Latest Nelson Covid case not linked to initial ones

Anna Whyte
Source: 1News

The Covid cases popping up in Nelson will not automatically mean the region will go to Red in the new traffic light system, Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins told media on Wednesday, after another unlinked case was found.

There are currently four active cases in Nelson-Tasman, with multiple locations of interest dating back to November 19.

Dr Ashley Bloomfield said said the first case that was identified in the region was someone who had symptoms "for a wee while".

He said the location of interest in Nelson indicated the exposure time of the possible time they were infectious in the community, "that's why those locations of interest go back a wee way".

"There is whole genome sequencing we're following up and that will give us an idea of the link back to where that first person may have been infected."

Bloomfield said there was one other case reported on Wednesday in Nelson that was not associated with the first person.

"There are three close contacts in that first grouping and there is one person who was identified yesterday who isn't linked.

"That's another one we're following up to see where that person may have been infected."

He said that case has a number of close contacts, both household and workplace who are isolating and being tested.

"So we may well see more cases there."

Hipkins was asked if the outbreak would mean the Nelson region would move to Red in the new traffic light system.

He said that cases would start to pop up around the country "and we may be dealing with more localised outbreaks" that are "reasonably controlled".

"That doesn't mean we're going to be automatically considering a shift from Orange to Red.

"Because more of that is going to happen. That doesn't mean we're suddenly going to be flicking places into Red all over the place all of the time."