The test results from the 720 high priority workers tested for COVID-19 at the Port of Tauranga last week have now all returned negative.

The Bay of Plenty District Health Board began testing at its dedicated testing facility at the Port of Tauranga from midday Monday 17 August 2020 and had completed testing the high priority workers by morning, Thursday 20 August – in advance of the Ministry of Health deadline. BOPDHB Interim Chief Executive Simon Everitt says the fact all the tests are negative is a pleasing outcome.

“We would like to thank everyone involved in the response – those who worked tirelessly to set up the testing facility at short notice, the amazing job of those involved throughout testing process, and the tremendous combined effort to coordinate those who needed to be tested. And importantly, a big thanks to the port workers for their cooperation during this time”

“Mā pango, mā whero ka oti te mahi – when we all pitch in together, we can achieve great things.”

Western Bay of Plenty Primary Health Organisation Chief Executive Lindsey Webber also acknowledged the effort and commitment of those involved in the Port of Tauranga surveillance testing.

“The response from everyone involved has been phenomenal, and it would not have been possible without the collaborative effort of all. It clearly demonstrates the skills and expertise of our workforces. 

“Coordinating a response at short notice required bringing together numerous teams including Ngāi te Rangi and Ngāti Ranginui iwi, Port of Tauranga staff, maritime employers, PHO staff, BOPDHB, Pathlab, IT services, staff training coordinators… and everyone did an amazing job.”

WBOPPHO Clinical Director Dr Claire Isham endorsed the sentiment: “I am immensely proud of the speed and professionalism of our network in responding to the increased demand for testing at short notice.” she said.