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 of Health is considering whether any recovered cases who live in the New Plymouth area have recently left a managed isolation facility.
Additionally, it is plausible that other recently recovered cases from elsewhere in the country could have travelled to New Plymouth.
ESR consider a single recovered person shedding the virus may be detected in wastewater.
As a precautionary measure, and to help rule out possible undetected COVID-19 infection, the Ministry is encouraging anyone with symptoms especially if they are in the New Plymouth area, to get tested. Additional testing capacity is being stood up in New Plymouth to support potential demand.
This advice also applies to recent visitors to the New Plymouth area. Anyone with symptoms consistent with COVID-19 should call Healthline on 0800 358 5453 for advice on getting a test.
We are closely monitoring this situation and additional public health advice will be provided if, and when, required.
ESR undertakes regular wastewater testing across the country, as an additional surveillance tool in the fight against COVID-19.