Five Air NZ flights linked to Nelson Covid cases

Nelson City, NZ, Getty
The nine Nelson Tasman cases are all from one household. Photo: Getty Images
There are 43 new Covid community cases of Covid-19 today, with 41 new cases at the border.

There are eight people in hospital, including four in North Shore, three in Auckland and one in Middlemore.

The new community cases announced today are in Auckland (19), Waikato (4), Lakes (6), *Hawke’s Bay (6), *Nelson-Marlborough (8).

The cases in Waikato, Lakes and Hawke's Bay are all linked to existing cases.

Nelson cases

Five flights have now been linked to the nine cases in the Nelson region reported yesterday will be listed today as locations of interest.

An Air New Zealand crew member on the same Auckland to Nelson flight as the nine cases has now tested positive. This flight and four other flights the crew member worked on during their possible infectious period, prior to their testing positive, are now also listed as locations of interest. 

The flights are:

  • Flight NZ 5083 from Auckland to Nelson at 5.20 pm on 16 January
  • Flight NZ 5080 from Nelson to Auckland at 4 pm on 19 January
  • Flight NZ 5077 from Auckland to Nelson at 2pm on 19 January
  • Flight NZ 5049 from Auckland to New Plymouth at 7.50 pm on 19 January
  • Flight NZ 5042 from New Plymouth to Auckland at 1.50 pm on 20 January

Air New Zealand report their crew member is fully vaccinated, and the positive case was found after the crew member felt unwell and was tested on top of the regular surveillance testing.

The flights are now listed as Locations of Interest on the Ministry’s website and advice to those on the flights is provided there.  All those on the flights are in the process of being contacted and provided with advice.

Whole genome sequencing for the Nelson Tasman cases and the Air New Zealand crew member are expected later today.

The nine Nelson Tasman cases are all from one household.

Eight of these cases were notified yesterday after the Ministry’s reporting deadline and are today being added to the official tally. There are no additional new cases to report in the region today.

Case interviews continue with genome sequencing expected later today to identify the variant. Public health officials continue to investigate recent travel to Auckland as the source of their infections.

Locations of interest will be added to the Ministry’s webpage where contacts at exposure events cannot be identified.

Anyone who was on these flights and who has not yet been contacted should get tested and isolate at home.

Public health officials report a strong response to testing yesterday afternoon and are expecting further demand over the weekend.

Palmerston North Omicron case

There have been 76 contacts identified to date linked to the Palmerston North Omicron case.

All but two have been contacted and 66 have returned a negative result. Further test results will be reported Sunday.

Worker at Auckland Airport confirmed Omicron case

The suspected Omicron case of an Auckland Airport worker - reported yesterday - is now also confirmed as having the Omicron variant, the Ministry of Health said.

As announced yesterday the case was being treated as an Omicron case prior to this being confirmed.

The case has been potentially linked to returnees in Rotorua and Auckland through whole genome sequencing.

This information will assist investigations to determine the source of infection, the ministry said.

There have been 32 contacts identified, around half have been contacted and tested. As reported yesterday there has been one positive result reported in a household member and 16 other contacts have returned a negative result.

Public health staff are continuing to focus on identifying people who were at the Ara-Tai Café Half Moon Bay in Eastern Auckland.

Of the 78 contacts identified and linked to the café, 48 have returned a negative result.

The ministry said this location of interest is high risk and people who were at Half Moon Bay's Ara-Tai Café from 12.30 to 2pm on Tuesday (January 18) are urged to isolate and get tested immediately, and to test again on Sunday, January 23.

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