'No plan' to put Nelson in Red over Covid cases - Bloomfield

Source: 1News

Nelson will not move to the Red level of the traffic light system despite Covid-19 cases closing two schools, the Director-General of Health says.

Dr Ashley Bloomfield.

Enner Glynn School and Broadgreen Intermediate have closed after a staff member at each school tested positive for the virus.

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

Asked on The AM Show if health authorities would have to put Nelson into Red — all of the South Island is moving to Orange at 11.59pm today — Dr Ashley Bloomfield said: "No, there's no plan to do that at this stage".

Read more: Covid-positive staff close two Nelson schools

"We have seen cases pop up in the regions over the last few weeks and through the outbreak and of course our approach is of course testing, isolation, contact tracing and in this instance that contact tracing’s identified these two people who were both tested, neither of them symptomatic.

"They were identified as positive cases and so the schools have sort of taken the appropriate actions to make sure that any risk to other staff and students is measured."

When asked why Nelson-Tasman was not moving to Red when it had roughly the same per head of population number of cases as Auckland, Bloomfield replied: "Well the difference is these are just some isolated cases that have been seeded into Nelson and that makes it possible for us as we’ve shown we can in other areas in Taranaki recently, MidCentral, Wairarapa, with contact tracing, testing, isolation, we can get around these cases."

There is a large number of cars with people waiting for a test at Saxton Field, while there is also a pop-up testing centre at the Trafalgar Centre carpark.

Covid testing at Saxton Field, near Nelson.