Person in Blenheim tests positive for Covid-19

Source: 1News

A person in Blenheim has tested positive for Covid-19 — the first community case in the South Island in nearly a year. 

A hill's view of a beautiful New Zealand town.

A spokesperson for Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins told 1News Marlborough's alert level was not being reviewed at this stage. 

The Ministry of Health confirmed the case had tested positive on Friday night, and they believe the case may be linked to the Te Awamutu cluster.

A "small number of close contacts" have been identified. They have been contacted, are isolating, and testing is being arranged.

The person flew from Rotorua and arrived in Blenheim on October 21, the Ministry of Health said.

"The individual sought a test upon arrival after developing a sore throat. The initial test, including a follow-up swab, returned a weak positive result.

"The current public health assessment is that the risk appears low given the individual’s likely late stage of infection.

"We are also asking Blenheim residents with symptoms — no matter how mild — to please get tested, even if they are vaccinated," the Ministry of Health said.

People living in the Blenheim township are being told to keep an eye out for any locations of interest on the Ministry of Health's website

Mayor John Leggett said he was disappointed to hear of the case, but was confident health authorities would manage the situation effectively.

"We already have a high vaccination rate in Marlborough — 78 per cent of those eligible have had two doses and 90 per cent have had one dose.

"I encourage those who have not done so already to get vaccinated," he said.

"Fortunately this case is deemed low risk but people need to be vigilant and get tested if they have any symptoms."

"This is not the news we wanted to hear at the beginning of Labour Weekend. Marlborough has done it tough this year with lockdowns and a major storm event in mid-July."

The South Island's last community cases were recorded on November 2 and 3. These cases were two nurses who worked at the Sudima Christchurch Airport Hotel. They contracted a virus after an outbreak at the facility involving fishermen from Russia and Ukraine

The South Island is currently at Alert Level 2.