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Covid-19 testing available during Easter weekend

Wednesday 13 April 2022 | Written by Matthew Littlewood | Published in Health, National

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Testing stations for Covid-19 will remain open over the Easter break, as Te Marae Ora reports a “flattening of the curve”.

The latest figures from Te Marae Ora show there were 147 cases of Covid-19 in the Cook Islands on Monday, with 135 of those in Rarotonga and 12 of those in Aitutaki.

Since the pandemic began, there have been 3584 cases of Covid-19 in the Cook Islands, with 694 cases still active. Of those active cases, 642 are in Rarotonga, and 52 are in Aitutaki.

Public health advisor Dr Douglas Lush said these numbers suggest that the curve “has started to be flattened”, particularly in Rarotonga.

“We suspect there will be some changes to restrictions reviewed at the end of this month, but in the meantime, we’ve got to continue our good work and stay the course,” Lush said.

Lush said it was important that people continued to get tested for Covid-19 if they display any symptoms.

Accordingly, all of TMO’s testing stations will be available from Good Friday to Easter Monday between 8am and midday.

“We’re doing well, but we need to get on top of this,” Lush said.

Meanwhile, Lush said TMO was prepared for the opening up of the Pa Enua (outer islands) over the next few weeks.

At this stage travel to Atiu will resume on April 18. The Northern Groups islands of Manihiki, Rakahanga and Penryhn will begin on April 25, and travel to Pukapuka, Mitiaro, Mauke and Mangaia will likely resume on May 1.

Lush said although Covid-19 was expected to arrive in the Pa Enua once borders re-opened, he was confident TMO’s resources would not be stretched on those islands.

“When you look at how Covid-19 has unfolded in Rarotonga and Aitutaki, and the high vaccination rates of the islands, we expect we can manage the case numbers in the Pa Enua,” he said.

Lush said he still expected there to be hospitalisations as a result of Covid-19, but TMO was sufficiently resourced for that outcome.

Meanwhile, TMO will be offering all eligible 16 and 17 years olds Rarotonga and Aitutaki residents the opportunity to get their third/booster shot in the coming week.

The vaccination clinic will be set up at the National Auditorium in Rarotonga on Saturday from 8am to 4pm.

On April 19, the vaccination team will be operating out of Aitutaki Hospital between from 8am to 4pm.