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Negative covid results from extra testing in New Plymouth

covid testing new plymouth

News from Ministry of Health
Daily sampling from the New Plymouth wastewater treatment plant, along with further samples from sites around the Taranaki region, will continue for the next week to determine whether there are any undetected covid cases in the area. There have been no subsequent detections.

Community testing is also continuing. Between Wednesday and yesterday, 1,082 swabs have been taken in Taranaki, with all returning negative results. The Ministry thanks the local community for their willingness to get tested and to those undertaking the testing.

The Ministry continues to encourage anyone in Taranaki with symptoms to be tested. The Ministry is also recommending that any recent arrivals from Australia, who have symptoms, also get tested, and anyone who has recently been in Australia who is now in Taranaki to get tested even if they don’t have symptoms.

News from Ministry of Health – July 27
Latest wastewater test results from a 24 hour period between Saturday and Sunday, from 6 sites, show no further covid virus has been detected.

Daily sampling from the New Plymouth wastewater treatment plant will continue for the next week to determine whether there are any undetected cases in the city.

Further test samples have also been collected from sites around the region.

Local PCR testing in Taranaki remains steady with around 300 swabs taken yesterday. It’s pleasing to see these numbers increasing. The Ministry is continuing to encourage anyone in Taranaki with symptoms to be tested.

News from Ministry of Health – July 26
All New Plymouth covid test results processed from Friday, Saturday and some of Sunday are negative. A total of 160 swabs were taken in New Plymouth yesterday. Around a quarter of these have been processed and returned negative results.

There remain a number of results from swabs taken yesterday that are expected later today.

A preliminary result, from an early wastewater sample taken for around two thirds of the usual 24 hour sampling time, has come back with no further COVID-19 detected. Results from wastewater samples taken over a wider area in Taranaki are expected tomorrow.

The Ministry is continuing to strongly encourage anyone in Taranaki with symptoms, or recent arrivals from Australia with or without symptoms who’ve recently visited Taranaki to be tested.

This follows two positive wastewater results detected in Taranaki late last week which could be due to recently recovered cases continuing to shed the virus, or could signal undetected cases in the community. In order to determine whether there are any undetected cases the Ministry is recommending anyone in Taranaki, or who has visited recently, and who has symptoms to get tested.

Additional testing capacity remains open in New Plymouth to support potential demand.

Report from RNZ
Taranaki has been on edge since positive wastewater samples taken on Tuesday and Thursday last week were announced. After a slow response over the weekend, vehicles queued around the block at the Taranaki Base Hospital Covid-19 testing station today as dozens of people waited to do their bit to rule out community transmission in the province.

Geologist Tom Sommerville had recently returned to New Zealand. “I just came back from Australia a week-and-a-half ago so I thought I’d better be safe rather than sorry and do the right thing.”

A prominent rugby coach, who asked not to be named, was also in the queue. “We’ve just come back from Australia about three weeks ago so we’re answering the call.”

The Ministry of Health said preliminary results from new wastewater testing have come back clear of Covid-19.

New Plymouth deputy mayor Richard Jordan said the results were good news. “We’re very relieved that the tests have so far come back negative, but we still encourage everyone that if they have any symptoms, please get tested, please continue to use contact tracing and if in any doubt self-isolate.”

He said this incident reinforced how important wastewater testing was in keeping tabs on what is a very dangerous virus. “We’re not out of the woods yet and we’ll continue to keep a close eye on the situation as further test results are expected in the coming days.”

Wellington.Scoop – July 25
The Ministry of Health says it’s pleased by today’s response to the call for more covid testing in New Plymouth, after two positive wastewater results were detected in Taranaki. The Ministry continues to strongly encourage anyone in Taranaki with symptoms, or recent arrivals from Australia with or without symptoms who’ve recently visited Taranaki to be tested.

Testing numbers for Taranaki will be provided tomorrow. Results are also expected tomorrow from further and wider wastewater sampling carried out over the weekend in Taranaki.

Mariners aboard the Playa Zahara and Viking Bay vessels recently docked at Port Taranaki in New Plymouth, but the dates of their brief visits, and the activity of the crew, do not appear to be a factor in these wastewater detections.

Additional testing for a small number of port workers and nurses who have been in possible contact with the mariners have all been negative to date.

News from Ministry of Health – July 24
Two positive wastewater results detected in Taranaki earlier this week (20 and 22 July) could be due to recently recovered covid cases continuing to shed the virus, or could signal undetected cases in the community.

In order to determine whether there are any undetected cases, the Ministry is recommending that anyone with symptoms in Taranaki, or who has visited Taranaki recently, should get tested.

Additional testing capacity has been stood up in New Plymouth to support potential demand.

The Ministry is recommending that any recent arrivals from Australia who have symptoms should also get tested, and anyone who has recently been in Australia who is now in Taranaki should get tested even if they don’t have symptoms.

People who have recently been in Australia should continue to check the State websites for locations of interest as new locations of interest continue to be identified.

Anyone with symptoms consistent with COVID-19 should call Healthline (0800 358 5453) for advice on getting a test.

For Taranaki testing locations please visit https://www.tdhb.org.nz/covid19/public.shtml

For a list of all testing locations nationwide visit the Healthpoint website.

ESR undertakes regular wastewater testing across the country, as an additional surveillance tool in the fight against COVID-19. Results are expected on Monday from further wastewater sampling carried out today in Taranaki.

While the mariners aboard the Playa Zahara and Viking Bay recently docked at Port Taranaki in New Plymouth, the dates of their brief visits, and the activity of the crew, do not appear to be a factor in these wastewater detections.

Additional testing is being carried out for a small number of port workers and nurses, who have been in possible contact with the mariners. All test results to date are negative with two results pending.