Covid-19 has been detected in the wastewater in New Plymouth, the Ministry of Health says.
In a media release Saturday afternoon, the ministry said the positive results could be due to recently recovered cases continuing to shed the virus, or could signal undetected cases in the community.
In the update, the ministry is recommending that any recent arrivals from Australia who have symptoms should get tested, and anyone who has recently been in Australia who is now in Taranaki, even if they do not have symptoms.
The ministry said ESR had reported a positive test result earlier in the day on Friday and a follow-up sample taken on Thursday had returned a second positive result Friday night.
"Based on previous incidences, it is most likely that the two positive wastewater results are due to recently recovered cases continuing to shed the virus."
The ministry said it is investigating whether any recovered cases who live in the New Plymouth area have recently left a managed isolation facility. It said there is also a possibility that other recently recovered cases from elsewhere in the country could have travelled to New Plymouth.
The ministry said the wastewater detections do not appear to be related to the two fishing vessels, Playa Zahara and Viking Bay, which docked at Port Taranaki recently who have had crew members test positive for the virus.
"Additional testing is being carried out for a small number of port workers and nurses, who have been in possible contact with the mariners."
As an additional precautionary measure, the ministry is encouraging anyone with symptoms, especially if they are in the New Plymouth area, to get tested. This advice also applies to recent visitors to the New Plymouth area.
Anyone with symptoms consistent with Covid-19 should call Healthline (0800 358 5453) for advice on getting a test, the ministry said.
For Taranaki testing locations, visit https://www.tdhb.org.nz/covid19/public.shtml
For a list of all testing locations nationwide, visit the Healthpoint website.
There are three new Covid-19 cases in managed isolation and no new community cases, the ministry said on Saturday.
The new cases are arrivals from the Philippines, Mexico and the UK and are in the Auckland quarantine facility.
The number of active cases in New Zealand is 75.