BOP community to self isolate after case detected

Te Waimana Valley. Photo: RNZ / Edward Gay.

The community of Te Waimana in Bay of Plenty are being asked to self isolate over the next 48 hours and to get tested to help stop Covid-19 in its tracks after there was a confirmed case in the valley. 

Ngai Tūhoe, supported by the DHB, are asking everyone in the area to get tested, stay at home and tell others from outside the rohe not to visit. 

Te Uru Taumatua chairman Tamati Kruger says widespread testing is critical. 

"We need to take immediate action in order to prevent spread and protect our whānau.  

“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," says Tamati. 

Door-to-door testing in Matahī Valley is underway this afternoon, with testing stations set up at Waimana Clubrooms and Tuapō Marae. 

Testing stations have been set up at Waimana Clubrooms and Tuapō Marae today and tomorrow. 

Tribal leaders estimate just forty percent of the eligible population in the wider Te Urewera area has had at least one dose of the vaccine. 

"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. 

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

It comes after this week Te Urewera board announced the area will continue to be close to the public until the end of January as part of their pandemic response plan and to increase vaccination rates. 

It will also use the time it is closed to upkeep the facilities such as huts, tracks and bridges alongside the Department of Conservation. 

Māni Dunlop/RNZ.

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