23 Oct 2021

Covid-19 community case reported in the South Island with positive test in Blenheim

7:18 pm on 23 October 2021

The South Island has its first community case of Covid-19 since the current outbreak began, with a person testing positive for the coronavirus in Blenheim, the Health Ministry has confirmed.

Business groups in Blenheim are in talks over a business hub.

Business groups in Blenheim are in talks over a business hub. Photo: LDR / Chloe Ranford

The case flew from Rotorua and arrived in Blenheim on Thursday. They were tested upon arrival after developing a sore throat.

"The initial test, including a follow-up swab, returned a weak positive result."

The ministry said the case is now isolating awaiting the results of further testing.

Locations of interest include Mitre 10 MEGA, Shosha, and KiwiCamp Riverlands on Thursday and Friday last week.

The case is considered low risk, due to their likely late stage of infection.

The ministry said initial case interviews suggested the case was linked to the Te Awamutu cluster.

A small number of close contacts had been identified. They are now isolating and will be tested.

The ministry said any locations of interest will be added to its website.

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

Vaccination rates in the Marlborough region have seen 90 percent of residents receive their first dose, with 78 percent fully immunised.

It is the first community case in the South Island in almost a year.

Marlborough Mayor John Leggett said it was always a possibility the current outbreak would make its way to the South Island.

He said it is not good news, but the district council is ready to deal with it.

"You wake up to this sort of news in a long weekend, you sort of planned to enjoy a bit of sunshine and recreation so no not good news at all.

"The redeeming factor in all this is that we do have a plan so we're ready to roll that plan out in certainly supporting the health professionals."

Leggett said it's a wake-up call for locals to get tested and vaccinated.

There were a total of 104 new community cases of Covid-19 reported in New Zealand today, with 61 remaining unlinked.

There were 129 cases reported yesterday and 102 cases on Thursday.