Case of Covid-19 Confirmed in Taupō
21/03/2020 1:17:41 p.m.

21 March 2020

A Taupō resident has tested positive for COVID-19 after recently returning to New Zealand from London.
In this instance, the case rang ahead to a local GP Practice and arrangements were made for him to be seen and tested. 

Medical Officer of Health, Dr Phil Shoemack, has acknowledged the work of Toi Te Ora Public Health, the general practice team, and local laboratories for their work in promptly assessing, testing and following up the patient and their close contacts. 

“The most effective way to prevent community spread is by breaking the chains of transmission by testing and isolating. We want to find cases so we can trace and isolate close contacts and prevent spread in our community.” Dr Shoemack adds, “We’re pleased our thorough follow-up will help to at least delay the chance of the virus spreading in the local community.” 

The symptoms of COVID-19 include a cough, a high temperature (at least 38°C), and shortness of breath. If you have these symptoms and have recently been overseas or have been in close contact with someone confirmed with COVID-19, please telephone Healthline (for free) on 0800 358 5453 or call your doctor immediately – Do not turn up to a health or medical centre without phoning first. 

“All of us have a role to play in stopping further spread. This is critical to New Zealand’s response to COVID-19,” says Dr Shoemack. “As with other infectious illnesses, the best way to protect yourself and others from COVID-19 is to practice good infection prevention and hygiene.”

Prevention – how to protect yourself and others 

You should always practice good hygiene by:
• covering coughs and sneezes with disposable tissues
• washing hands for at least 20 seconds with water and soap, and drying them thoroughly:
o before eating or handing food
o after using the toilet
o after coughing, sneezing, blowing your nose or wiping children’s noses
o after caring for sick people. 

People with symptoms of acute respiratory infection should practice good cough etiquette (maintain distance, cover coughs and sneezes with disposable tissues, and wash hands). If you have concerns, you can contact the dedicated COVID-19 Healthline number for free on 0800 358 5453.

For more information:
Unite against COVID-19: 
Ministry of Health:
• Toi Te Ora Public Health:

ENDS
For more information contact:
Liz Taylor, Public Health Communications Advisor, ttoimtpim@bopdhb.govt.nz, 027 836 4892.