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The Tararua Health Group is introducing three triage streams at its facilities following positive COVID cases in the district.

A GREEN stream is being setup for patients with non-respiratory symptoms or appointments for a non-COVID matter. It is also for patients vaccinated against COVID-19.

AMBER will be for non-vaccinated patients (including children) and those with a mask exemption.

RED is for patients with respiratory symptoms.

Those in the AMBER and RED streams will be asked to wait in their vehicles until taken into a consultation room by a clinician.

The Tararua Health Group is also awaiting the arrival of cabins that will let them manage respiratory appointments outside the practice.

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Four people were injured – two seriously – following a three-vehicle crash just north of Pukehou yesterday.

Emergency services were called to the scene on State Highway 2 around 10.15am.

Two cars and a small truck were involved in the accident, and one person had to be extricated by firefighters from one of the cars.

St John Ambulance said two people were taken to hospital in a serious condition, and one in a moderate condition.

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The Hawke’s Bay Regional Council has applied for consents to store water underground near Waipawa to help fight future droughts.

The Council is proposing to trial a Managed Aquifer Recharge system to store water from the Waipawa River.

If consent is granted, when water levels are high in winter, water would be piped from gravel under the river and gravity-fed across two farms to a third, where it would be filtered through a constructed wetland.

Regional Water Security Programme director Tom Skerman says water would then soak through a series of ‘leaky ponds’ into the shallow aquifer.

He says what they expect to see is the water table increasing and remaining high enough to protect the eco-systems of downstream waterways, even during the dry summers or droughts.

The trial – which will run for three years - is proposing to divert approximately three million m3 per year from the Waipawa River.

The Regional Council has been engaging with mana whenua on the trial since late last year to ensure any cultural impacts are identified, and a number of hui are being held later this month with marae located near the site.

Similar trials have been carried out successfully in Canterbury and Tairāwhiti in recent years.

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A number of Hawke’s Bay people due their second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and are being reminded to get it done now to be fully protected from the virus.

Dr Peter Culham, the Medical Advisor to Hawke’s Bay DHB’s Vaccination Programme says people who had their first dose more than three weeks ago are due for their second.

He says it takes two weeks for the vaccination to become fully effective, so it is important to get the second dose to boost protection now.

As at yesterday, 88 percent of Hawke’s Bay’s eligible population has had their first COVID-19 vaccine and 78 percent have had their second.