12 Oct 2021

Covid-19: Northland case's travel companion was symptomatic when found - Bloomfield

From Morning Report, 7:12 am on 12 October 2021

The woman who went into hiding after travelling around Northland with an individual who tested positive for covid-19 was symptomatic when found by police.

Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield told Morning Report the person was tested on Monday night and the results are expected back on Tuesday.

The woman has been held under section 70 of the Health Act and was taken to a quarantine facility.

"The section 70 notice does allow the person to effectively be held in a place to keep them and others safe, and also to be tested and any other sort of medical investigations that might be required," Dr Bloomfield said.

Neither of the women have been cooperative with authorities during investigation into the case. Dr Bloomfield said the law cannot force woman to speak.

He said the Ministry of Health and contact tracers need to know more detail about where the two women were.

Some progress was being made through other methods though.

"Police have got a reasonably good understanding based on transactions and phone records of where the people were broadly, and the times they were there.

"Of course, what we really want to know is more detail about the places and the times they were in those places."

Dr Bloomfield said they are currently trying to work out if anyone was infectious while travelling outside Auckland.

"The really big question is were they infectious out in the community in Northland, and that's why we need to know where they are and get on and test people who they may have had contact with."

He said there have been no positive results from wastewater testing in Northland.