Kāwhia’s only medical center responded to calls all morning as news of a local Covid case broke, although some on the streets weren’t overly concerned.
The positive community case in Waikato Township on the west coast was one of two reported on Wednesday outside the Alert Level 3 limit, the second being in Karāpiro, near Cambridge.
Kāwhia is 43 km from Raglan – where recent community cases have been confirmed – and will have a testing station open Thursday at Maketū Marae.
Kirsty Newton, a registered nurse at the Kāwhia Medical and Health Services Center, had answered calls all Wednesday morning.
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“People are worried,” she said Thing.
More than 65% of Kāwhia residents have received a dose of the Pfizer vaccine, she said, compared to 35% district-wide.
“We look forward to increasing that number.”
Dr John Burton wanted people to take advantage of the testing and vaccination center.
But Tahi Bazirk, who Thing spoke in the street, said he “preferred to get a tattoo on his face before getting vaccinated”.
Kāwhia Community Council President Dave Walsh was thinking of the town’s older residents.
“There are a lot of old people here, a lot of people come here to retire, so I’m worried about them,” he said.
“There has already been a big vaccination campaign here, so please get tested.
“We are a community, everyone knows each other, they will be there for each other. “
Kāwhia Township is located south of Raglan Harbor and approximately 40 km southwest of Hamilton. Its population is 300.
The mayor of Ōtorohanga district, Max Baxter, confirmed Kāwhia’s positive case on Wednesday.
“I got the call from my director general, who got the call from the Defense Force.”
He said this could cause a turnaround in the region’s low vaccination rates.
“There have been [low take-up] and it’s really, really disappointing. If there is something positive, it will open people’s eyes.
He said that while he understood that some people may be hesitant to receive the jab, “the reality is that Delta is attacking the vulnerable and unvaccinated.”
“Your freedoms are not taken away by vaccination, it is Delta who takes away people’s freedoms.”
Businesses in the Kāwhia region were reacting to the news and voluntarily pushing for Level 3 protocols.
The Kāwhia Hotel closed its restaurant and bar and was operating under level 3 restrictions until further restrictions.
“We want to ensure the safety of the community, there are a lot of elderly people here. We take precautions until we know more, ”said Doug Saunders.
The Rusty Snapper Café told patrons on its Facebook page that there would be window service, alfresco dining, and take-out only.
“And please scan, social distance and wear a mask to keep everyone safe!” Kia Kaha Kāwhia! “
Local MP Barbara Kuriger of National wrote on Facebook that “Delta is now descending from northern parts of Taranaki-King country after the Raglan cases this weekend.”
“I encourage everyone to follow the guidelines recommended by the Department of Health. Have it tested. To get vaccinated. Do your part.