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Covid-19 Spreads to Tauranga
22 March 2020

Our local Medical Officer of Health is reminding residents of the importance of washing your hands regularly, and where you can, keeping space between yourself and others, following a confirmed case of COVID-19 in Tauranga.

In this instance, the case, who is a local resident, had returned from the United States on March 17.  He developed symptoms after arriving home and was tested for COVID-19 at a local testing clinic.

While public health is working to identify people who may have been in contact with the person, Dr Phil Shoemack has a message to the wider community.  “We anticipated we would get cases of COVID-19 in our region at some stage, and now that we do, we all have a role to play in stopping further spread.” 

“Wash your hands often. Use soap for 20 seconds, then dry them.  This kills the virus by bursting its protective bubble. Don’t touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean.  Cough or sneeze into your elbow.  It keeps the virus off your hands, so you won’t spread it to other people and make them sick too.  Stay home if you are sick, and try to keep yourself out of any situation where you come into face-to-face contact with others closer than one metre away, for more than 15 minutes.”

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.

If you have concerns, you can contact the dedicated COVID-19 Healthline number for free on 0800 358 5453, or call your local doctor.

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Last modified: 26 Mar 2020
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