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‘Pretty strong’ police presence expected in Coromandel: Mayor

Thames-Coromandel residents can expect to see a “pretty strong” police presence throughout the district over the next seven days, Mayor Sandra Goudie says. 
It comes after four new community cases of the Delta variant of Covid-19 were reported overnight, including an Auckland hospital worker, all linked to a 58-year-old Auckland man, who developed the virus after visiting Coromandel township with his wife on August 13-15. 
The town’s wastewater will also be tested to see if it contained fragments of the virus, Mayor Goudie told The Profile on Wednesday. 
“I was also delighted to get the news this morning that the mobile testing unit was going to be in the council car park in Coromandel town. That will be a relief to a number of people, because people will be feeling anxious about their exposure,” she said. 
Mayor Goudie was “glamping” around Port Jackson Rd in the upper Coromandel on Tuesday night, unaware a seven-day lockdown was impending for her district. 
After hearing the news over the radio, she walked uphill to get service, and from there, went through “56 calls over an hour and a half,” she said.
On the way back to Thames, she encountered a road block established by members of the public, who were turning away drivers heading into Manaia. 
“The line was starting to build up and I could see there were one or two people starting to get a bit irate, and of course it was dark, people were milling around in the middle of nowhere, so it wasn’t a healthy environment.” 
She said at least four police cars were dealing with the situation, but overall, people within the district appeared to be doing “the right thing”.
“We’ve been through all sorts of crises and emergencies, and we’ve just hunkered down, done the right things, and we’ve got through it, and the people of Coromandel are good at doing that,” she said. “Everywhere else was actually fine, this was just a group of people at the Manaia one-way bridge and they were taking the opportunity for whatever reason.” 
Mayor Goudie, who earlier on Wednesday came under fire for her “relaxed” approach to scanning the QR codes on the Covid-19 app, said she was “totally on board” with contact tracing, but had admittedly become complacent.
“Let’s hope for the best, plan for the worst and get through this part and see where we go after seven days,” she said. “Let’s cross our fingers and do all the right things – which includes contact tracing.” 
While social distancing, she also encouraged people to “reach out” and talk to others during what was a “very difficult time” for the district.
“This [comes with] a very subliminal and emotional response, and people need to be mindful of that underlying effect when you’re suddenly thrown into this isolation paradigm.” 
By KELLEY TANTAU

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
Health officials are investigating an outbreak of the Covid-19 Delta variant in the community, prompting the government to put the Coromandel Peninsula into an Alert Level 4 lockdown from Tuesday night.
The Coromandel Peninsula and Auckland will be in this level for seven days, the rest of the country will be in it for three days, at least, and people away from home will have 48 hours to return.
Four new community cases have been reported overnight, including an Auckland hospital worker, all linked to a 58-year-old man from Devonport, Auckland, who developed Covid-19 after visiting Coromandel township with his wife on August 13-15. 
His wife, who has received two doses of the vaccine, returned a negative Covid-19 test.
On their way home from Coromandel Town, the couple stopped in at Woodturners Cafe on State Highway 2, Mangatarata, just west of Ngatea, on Sunday, August 15 from 12.40pm to 1.25pm.

LOCATIONS OF INTEREST
Woodturners has been listed as one of 13 Hauraki-Coromandel locations of interest by the Ministry of Health, which means anyone who has visited any of the locations of interest is required by the Ministry of Health to self-isolate at home and call Healthline on 0800 358 5453 for advice.
Locations of interest that have been confirmed are listed on the Ministry of Health website: www.health.govt.nz.

  • The Star and Garter Hotel, 5 Kapanga Rd, Coromandel, on August 13 from 6.39pm-7.40pm

  • Umu Cafe, 22 Wharf Rd, Coromandel, on August 13 from 7.40pm-8.30pm

  • BP gas station, Tiki Rd, Coromandel, on August 14 from 9.30am-9.40am

  • Driving Creek Railway Tours, 380 Driving Creek Rd, Coromandel, on August 14 from 10.30am-10.50am

  • Jaks Cafe & Bar, 104 Kapanga Rd, Coromandel, on August 14 from 10.50am-11.30am

  • Hereford ‘n’ a Pickle, 2318 Colville Rd, Coromandel, on August 14 from 1.25pm-2.15pm

  • Taras Beads, 1/75 Kapanga Rd, Coromandel, on August 15 from 3pm-3.10pm

  • Richardsons Real Estate Coromandel, 151 Kapanga Rd, Coromandel, on August 14 from 3.30pm-3.35pm

  • Umu Cafe, 22 Wharf Rd, Coromandel, on August 14 from 6.17pm-7.11pm

  • Star and Garter Hotel, 5 Kapanga Rd, Coromandel, on August 14 from 7.11pm-9pm

  • Umu Cafe, 22 Wharf Road, Coromandel, on August from 15 10.14am-11.10 am

  • Taras Beads, 1/75 Kapanga Road, Coromandel, on August 15 from 10am-10.05am

  • Woodturner Cafe, State Highway 2, Thames, on August 15 from 12.40 pm-1.25pm

WHERE TO GET TESTED
There will be pop-up testing sites in Coromandel Town and Thames today. You don’t need an appointment, but be prepared to wait and please be kind to staff: 

  • Coromandel Community Testing Centre, Car park of Thames-Coromandel District Council’s Coromandel Office, 355 Kapanga Road, Coromandel Township, Opens 9am 18 August

  • Thames Community Testing Centre, Car park of the Te Korowai Hauora O Hauraki offices, 210 Richmond Street, Thames, Opens 9am 18 August

Covid Testing Stations open today in the Thames-Coromandel and Hauraki districts include:
Te Korowai Hauora o Hauraki – Thames, OPEN TODAY 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM.
Thames Medical Centre, OPEN TODAY 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM.
Health Ngatea, OPEN TODAY 8:45 AM to 5:00 PM.
Te Korowai Hauora o Hauraki – Coromandel, OPEN TODAY 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM.
Colville Community Health Centre, OPEN TODAY 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM.
Coromandel Family Health Centre, OPEN TODAY 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM.
Paeroa Medical Centre, OPEN TODAY 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM.
Te Korowai Hauora o Hauraki – Paeroa, OPEN TODAY 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM.
Pauanui Medical Centre, OPEN TODAY 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM.
Tairua Medical Centre, OPEN TODAY 9:00 AM to 4:30 PM.
Te Korowai Hauora o Hauraki – Te Aroha, OPEN TODAY 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM.
Health Te Aroha, OPEN TODAY 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM.
Waihi Family Doctors, OPEN TODAY 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM.
Waihi Health Centre, OPEN TODAY 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM.
Whangamata Medical Centre, OPEN TODAY 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM.
Te Korowai Hauora o Hauraki – Whitianga, OPEN TODAY 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM.
Mercury Bay Medical Centre, OPEN TODAY 8:45 AM to 5:00 PM.
Wintec Health Services Whiritoa, OPEN TODAY 8:30 AM to 5:30 PM.

ALERT LEVEL 4
For information about what Alert Level 4 means, go to: covid9.govt.nz/alert-levels-and-updates/alert-level-4.

VACCINATIONS
Vaccinations have been put on hold for a few days and vaccination centres are closed. Those who had a vaccination booked for August 18-19, will have been contacted by the Covid Vaccination Healthline to say their vaccination will not go ahead, and to rebook their appointment towards the end of August. Vaccinations can be booked online at bookmyvaccine.nz or Ph 0800 28 29 26.