False positive Covid test for person who travelled to Chch for terrorist sentencing

A possible Covid-19 case investigated by the Ministry of Health in Christchurch over the weekend turned out to be a false positive test from someone who travelled to New Zealand for the terrorist sentencing.

The Ministry of Health said on Saturday one case was under investigation in Canterbury. Then on Sunday, it said the person had since tested negative for Covid-19 and the investigation had been closed.

But director general of health Ashley Bloomfield confirmed during Wednesday's daily briefing the person initially tested positive at a community testing centre, when the "strong impression" was of an old infection.

“It was treated as though it could be a live case and so his immediate close contacts were also re-isolated with him and tested and all their tests came back negative.”

He said the person had spent 14 days in managed isolation and then had two further tests.

At the briefing,  Bloomfield said there are six new cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand today, all of which are linked to the Mt Roskill "mini-cluster".

A baby boy and three other children are among the six cases.

The total number of cases linked to the mini-cluster - connected to the Mt Roskill Evangelical Fellowship Church - is now 43. There is a smaller cluster of 14 within that, linked to a funeral.

He said there was still good capacity to continue wide testing at level 2.5/2.

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