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The Central Hawke’s Bay District Council is celebrating Parks Week this week by giving locals a chance to win a $200 gardening voucher.

The Council has placed giant love hearts at Russell Park in Waipukurau, Nelly Jull Park Waipawa and at the Takapau Railway Reserve.

People are encouraged to take a picture with the love hearts, and email them to the Council or upload to its Facebook page.

A $200 voucher from Tree Guys Nursery in Otane is up for grabs.

The winner will be announced next Monday.

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A specialised COVID-19 ward has been opened at Palmerston North Hospital as cases of COVID-19 in the MidCentral area continue to increase.

MidCentral District Health Board Chief Executive Kathryn Cook says that the ward is one of the many plans in place to manage an increase in people with COVID-19 requiring hospital level treatment.

She said while the DHB understand the majority of people with COVID-19 will be able to self-manage symptoms in their own home, they have prepared for those who need support in hospital.

The new 32-bed ward recently underwent a medical gas upgrade, making physical changes to the medical gas pipelines and infrastructure.

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There were 47 cases of COVID-19 confirmed for Tararua District yesterday, from the 632 cases across the MidCentral region.

Yesterday’s numbers take Tararua’s total cases to 296.

For Central Hawke’s Bay, there were 37 new cases yesterday, to give a tally of 165.

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The Mobile COVID-19 Vaccination van will be in OngaOnga today.

People can get their vaccines between 11am and 2pm from the van, which will be parked up in Bridge Street

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