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Thursday 5 January 2023 | Written by Matthew Littlewood | Published in Health, National


Mask-wearing re-introduced in health facilities
Maryanne Broadbent gets her first PCR Covid test done at the Terevete Park testing station yesterday. PHOTO: MELINA ETCHES/22021401.

Te Marae Ora has re-introduced compulsory mask wearing and RAT-testing in health facilities.

The statement from TMO says “in the last two weeks we have noted a slight increase in the number of Covid infections and re-infections here on Rarotonga and a small number on Aitutaki”.

“As of Wednesday, there are 95 active cases in the country, TMO would like to encourage everyone to self- protect yourselves by applying basic public health measures of mask wearing, self-distancing and washing of hands,” TMO says.  

“Self-testing using RAT test is also encouraged to quickly identify if you have Covid-19 to protect your families and friends.”

TMO is also introducing compulsory RAT testing and wearing of masks for anyone visiting any of the health facilities as of today.

“RAT test kits and masks will be available from the community clinics as of January 6 for members of the public,” TMO says.

Cook Islands News has asked for a breakdown in Covid-19 cases according to each island.

The notice from TMO comes less than a week after secretary of health Bob Williams warned Cook Islands News there would be “a slight increase” in Covid cases in the Cook Islands over the past week.

“We are advising everyone that the option to protect (one’s) own self is encouraged by wearing facial masks, including applying the normal public health measures. We will review these requirements in due course as cases increase,” Williams said.

The media release advises anyone who tests positive for Covid-19 to self-isolate for up to seven days.

“If your RAT has a negative result then re-test in 24 to 48hrs.  If still negative after 48hrs then go to a health clinic where a PCR test will be done to rule out any other viruses,” it says.

“People living with you although not unwell should conduct daily RAT testing and if negative, they can come and go as normal. Daily test for seven days.”