18 Jun 2021

Household contacts of Rakiura/Stewart Island child return negative Covid-19 results

4:34 pm on 18 June 2021

The household contacts of a child on Rakiura / Stewart Island who received a weak-positive Covid-19 test have returned negative serology tests

Street view in Oban, New Zealand, town on Stewart Island, main street

Photo: 123RF

In a statement, the Ministry of Health said Southern DHB public health staff were continuing to assess test results after the child with an indeterminate test result for Covid-19 was identified yesterday on Stewart Island.

The ministry yesterday said a child care centre would close for the rest of the week and possible local contacts were being asked to isolate.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said it was likely the weak positive Covid-19 test result on Stewart Island had been a false positive.

The child had returned the result from a test before overseas travel.

The child's household contacts have tested negative following serology testing.

A community testing clinic had also been set up to test children from the preschool and anyone who felt unwell.

"The child's swab is positive for rhinovirus, which causes the 'common cold'. If rhinovirus is in the community this could explain the cold and flu type symptoms reported in the community," the ministry said.

"The testing centre established on Stewart Island yesterday resulted in 93 swabs being collected which will be processed over the next two days. We expect the first of these results to be available later this afternoon and if negative will give a high degree of assurance that Covid-19 is not circulating in the community. This will also enable a decision about the next steps for residents."

A Covid-19 vaccination clinic on Stewart Island will run on 28 and 29 July, followed by a second dose clinic in August.

Two Invercargill-based Māori health providers will join forces to deliver the vaccine to everyone on the island aged 16 years or over.

The Southern DHB said it would operate as part of the district's Māori and Pasifika vaccination programme.

On case numbers today, there is one new Covid-19 case in managed isolation facilities and no cases in the community.

The new case arrived in the country from Spain via the United Arab Emirates on 11 June. They were now isolating in an Auckland managed isolation facility.

The seven-day rolling average of new cases detected at the border is two.

Since 1 January 2021, there have been 76 historical cases, out of a total of 542 cases.

The total number of active cases in the country is 23 and the total number of confirmed cases is 2358.

The ministry said two previously reported cases have now recovered.

Managed isolation breaches

The ministry said testing results have now been returned following the three bubble breaches in a managed isolation facility.

The breaches involved 12 people at the Crowne Plaza Auckland on Sunday evening.

"Health authorities in Auckland have tested all 12 people and all 12 results have come back negative," the ministry said.

Locations of interest across the ditch

As of 9am today, Australian health authorities have listed almost 160 locations of interest in Victoria, Queensland and New South Wales, the ministry said.

It said anyone who was at a location of interest at the specified times cannot travel to New Zealand within 14 days of the exposure event.

"Anyone at these locations of interest at the specified times should call Healthline on 0800 358 5453, get tested and self-isolate until they return a negative result."

The ministry is urging New Zealanders who've been in Victoria, Sydney or regional Queensland to check the following websites to determine whether they were at any of the locations of interest:

The total number of Covid-19 tests processed in New Zealand to date is 2,216,363.

On Thursday, 5246 tests were processed.