Community Covid case in South Island

The Ministry of Health said the person arrived in Blenheim on October 21 and is isolating.  Photo...
The Ministry of Health said the person arrived in Blenheim on October 21 and is isolating. Photo: LDR / Chloe Ranford
The South Island has its first community case of Covid-19 since the current Delta outbreak began, with confirmation that a person has tested positive in Blenheim.

There are 104 community cases of Covid to report in New Zealand today and two border cases, the Ministry of Health said in a statement.

The Ministry said that as well as the Blenheim case, 91 new cases were in Auckland (the centre of the Delta outbrak), and in neighbouring regions eight were in Waikato and four in Northland.

Sixty-one cases are not yet linked, and investigations are continuing to determine their connection to the outbreak. Forty-three cases are linked, including 33 household contacts, the Ministry said.

Today's case numbers follow two days of numbers in the triple figures, with 129 cases reported on Friday and 102 cases on Thursday.

Fifty-four people are in Auckland hospitals and one in Waikato. Five are being treated in ICU or a high dependency unit. The Ministry said the average age of current hospitalisations was 43 years old.

There are now 2492 community Covid cases in the Delta outbreak and 5194 cases since the pandemic began in March 2020. 

Blenheim case considered low risk: Ministry 

The Blenheim case was announced about midday today and is the first reported in the South Island in almost a year. 

The Ministry said the person was now isolating and awaiting the results of further testing. The case is understood to have been considered low risk.

The Ministry said the person flew from Rotorua and arrived in Blenheim on October 21 and sought a test upon arrival after developing a sore throat. The initial test, including a follow-up swab, returned a weak positive result.

It said initial case interviews have identified a small number of close contacts, who have been contacted and are isolating with tests arranged.

"The current public health assessment is that the risk appears low given the individual’s likely late stage of infection." the Ministry said.

"Interviews are also being undertaken to determine any locations of interest. People living in the Blenheim township are asked to monitor the Ministry of Health’s locations of interest page, which is regularly updated.

"We are also asking Blenheim residents with symptoms - no matter how mild - to please get tested, even if they are vaccinated."

The Ministry said  investigations into the source of the infection have begun. However, initial case interviews suggest the case is linked to the Te Awamutu cluster in Waikato.

Blenheim/Nelson testing

• Blenheim CBAC: Horton Park, off Redwood St
Open 9am to 5.30pm on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday

• Nelson CBAC: Saxton Field parking area, Suffolk Rd, Stoke
Open 10am to 6pm on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday

The Ministry said additional testing capacity in the area will be stood up, if needed, and details will be available on the Healthpoint website.

People in Marlborough, Nelson, and Tasman are reminded to get vaccinated this weekend if they have not already. Vaccination clinic locations across the region are available on the Nelson Marlborough Health website.

So far, vaccination rates in the Marlborough region have remained steady with 90% of residents having received their first dose, and 78% fully immunised.

Four new Northland cases 

Northland DHB has confirmed four new cases of Covid -19 in the region. All are related to each other and the two newest cases are children under 12 years of age.

The Ministry of Health said a case investigation has identified a limited number of close contacts. So far, all results from close contacts have returned negative test results, with a small number of outstanding results expected later today.

People living in Northland are asked to monitor the Ministry's locations of interest page.

Anyone who visited these locations of interest at the specified times is asked to monitor their symptoms for 14 days and if any develop, get tested and stay at home until a negative test result is received and they have been symptom-free for 24 hours.

Additional testing in the area is being arranged and details will be available on the Healthpoint website.

The Parua Bay Tavern in Whangârei Heads is closed while some of their staff self-isolate, due to one member having contact with a confirmed Covid-19 case outside of work. Everyone associated with the Parua Bay Tavern, who was self- isolating, has tested negative for Covid. The tavern is not considered a location of interest and plans to re-open on Sunday.

Eight new cases in Waikato

There are eight new cases to report today in the Waikato region, seven in Te Awamutu and one in Hamilton. The Te Awamutu cases have all been linked to an exposure event in a household setting. Public Health are planning to interview the Hamilton case today.

The Minstry said this brings the total number of confirmed cases in the region associated with the Delta outbreak to 81. Five cases in Waikato have not yet been linked – but one is a new case who Public Health are speaking to today.

Waikato DHB is continuing to carry out testing throughout the region, to help determine any undetected community spread of Covid/

"We are urging anyone in Waikato - in particular, people in Te Awamutu - to get tested if they have any symptoms that could be Covid-19."

- ODT Online 



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