Christchurch community cluster contained: ministry

Officials are confident a small cluster of community cases of Covid-19 in Christchurch has been contained.

Yesterday, the Ministry of Health announced 106 new community cases across New Zealand, including three in Christchurch.

A spokesman said the first of those three cases had a clear link to the current outbreak of cases in Nelson.

They immediately got tested and had then voluntarily been self-isolating since learning they could have caught the disease.

The second case is a child in that household and the third is a close contact: all are now in a quarantine facility.

"The person’s prompt actions have reduced the chances of further spread," the spokesman said.

"They also underline the importance of getting a test immediately if you have been to a location of interest, are identified as a contact or possible contact of a case, or if you have any cold or flu-like symptoms."

There were 98 community cases reported on Saturday.

Testing will be soon be bolstered in Dunedin, as WellSouth’s new central city Covid-19 swabbing clinic is set to open this week in the former Pizza Hut in Malcolm St.

Vaccination centres had a steady stream of patients during the weekend, as Otago and Southland closed in on having 90% of the population fully vaccinated.

Latest ministry figures said 95% of the entire population had had at least one dose, and less than 1% of the eligible population — 1364 people — had to get their second shot for the Southern District Health Board to reach 90% with two doses.

Four out of 20 DHBs — Waitemata, Auckland, Capital and Coast — have achieved that mark so far, and Southern has the next-highest vaccination rate.

Yesterday, two DHBs, Auckland and Capital and Coast, became the first to achieve a 90% first-dose mark for Maori: the SDHB sits at 87%.

Nationally, 88% of the total eligible population nationwide is now fully vaccinated.

In a report to be considered by his board this week, SDHB chief executive Chris Fleming said there had been fantastic community engagement with the vaccination programme, which was achieving well above the national average.

Recent efforts by staff to target disabled people and mental health clients for vaccination had been encouraging, he said.

Almost 1000 people in the region received disability residential support services and injections for those people, as well as shots though a specialist school on-site clinic, were now complete.

"All mental health residential services in the Southern district have been contacted regarding their residents’ eligibility for vaccination and booking information has been supplied," Mr Fleming said.

"There were 2300 mental health and addictions service users in our district who were yet to make a booking or receive a first dose. This figure has dropped to 1800 this week."

Staff planned to call those remaining patients again to discuss their vaccination options, Mr Fleming said.


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