18 Jun 2021

Rakiura child does not have Covid-19, DHB says

8:00 pm on 18 June 2021

Rakiura / Stewart Island is Covid-19 free, the Southern District Health Board has confirmed this evening.

Stewart Island aka Rakiura, the third largest island in the country. Oban, view across,Golden Bay.

Photo: 123rf

It follows a scare earlier this week after a child returned a weak positive test before overseas travel.

The Health Ministry this afternoon said household contacts had tested negative.

The DHB this evening said the result was not due to Covid-19 and instead put it down to a case of rhinovirus that causes cold and flu symptoms.

The DHB said testing of the child's family returned negative results, as did tests on the wider community.

Between yesterday and today 195 swabs were taken.

Although further results were still to come, the DHB said all signs were there was no Covid-19 outbreak on the island.

The DHB is now in the process of contacting all the individuals who have been isolating at home.

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

Meanwhile, it was announced today that a Covid-19 vaccination clinic on Stewart Island would 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.

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