Locations of interest in Christchurch due from 2pm

The Orchard Rd testing station near Christchurch Airport was full of cars on Thursday morning....
The Orchard Rd testing station near Christchurch Airport was full of cars on Thursday morning. Photo: George Heard
The Ministry of Health is expected to release details around the locations of interest in Christchurch from 2pm today.

Two people in Christchurch have returned positive Covid-19 tests - and had not been using the contact tracing app regularly, it has been confirmed.

And one may have been infectious in the community for almost two weeks.

At noon, a new round of locations of interest in Auckland were released but none in Christchurch.

The spokesperson has told the Herald the next round of locations will not be released until 2pm and they may include Christchurch.

Meanwhile, there are 89 new cases of Covid-19 to report in New Zealand this afternoon - and Christchurch will stay at alert level 2, despite the new community cases.

The Government says stays in managed isolation and quarantine (MIQ) will be halved from 14 to seven days, followed by isolation at home for three days.

Authorities have been working to determine the risk to the South Island's biggest city. But Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins told media this afternoon there was no need for Christchurch to move up an alert level, as the cases have had no major exposure events and all close contacts have been isolated.

He said earlier today the two cases were not frequent users of the Covid Tracer App, had been quite unwell and potentially out and about in the city while infectious for several days. They were not vaccinated.

Vaccination rates were above 90% for first doses and above 70% for second doses in the Bishopdale area, where one of the cases lives.

The alert level 2 settings would continue to keep people safe by limiting gatherings, restricting worksites and use of masks and scanning, he said.

The Ministry of Health said the Christchurch cases are from the same household. One travelled from Auckland a week ago with a childcare exemption after having tested negative for the virus. Travel to provide childcare is permitted under alert level 3 if no other appropriate person is available locally.

The Ministry said the person who travelled to Auckland had a negative test before heading north and a second negative test before returning to Christchurch on Friday, October 15. The case was not considered infectious when they travelled back to Christchurch.

The other case works as a truck driver and the company the person works for is assisting with tracking their whereabouts during the four days the person was working during their infectious period. Initial information indicates the person was completing deliveries around the Christchurch area, with some trips to north Canterbury.

Both people became unwell last week, were tested on October 26 and both returned positive test results last night. Currently, there are three households where nine close contacts have been identified.

Both cases are isolating safety at home, with public health oversight, and with plans under way to transfer them to a local quarantine facility.

There are two community testing centres in Christchurch, which had scaled up to meet the expected demand. Christchurch wastewater testing had not picked up Covid-19 - there would be wider testing now done.



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