Napier wastewater sample returns negative for COVID-19 but more needed

Hawke’s Bay health officials says a negative wastewater sample collected on Monday 8 for COVID-19 is promising, but more testing and results are needed before the region can relax.

The negative result follows a positive wastewater detection in Napier for COVID-19 just five days earlier on 3 November.

Hawke’s Bay Medical Officer of Health Dr Nick Jones said while the negative result was encouraging, it was too early to be complacent as heavy rainfall last weekend may have impacted readings.

“We are encouraged by today’s negative result. However, we cannot fully rely on just this test result as wastewater may have been diluted due to the heavy and consistent rainfall experienced last weekend.

“Another wastewater sample was collected in Napier today, with results expected later this week. If negative this will provide us with more confidence that the virus is no longer in the wastewater.”

Dr Jones said last week’s positive COVID-19 result could still be linked to a person recovering in our community, and/or had recently returned from a Managed Isolation Quarantine (MIQ) facility.

“We know shedding of the virus can continue for some time after recovery and this could be the reason for last week’s positive result. 

“However, we cannot rule out that there is undetected community transmission and it’s therefore crucial people feeling unwell and/or anyone who has travelled to an Alert Level 3 region recently to get tested for COVID-19.”

Dr Jones said the DHB was opening up options to be tested without the need to book.

“We note that not everyone likes or can make an appointment for testing, therefore no-appointment testing will be available in Napier tomorrow at the Whitmore Park vaccination drive-through between 10:30am and 7:30pm with more testing clinics being finalised leading into the weekend.”

Testing by appointment also continues to be available, people can ring one of the numbers below:

  • Napier: 06 650 4000
  • Hastings: 06 281 2644
  • Wairoa: 06 838 8333
  • Central Hawke’s Bay residents should call their doctor or Healthline: 0800 358 5453.

For a full list of vaccination clinics go to:


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