The family with Covid-19 linked to a small Waikato beachside town have tracked the source of infection to a person who stayed at their property for a short time and who they claim remains untested.
It comes as the Waikato DHB confirms there has been an oversight with reporting case numbers in the town and the number of new positive cases in Kawhia over the past week is three – not the two previously reported.
A Kāwhia man, who the Herald has agreed not to name, says despite him, his daughter and her boyfriend doing everything right they are being victimised and abused.
On the day the man’s daughter and her boyfriend planned to return to Auckland to be with family due to a child custody agreement, they called authorities to follow up their test results and were told if they hadn’t heard back after seven days then they were probably negative and to go ahead.
Children can travel between their parents’ or caregiver’s homes, but everyone aged 12 and over must have evidence of a Covid-19 test in the seven days before travel, according to the rules on the Covid19.govt.nz website.
The man claims the couple was tested on October 22 and waited a week for their results – but the Waikato DHB is disputing these dates saying the first two tests were carried out on October 26 and the results were returned two and three days later, respectively.
The teenagers had already arrived in Pukekohe from Kāwhia on Thursday when they were called by Public Health later that evening and advised that one of them had tested positive for Covid-19. The second teen returned their positive result the next day.
The girl’s father dropped them both at the Auckland border in a designated area and had returned to Kāwhia where he runs an accommodation business.
He immediately got a test after learning about the first positive result and within 24 hours learned he also had Covid. Testing also revealed he was likely to have given it to his daughter and her boyfriend.
The father, who is now isolating, has spoken to the Herald about the frustrating situation he’s found himself in and the mis-information circulating.
“It makes us sound irresponsible and we did everything fricken right,” he said.
“It’s bulls***, I’m sick of it. We had done everything right, we hadn’t left the property, we got the exemption under the childcare agreement that they can travel… we did the right thing.”
His daughter had been staying with him in Kāwhia for the past nine months, but had recently decided to go back to stay with family in Auckland.
“None of us have been sick or anything. We haven’t had any symptoms, but it’s caused a lot of frigging hate because now we’ve got people abusing me…”
They spent the first few days after getting the results trying to figure out how they caught it because they had made sure they were scanning and wearing masks to the few local shops they had visited.
The man now has now eventually linked it back to someone who he allowed to stay in his accommodation – but that person has not been tested.
“I’m pretty sure there’s someone running around in the Waikato with it that I was silly enough – because they had nowhere to live I gave them a room.”
The guests have since left but not before giving him Covid, he said.
“I just did it out of goodwill because they had nowhere to go and there was a baby involved… They still haven’t been tested to be known as the source, but it sounds like they were the source.”
As of yesterday, there were four new cases in the Waikato bringing the total number in the outbreak to 123.
There are also four locations of interest in the town- Kāwhia Hotel, Kāwhia General Store, Kāwhia Motors and Oparau Roadhouse.
Ōtorohanga mayor Max Baxter said it was very disappointing if people weren’t getting tested and said those who were doing the right thing should be congratulated.
“It’s those who aren’t abiding by the rules we can rightfully so be a bit disappointed in. But if this gentleman is saying he’s doing everything right then please give him the opportunity to be left alone.”
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