15 locations of interest for 'possible' Manawatū Omicron case

Source: 1News

The Ministry of Health is treating a new case of Covid-19 in Palmerston North as possibly being the Omicron variant.

It has also named more than a dozen locations of interest in the region linked to the case, including a cafe that has been deemed a close contact location.

In its daily Covid-19 statement today, the ministry said work on genome sequencing is continuing but that it would be “prudent” to treat the person as an Omicron case as they were a recent returnee from managed isolation.

The case had returned five negative tests while in a Christchurch managed isolation facility, including just prior to their release on Sunday.

Earlier on Thursday, health officials said the case had resulted in new exposure sites, including an early childhood centre, after the person had been infectious for three days in the community since Monday.

The ministry has since named more than a dozen locations of interest in the region linked to the case, including a cafe that has been deemed a close contact location.

The Ministry of Health confirmed 15 places as locations of interest on Thursday afternoon.

People who were at Cafe 116 Terrace End in Palmerston North on Wednesday, 19 January between 10.40am and 11am are being told to self-isolate and get a test immediately.

Among the other locations of interest are Repco, Bunnings Warehouse, Steelmasters, and Amare Safety, all on Tremaine Avenue. The person with Covid-19 was at these locations at various times between Monday, January 17 and Wednesday January 19. People who were at these locations at the time of interest are being told to monitor their symptoms and get tested if any develop.

The full list of locations, as well as details of times of interest, can be found here.

Officials said more locations of interest will be notified online as they are identified.

The person was tested after beginning to show symptoms on Wednesday and returned a result later that evening.

It's the first Covid-19 case in the Manawatū region since November. The person was fully vaccinated with two doses of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine and is now isolating at home.

Health officials said that investigations are underway to determine the source of infection, including possible transmission inside managed isolation. The ministry said the objective remained to stamp out any onward transmission related to the case.

The news came after the MidCentral District Health Board announced the new case on Facebook on Thursday morning.

Covid-19 tests for those with symptoms are available at the drive-thru community testing site at 575 Main St, Palmerston North, on Thursday from 8.30am-4pm.

Tests may also be available at selected GPs, the DHB said. People can also visit the Healthpoint website for more locations.