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Covid case in Northland: Woman visited 30 locations, 'too early' to update alert levels

Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Sun, 24 Jan 2021, 3:55PM

Covid case in Northland: Woman visited 30 locations, 'too early' to update alert levels

Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Sun, 24 Jan 2021, 3:55PM


* The new case is a 56-year-old woman.
* She travelled to Spain and the Netherlands late last year before returning to NZ on December 30.
* She went through MIQ at Auckland's Pullman Hotel and was released on January 13 after testing negative.
* She then travelled around the southern part of Northland and became symptomatic on January 15.
* The strain is unknown but officials are acting on the assumption it is one of the new, more transmissible strains.
* She has four close contacts who have been tested and are isolating.
* Officials say it is 'too early' to speculate on any further response.

Health officials have revealed more information about a community case of Covid-19 in Northland.

Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins and Director General of Health Ashley Bloomfield are holding a press conference at the Beehive.

The case involves a 56-year-old woman who arrived from London on December 30 and stayed at the Pullman Hotel MIQ facility in Auckland. The origin of the infection is not yet known and the strain is unknown.

It's too early to consider the response to the case, Hipkins said.

The woman tested negative twice during her stay in MIQ before she was released.

Ashley Bloomfield said the person travelled in Spain and the Netherlands before arriving in New Zealand.

She did not have symptoms in MIQ. She left MIQ on January 13 and returned home to Northland. The woman lives just south of Whangarei. She had been to about 30 different locations in recent days, including areas around Mangawhai, Dargaville and Helensville.

The woman was called on January 16 and reported no symptoms. She felt very mild symptoms on January 15.

She did not associate those symptoms with Covid, but once they worsened she got a test. The result came back late last night.

The woman was currently at home, and did not need hospital care.

She had just four close contacts who were being isolated and tested. The woman was "assiduous in using the Covid tracer app", Bloomfield said.

Ministry officials were contacting the places she had been and would put information on its website as soon as those places were notified.

"We are asking people who have been at those locations to stay at home and call Healthline for information on when to get a test."

Businesses the woman visited were being contacted as soon as possible, but some were not open today.

If anyone was symptomatic, wherever they are in New Zealand, they should get tested.

Extra testing stations were going into Northland, especially around Mangawhai.

Hipkins said MBIE was reviewing the CCTV footage at the Pullman, and contacting all returnees from the hotel since January 1.

Those people were asked to get a test and stay home until they had a result. It involves about 600 people.

Staff were also being asked to get a test if they had not had one in the last few days.


Earlier today the Ministry of Health reported that there had been eight new Covid cases in managed isolation since Friday.

Two of the cases came from South Africa, two came from the US, as well as a case each from the UK, United Arab Emirates, Ethiopia and India.

Four travelled via UAE and Malaysia.

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