Testing of 'high risk' communities in South under way

GPs, nurses, pharmacists and administrators from across the region wore protective equipment to...
GPs, nurses, pharmacists and administrators from across the region wore protective equipment to swab members of the public for Covid-19 at Queenstown's Pak 'n' Save supermarket last week. Photo: Matthew Mckew
The SDHB announced this afternoon that there would be more testing of asymptomatic people in the South following a request from the Ministry of Health.

This follows the testing of 343 people which was conducted at a Queenstown supermarket last week in order to detect whether there were any cases of the virus across a random sample.

The new testing was already under way and was targeting "high-risk communities" that could have been exposed to the virus but were not well represented in the testing so far, the SDHB said.

"This includes healthcare workers, Māori and Pacific people, and those with a history of international travel such as those staying in backpackers’ hostels.

"The first groups to be tested are people in Queenstown living in short-term accommodation or backpackers’ hostels, starting today and over the next few days."

Southern DHB medical officer of health Dr Susan Jack said the additional targeted testing supplemented the information they already had, with a particular focus on trying to uncover any pockets of disease that had not yet reached their attention.

“Again, we thank everyone for their cooperation in helping us learn as much as we can about the prevalence of the virus in our community, and helping to inform the extent to which we can relax the restrictions we’ve been living with in recent weeks as we’ve worked to control this outbreak.”

Sixth day with no new case in South

There have been no new cases of Covid-19 announced in the South for the sixth consecutive day.

This continues the record number of days the South has been without a confirmed case of the virus since the first case was announced in the district.

Director of Public Health Caroline McElnay announced there were five new Covid-19 cases in New Zealand today, with two confirmed and three probable.

There are 22 active cases of Covid-19 in the Southern district. Image: Supplied
There are 22 active cases of Covid-19 in the Southern district. Image: Supplied

The total number of cases in New Zealand is now at 1456.

Of the 216 cases in the SDHB area there are only 22 active cases, while 192 cases have recovered.

There have been two deaths in the South, both were from Invercargill.

Alister Peter Brookland, in his 70s, known as Barney, died on Tuesday last week in his Kingswell home.

It was announced yesterday that Invercargill woman Jocelyn Finlayson (62) died in Dunedin Hospital on Wednesday evening after spending weeks in intensive care.

The total number of deaths from the virus in New Zealand is now at 17.

The Southern district has had six consecutive days where there have been no new cases of coronavirus announced. Image: Supplied
The Southern district has had six consecutive days where there have been no new cases of coronavirus announced. Image: Supplied

The Bluff wedding cluster remains the largest of the 16 clusters in the country at 98 cases.

There were no new cases linked to the cluster in the last 24 hours, the Ministry of Health confirmed.

So far 62 of those cases have recovered from the virus.

The World Hereford Conference cluster remains at 40 cases after a new one was announced yesterday.

There is currently only one active case from cluster connected to the Queenstown event while 39 people have recovered from the virus.

Public Health Physician Dr Michael Butchard today presented a webinar for Southern businesses, to help them prepare for Alert Level 3.

One of the key messages Dr Butchard gave was that healthy staff do not need medical clearance, or Covid-19 testing, before returning to work at Alert Level 3. 

The SDHB said this was even if a worker has previously been a Covid-19 case. 

"Public Health South has closely monitored people who have been a Covid-19 case and have let them know if they are able to return to work."

Comments

Nothing like putting the seatbelts in the car AFTER the accident.

Still, better late than never, I suppose.

Oh. Whoops. I forgot to repeat the party line: "We went hard and early!"

I guess I don't believe propaganda that easily.

 

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