Covid case at Palmerston North cricket training

Source: 1News

A club cricketer in Palmerston North attended training this week before testing positive for Covid-19.

The Manawatū Cricket Association said the player from the United Cricket Club attended training at the association's indoor training centre on Tuesday night, between 5.30pm and 7.10pm.

The Ministry of Health would not confirm the case, referring 1News to the 1pm update.

The training centre will be closed until around 3pm on Thursday for a deep clean - staff at the centre are all fully vaccinated.

Manawatū Cricket Association chairperson Carla na Nagara said she was advised of the case by the club's general manager on Wednesday night.

She understood the person was symptom-free at practice but got a test after feeling unwell on Wednesday morning. She didn't know how many people were at the practice.

"The facility is closed today and is then being deep cleaned," na Nagara said.

"It's not surprising, we know that the Delta variant is incredibly contagious and highly transmissible."

However, she added that she was "worried at the level of rumour and speculation and misinformation that very quickly hit the airwaves, not so much media airwaves, but informal channels of communication".

"I think it's just really important for everyone to remember that this country's been dealing with this pandemic for well over a year, that it's important to stay calm and focus on getting facts and following the Ministry of Health's advice.

"I think importantly too, it's a really good reminder of the importance of getting vaccinated ... the thing that we can all take responsibility for is getting vaccinated because that helps protect us and prevent spread."

Na Nagara said there was high levels of vaccination within the cricket community, which runs several programmes with children.

"All the NCA (National Cricket Academy) staff are fully vaccinated, those involved with children are fully vaccinated and none of them have had contact with this positive case," she assured.

Association visits to schools have been postponed for the rest of the week, and they were working with those who were at the training and then attended another one the following day.

"United Cricket Club are leading the response with their club in a very responsible and professional way; they have our full support and the thoughts and best wishes of the MCA community are with them," the association said in a Facebook post.

Palmerston North mayor Grant Smith told 1News his knowledge of the case is "pretty limited" at this stage.

"We haven’t had any indication yet but I have heard via official channels that there is a positive case here but I don’t know too many details.”

He said the discovery was not entirely unexpected.

“Like all New Zealanders in all cities, we always knew Covid was coming, it was just a matter of when and how well-prepared we were going to be.”