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No Wairarapa cases

The road to Wellington is not open to all commuters. PHOTO/FILE

… but no chance of dropping an alert level before Wellington does

SUE TEODORO
sue [email protected]

Wairarapa residents hoping the region will change levels before Wellington are likely to be disappointed even though the region has no known cases.

The news comes as covid numbers continue to rise across New Zealand with 62 new community cases announced on Wednesday, one in Wellington. As of Wednesday, there were 12 cases in

Wellington and 198 in Auckland. The outbreak has 210 cases.

Wairarapa MP Kieran McAnulty said although some might be alarmed at the number of positive cases announced on Wednesday, the rise was not unexpected.

“Another encouraging note is that only one of the cases announced yesterday [Wednesday] was located in Wellington, and none in Wairarapa,” he said.

“We know that Wairarapa is not immune – we had the first case of community transmission in the country last year.”

McAnulty said the region was also the first to become clear of covid last year.

“So we know we can get through this if we all work together and follow the guidelines.

“The key point is the increase in numbers is not showing any evidence of exponential growth.

“It was signalled by health officials that cases will rise and so far all cases have been linked to existing cases.

“Contact tracing continues and is capturing an impressive number of contacts who, once identified, are required to isolate and not leave home for 14 days.”

McAnulty said some were calling for Wairarapa to be treated as a different region to Wellington for alert level changes and this was not new.

“There were calls for roadblocks during last year’s lockdown,” he said, saying this sentiment was less pronounced now than during last year’s lockdown.

“My sense is that most people recognise Wairarapa is intrinsically linked to Wellington, with thousands of people travelling to and from Wellington in alert level 1 and 2,” he said.

“Even under alert level 4 a significant number of people travel to Wellington as part of performing an essential service, not to mention our reliance of goods coming over the hill to fill our supermarkets and pharmacies.

McAnulty said the decision on boundaries was made on expert advice, taking into account the likelihood of potential spread. No region would be kept in alert level 4 unnecessarily.

“The whole point of restrictions under alert levels is to limit spread. If you get a case in Wairarapa and have moved down levels, there is no restriction on that case taking off.”

McAnulty encouraged those eligible to book their vaccination.

“I booked appointments for my first and second doses first thing this morning. The whole process took less than five minutes and couldn’t have been more straight forward.”

  • Everyone 30 years and over can book their vaccine at www.bookmyvaccine.nz
  • All those aged 12 and over will be able to book appointments from September 1.

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