical right now.”

Ministry of Health data shows Waimana has one of the worst vaccination rates in the entire country.

As of November 19, less than 70 per cent of residents had received one dose, while less than half were fully vaccinated.

Door-to-door testing in Matahī Valley is getting underway this afternoon and residents in this area are asked to stay at home and wait for testing to come to them. Testing has also been done at the local school.

Testing stations have been set up at Waimana Clubrooms and Tuapō Marae on Wednesday and Thursday.

Testing will also be available from the Whakatāne War memorial tomorrow from 9am-4pm. Further information on testing in the region will be updated on the Bay of Plenty DHB Facebook page.

“People need to be prepared to stay at home for at least the next 48 hours while we get test results and more information about potential spread. Then we will be able to make informed decisions about our next steps," Kruger said.

“If you live outside these immediate areas and you have any concerns, please get a test and stay at home."