A sample of wastewater taken in Tauranga on September 23 tested positive for the Covid-19 virus, according to the Ministry of Health.
Follow-up samples from Tauranga and Mount Maunganui were taken on Tuesday morning, with results due Thursday.
Additional samples are also taken from nearby areas including Paeroa, Waihi Beach, Katikati, Matamata, Te Puke and Maketū.
Residents of the greater Tauranga region – including Mount Maunganui – are advised to take a Covid test if they are symptomatic or have been in a place of interest in the Tauranga, Waikato, Auckland or Upper Hauraki regions.
* Covid-19 has been detected in sewage – so what does this actually mean?
* Covid-19: Daily sewage testing has been rolled out in Hamilton, Taranaki amid new cases
* Covid-19: wastewater tests show no trace of virus in the community
Test centers in the region will be open for extended hours on Tuesday, and additional test centers will be set up on Wednesday to handle the increased demand.
The locations of the testing centers in the affected areas can be found at Healthpoint.co.nz.
Workers who frequently cross the Auckland border are advised to check that they are up to date with their regular tests.
People who show symptoms should self-isolate and get tested.
There are no managed isolation and quarantine facilities in Tauranga. The closest are in Hamilton and Rotorua.
During the 1 p.m. briefing on Tuesday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was asked whether residents of the Bay of Plenty should prepare for increased alert levels.
Ardern replied, “No. “
Because there was a Covid outbreak in Auckland, there was more to chase away, Ardern said.
It could not be ruled out, for example, that a person who has had Covid in the past could continue to shed the virus.
“People can help us by getting tested. “
Chief Health Officer Dr Ashley Bloomfield said “there is no indication that anything is happening”.
The result was not attributed to an Auckland truck driver who visited Tauranga earlier in September and then later tested positive for Covid, Bloomfield said.
“We think it’s too far down the track.
Matt Cowley, chief executive of the Tauranga Chamber of Commerce, said everyone is hoping it will be similar to the Christchurch false alarm in August.
“I hope it was someone who was no longer contagious but still shed the virus after being isolated at MIQ,” Cowley said.
“It would be devastating for the business world if the most pessimistic situation were true. Many come back after confinement. Restaurants and retailers have replenished their shelves and recruited staff some of whom had to lay off in the last lockdown. “
He said winters are seasonally calm for the local tourism and hospitality industry, as they derive most of their income during the summer months.
“The timing of shutdowns after a calm winter is difficult for these sectors when cash reserves are seasonally most vulnerable.
“Let’s be vigilant, let’s get in touch, let’s cover up, so if there is a case locally, it won’t take weeks to eradicate what Auckland is currently experiencing.”