Dozens of scouts catch Covid at Nth Island jamboree

Stock photo: Getty
Stock photo: Getty

The number of scouts at a jamboree in Hamilton who had come down with Covid-19 is now being reported as 48 by its organiser, more than initially reported by officials.

Te Whatu Ora earlier said in a statement that the case numbers were in the 30s, and made up a small proportion of the 4000 scouts who had assembled for the jamboree.

A spokesperson for Te Whatu Ora - Health New Zealand Waikato said the Covid cases had been reported to the Medical Officer of Health.

"It was established the jamboree's medical team on site were following established protocols and were confident they were able to manage the positive Covid-19 case load.

"With today being the last day of the event, participants were reminded of the importance of isolating, travelling home via the most direct route and remaining masked for the duration of their journey home."

Jamboree's relations director John Saunders earlier told RNZ that there were "a handful" of cases, but today confirmed that there were 48 cases.

Saunders said 13 of those cases were sent home, but the rest which were less severe stayed on at the camp.

He said those who tested positive stayed in their own tents, but were allowed to continue to participate in activities during the day as long as they wore a mask.

Saunders said they believe this was appropriate given the outdoor setting.

He said their approach was based on consultations with doctors on site and also advice from the Waikato Hospital.

The 23rd Aotearoa New Zealand Scout Jamboree is being held at Mystery Creek.

The jamborees are usually held every three years but the last one was disrupted by the pandemic.