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MAYORAL CAUTION: Kāpiti Mayor K Gurunathan was one of several Ōtaki residents who took the opportunity to have a Covid-19 test when a scheduled pop-up station was set up in Ōtaki behind the museum in October. The mayor was playing it safe by visiting the testing centre, while showing that it was important for anyone who had even mild symptoms to get tested. Two more pop-ups were held on November 9 and 10 when it was revealed Ōtaki people had been near a Covid-positive passenger on a flight from Auckland to Wellington.

Photo Ian Carson

 

Unplanned Covid-19 testing stations popped up in Ōtaki on Monday afternoon and Tuesday morning (November 9 and 10) after several Ōtaki people went into self-isolation.

It’s understood three Ōtaki people were on Air New Zealand flight 457 from Auckland to Wellington the Thursday prior. They were seated near to a passenger who was later found to have tested positive for Covid-19.

In a statement to Ōtaki Today, Regional Public Health (RPH) confirmed there were contacts in Ōtaki of a confirmed Covid-19 case who were self-isolating as a precaution.

 “We consider that the overall risk to public health for the Ōtaki community is low – these are contacts who are self-isolating and not confirmed cases.”

RPH said it and the Ministry of Health had made contact with all close and casual contacts who needed to self-isolate within the greater Wellington region.

“Of nine close contacts identified from flight NZ457 from Auckland to Wellington on Thursday evening, all have been tested and all results are negative.”

One of the close contacts on the flight is the partner of a staff member at Ōtaki College. Principal Andy Fraser said on Monday they were both following health guidelines and self-isolating as they awaited the result of their tests. The college had no plans to close.

“Ministry of Education and Regional Public Health guidance is that the school continues to operate as normal,” he said in an email to parents. “Regional Public Health will be in touch with the school if there is any change to the current low level of risk from this close contact.”

RPH confirmed it had been in contact with the college to advise that anyone feeling unwell or showing flu-like symptoms should stay home and contact Healthline or their GP.

MidCentral DHB had set up the pop-up testing centre in Ōtaki as a precaution to provide the community with the opportunity to be tested if they felt they were at risk or had symptoms.

“We would like to reassure the community that the risks to individuals being exposed to Covid-19 in this instance are low, as self-isolation processes have been well-established with all contacts of the case in our region,” RPH said. “However, if people in the community do feel unwell, please contact Healthline or your GP to check if a test for Covid-19 is required.”

Locals go into self-isolation

 
 
 

 

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