Resort residents urged to get tested

All Queenstown residents are being asked to get tested for Covid-19.

Testing was carried out at the Queenstown Medical Centre at the weekend, but the turnout was lower than expected.

The call comes after a visitor, who spent four days in Queenstown, twice tested positive after travelling back to South Korea from New Zealand last month.

A drive-through testing centre will be set up in the Frankton Pak’nSave car park, at 302 Hawthorne Dr, between 9am and 5pm tomorrow.

WellSouth medical director Dr Stephen Graham said people should get the test, which is free, whether they had Covid-19 symptoms or not.

"We want to make certain there is no community transmission of the virus.

"Getting as many residents tested as we can will help us confirm we continue to be Covid-free."

Self-isolation would not be required after having the test, he said.

WellSouth chief executive Andrew Swanson-Dobbs said it was a small effort that could have a big impact.

"People in the southern region have done an incredible job helping New Zealand to get to Alert Level 1 and we can’t be complacent now."

Queenstown Lakes Mayor Jim Boult welcomed the temporary "pop-up" testing centre, saying it was a responsible precautionary measure.

"... One only has to look at the situation across the Tasman to realise how quickly the virus can spread if allowed to do so."

He encouraged as many people as possible to get a test and asked employers to give their staff the opportunity to visit during working hours, if needed.

The 22-year-old man who tested positive for Covid-19 in South Korea following his visit to New Zealand was in Queenstown between July 1 and July 4. Health officials say anyone who was in Queenstown at that time should get tested.

Close contacts of the man are being followed up by contact tracers and staff working at local businesses at the time the traveller visited them are being contacted by Public Health.

Southern District Health Board medical officer of health Susan Jack said the incident was a reminder to be vigilant.

"Please, take a few minutes and do your part. Get tested."

• Three new cases of Covid-19 were in managed isolation yesterday, marking 93 days since the last case was contracted locally from an unknown source.

The new cases include a child of a previously reported case, who arrived in the country on July 14 from Pakistan, via Dubai.

The second case is a woman in her 30s who arrived on July 28 from Los Angeles and tested positive during routine testing at the Rydges in Auckland.

The third case is a woman in her 40s who arrived on Saturday from Manila, via Hong Kong.

All three people are staying at Auckland quarantine facilities.

It brought yesterday’s total confirmed cases to 1215, including 25 active cases.

No-one in New Zealand is receiving hospital-level care for Covid-19.

Yesterday, 2401 tests were carried out, bringing the total number of tests completed to 470,469.

General practices throughout the region continue to offer free Covid-19 tests.

Residents and visitors can contact 0800 VIRUS19 if they do not have a GP or if they are unsure of where to go to get tested.

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