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The three are the first confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in Central Otago since testing began. There is one case each in Roxburgh, Cromwell and Alexandra.
Central Otago District Mayor Tim Cadogan announced the news in a statement yesterday.
When spoken to by The Otago Daily Times Mr Cadogan said he had been notified by the Southern District Health Board and he wanted to inform the Central Otago community immediately.
‘‘This makes it very real. If you needed to make it real, it is this,’’ he said, before referring back to his statement.
In it he called for calm.
‘‘This is a statement I was hoping I would not need to make and that I know will cause further concern to you.
‘‘I am letting you know as soon as possible that the Southern District Health Board has confirmed three positive Covid-19 cases in Central Otago.
‘‘None of the cases are thought to be of community transmission.’’
It was only a matter of time.
‘‘We always knew this would occur, although I recognise that having three cases confirmed across our district at the one time will come as a shock to our communities.’’
It was a timely reminder of why people needed to take the lockdown requirements ‘‘extremely seriously’’, he said.
It is unclear whether all three Covid-19 positive people are in Dunstan Hospital but Central Otago Health Services chief executive Dr Kathryn de Luc released the following statement:
‘‘Central Otago Health Services and Dunstan Hospital wish to assure you that the team are doing their utmost to meet the needs of our community and support our staff and whanau.
‘‘We acknowledge these are challenging times that we are all affected by.’’
Robust plans and procedures were in place as the situation evolved, she said.
She thanked people for their their understanding and support in what she called ‘‘unprecedented times.’’