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Source: New Zealand Ministry of Health

Movement in, out, and around northern Hauraki is now restricted as a precautionary measure, following three local cases of COVID-19 reported last night.

The Director-General of Health, Dr Ashley Bloomfield, has issued a new direction under section 70 of the Health Act requiring those who may have come in contact with these cases, to get tested, and isolate at home until 11.59pm Friday 24 September or otherwise advised by a Medical Officer of Health.

Dr Bloomfield said the health order also applies to anyone who has already been contacted by Auckland Regional Public Health Service or contact tracing teams and been informed they are a contact.

“The dispersal of potential contacts across the region increases the potential for wider transmission of COVID-19.

“We consider this health order to be a prudent measure while contact tracing and testing is underway to rule out any wider spread,” Dr Bloomfield said.

This direction applies to any person who, at any time, since Wednesday 8 September has:

  • resided in the northern Hauraki area;
  • visited a household, location, or attended an indoor gathering in the northern Hauraki area; or
  • worked in the northern Hauraki area.

Under the section 70 notice, these people are required to do four things:

  1. To isolate at their usual home, except to go for testing;
  2. Monitor the locations of interest list, and contact Healthline on 0800 358 5453 or complete the location of interest form if they have been at a location of interest, for advice about testing;
  3. Monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 and contact Healthline for advice on getting a test if symptoms develop; and
  4. To remain isolated at their usual place of residence until 11.59pm Friday 24 September or otherwise advised by a Medical Officer of Health.

“The ongoing public health risk of the highly transmissible Delta variant is high, and these restrictions are designed to prevent the spread of the virus to other parts of New Zealand – ultimately to keep the whole country safe.

“Any time a person receives a direction from a Medical Officer of Health they must comply with it. Public health officials will also discuss with these people the support available to help them meet these requirements.”

Failure to comply with the section 70 notice can result in a fine of up to $4,000 or imprisonment for up to six months.

Work by public health staff is continuing to ensure these people are followed up and supported as part of the country’s wider COVID-19 response. “We want to take this opportunity to thank everyone involved for their continued efforts,” Dr Bloomfield said.

The Ministry is closely monitoring the situation and will issue updated health advice if, and when, required.

Meanwhile, a pop-up testing centre in the northern Hauraki town of Wharekawa marae in Whakatîwai has been busy today testing locals. Waikato DHB reports 340 tests have been taken as of 2pm today.

The Ministry of Health is encouraging anyone in Waikato with symptoms to get tested. For COVID-19 testing locations nationwide, visit the Healthpoint website.