Rainwater could impact test results

Tairāwhiti may need to wait a little longer after two wastewater results returned positive for COVID-19 last week.

A sample was sent for testing on Monday and another test is scheduled for today.

Tairāwhiti may be asked to provide a further sample on Thursday given the flooding events and the effects it may have had on Monday's test, as it will not give a full picture of the wastewater catchment, according to Dr Osman Mansoor, Tairāwhiti Medical Officer of Health.

The positive results came from samples taken on November 1 and 3, before any flooding effect. Samples are collected by Gisborne District Council on behalf of the Ministry of Health and sent to ESR for testing.

Hauora Tairāwhiti Chief Executive Jim Green says that while it would be useful to have updated results of wastewater testing, more important was the swabbing of people who have symptoms that might be indicative of COVID-19.

“These will tell us if there is spread of the virus in our community. Most important of all though is getting vaccinated. Now is the time to do this, with five weeks until full protection of the vaccine is received  from the two doses. Please don’t wait a day longer to get vaccinated with COVID-19 on our doorstep now.”

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