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Napier Courier - 2021-11-24

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Napier MIQ kicks in as Covid case arrives

FRONT PAGE

Doug Laing

Part of popular Napier holiday destination Kennedy Park Resort has been pressed into service as a Covid-19 quarantine or isolation facility for the first time after the discovery of a positive case in the city. The infection was revealed by the Ministry of Health and Hawke's Bay District Health Board on Saturday night. On Sunday, DHB Medical Officer of Health Dr Rachel Eyre said the person was tested before leaving Auckland and received the news of a positive result after arriving in Hawke's Bay. The permitted traveller agreed with public health authorities to go to a community isolation facility at Kennedy Park on Saturday night to enable health and welfare needs to be met. “The case is well supported and is isolated in an appropriate part of the facility which is completely selfcontained and there is no further risk to anyone else,” she said. She stressed that the case was “not in any way” linked to a potential exposure investigated by public health in Central Hawke's Bay last week, in which the risk was determined to be low. The Napier case was today isolating safely and remains well. The DHB said initial test results of identified close contacts had returned negative for Covid-19, but more testing was being processed with urgency. “As standard procedure, any locations of interest are added to the Ministry's webpage when they are confirmed by public health officials,” the statement said. “To date, any exposures identified have been assessed as limited and any contacts able to be contacted directly.” The Ministry urged anyone in Hawke's Bay with Covid-19-related symptoms— no matter how mild — to get tested, even if they are already vaccinated. Earlier, council leaders said they were told of the case on Saturday night shortly ahead of the public announcement and Napier Mayor Kirsten Wise said she was told the case was in Napier. Napier has already had scares from a Waikato traveller and wastewater tests a fortnight earlier. Wise said rather than being a surprise, she thinks everyone accepted such an announcement would have come sooner or later. Hastings Mayor Sandra Hazlehurst, whowas at the Splash Planet aquatic park in the Hastings East suburb of Parkvale in her now-weekly role of vaccination centre volunteer, said the response plan was kicking in. That included opening more testing sites in addition to the vaccination programme. She reiterated pleas for families to ensure they got vaccinated as the community prepares for the arrival of the virus back in the region. “I think people are worried,” she said. “Our response is, don't be scared, be prepared.” In the Saturday announcement, Dr Eyre urged anyone in Hawke's Bay with Covid-19-related symptoms — “no matter how mild” — to get tested, even if they are vaccinated. The crisis generally was having a continued impact on public events, which included at least five gatherings of either protest or commemoration in Napier and Hastings during the weekend. The case was included in the numbers for Auckland because the person was tested there. Auckland had 140 of the nationwide 151 cases in the daily update yesterday. They also included six new cases in Waikato, three in Northland and one each in Bay of Plenty and Canterbury.

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