Traces of Covid-19 have been found in a wastewater treatment plant in Wellington.
Health officials say weak positive results from two wastewater tests are likely due to recently recovered cases continuing to shed the virus.
Anyone with Covid-19 symptoms, especially if they are in the Wellington region, should get a test, the Ministry of Health said.
“In recent weeks three recovered cases who live in the Wellington region have left the Auckland quarantine facility,” the Ministry of Health spokesperson said.
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“A further historical case left a Wellington managed isolation facility the same day the second sample was taken.”
Additionally, it is possible that one or more recently recovered cases from elsewhere could have flown into Wellington, the spokesperson said.
Just one person shedding the virus was enough to be detected in wastewater, ESR said.
It comes as just one case of Covid-19 was confirmed in managed isolation.
The person flew from the United States direct to Auckland on May 10, and was found to be positive on their day three routine test.
New Zealand now has 19 active cases and 2290 total cases of Covid-19.
Tests encouraged in Wellington
As part of New Zealand’s precautionary approach to Covid-19, and to help rule out undetected infection, the ministry is encouraging anyone with symptoms to get tested promptly, especially if they are in the Wellington region.
Symptoms include a new or worsening cough, fever, shortness of breath, a sore throat, sneezing and runny nose and or temporary loss of smell.
Testing sites in the Wellington region open on Sunday include:
At 196-200 Taranaki St in central Wellington until 4pm, phone 0800 885 022 to book.
At 178 Bedford St, Cannons Creek in Porirua from 2pm to 5pm. Walk-ins are accepted, although bookings preferred, phone 0508 672 862.
Hutt Valley’s testing centre opens again on Monday, but bookings can be made on Sunday until 4pm by phoning 04 576 8619.
Wellington Region Primary Health Organisations will extend testing centre hours if required.
Further wastewater samples in Wellington are being tested over the weekend.
Melbourne casual contacts cleared
One person tested negative for Covid-19, while the other person was assessed as not needing a test, the Ministry of Health said on Friday.
On Friday, one historical case was identified – a person who arrived in New Zealand on April 24, from the United Arab Emirates via Malaysia.
The rollout of the Covid-19 vaccine continues nationwide, while in the United States, fully vaccinated people are allowed to not wear a mask.