Covid-19 coronavirus Delta outbreak: Positive case in Bay of Plenty

The Ministry of Health has confirmeda positive Covid result for a person in the Bay of Plenty.

The person lives in Pukekohe and is in the process of moving to a rural area north of Katikati.

The test was taken yesterday in Auckland.

The test result has a high CT value usually seen in the early or late stage of infection and is under further investigation, including a repeat test, the ministry said in a statement.

The infected person has been granted an exemption to cross the boundary in and out of Auckland as they are in the process of shifting house.

As part of this, the individual has been having regular surveillance testing– at least five tests have been taken since the beginning of September, the most recent prior test was 5 October. All five of those tests were negative.

The individual who returned the positive result is fully vaccinated and has reported no symptoms, aside from seasonal hayfever.

The ministry said the person is a consistent user of the Covid tracer app and initial information has identified locations of interest in Katikati and Pukekohe, with details to follow.

All family members have been contacted and are currently isolating, with results from testing expected tomorrow.

The current public health assessment is that the risk appears low given the person’s vaccination status, regular test history, good use of the app and rapid contact, testing and isolation of family members.

Western Bay of Plenty mayor Garry Webber said the health board called him about half an hour before the news broke and his first reaction was “oh s***”.

“It is what it is. It’s the last thing that any district wants, let alone our district. Nobody wants it in their backyard … it’s here.”

Webber said the borders around level 3 areas were “pretty leaky”.

He would “reluctantly” support a move to level 3 but said that decision was in the hands of the Government.

“We will go with the flow.”

“If this is in our community then this is what we are gonna have to do.”

He understood the person had been using the tracing app.

His message to the Katikati community was: “If in doubt, get a test, but without fail go get vaccinated.”

Just under half of Katikati residents are fully vaccinated, according to ministry’s suburb data. It reveals 49.5 per cent have two doses and 77.5 per cent have one.

Tauranga-based National MP Simon Bridges took to Twitter saying he had “concerns” someone could get a travel exemption to move house, while others wanting to visit dying relatives were unable to travel.

Bay of Plenty MP Todd Muller said the “Bay will hold its breath”.

He encouraged anyone connected to Katikati to get a test and for everyone in the region stay calm and “vaccinate, vaccinate vaccinate”.

“We will get through this.”

Pop-up testing sites will open tomorrow in the Bay of Plenty at:

Katikati Medical Centre, 4 Clive Road, 8.30am – 4.30pm

Katikati Rugby and Sports Clubrooms, Fairview Rd, Katikati 8.30am – 4.30pm (hours will be extended if there is high-demand)

Tauranga Accident and HealthCare, 19 Second Avenue, 8.00am – 6.00pm

Earlier

There are 34 new cases of Covid in the community, as Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says there is no evidence the case that sent Northland into level 3 is connected to the Mongrel Mob.

Of the new community cases, 31 are in Auckland and three are in Waikato – all cases in Waikato are linked while 11 cases in Auckland are yet to be linked. There are five active subclusters that are not epidemiologically linked.

The government moved Northland from alert level 2 to alert level 3 in a sudden announcement last night, after an Auckland woman who had visited Northland tested positive for the coronavirus.

Jacinda Ardern said today there was “no evidence” to support some of the claims circulating around the Northland case.

Speaking to multiple media outlets today, former deputy prime minister Winston Peters claimed the woman had gang connections and travelled through Auckland’s border to the Bay of Islands and back.

He said there are more details that officials know and should have been made public.

But Ardern said there was “no evidence” to back up some of the claims that have been circulating online and the government was not withholding any vital information.

“As we’ve had information about their movements, we’ve released them. But this is a case where the individual, despite the involvement of the police, has not been forthcoming and that is why we took a very precautionary approach, and that was the right one.

“What we do know from video and CCTV footage is that the individual in question was travelling with a woman. We know that for the place in which they were staying for that period of time has also confirmed that they were travelling with a woman. And the person that has been implicated through some of that that social media chat, has themselves confirmed that they were not in the Northland region.

“My understanding is that police have identified that individual and is working hard to locate them.”

In a statement, Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins reiterated Ardern’s comment that there was no evidence the Covid-positive woman was helped across the Northland border by the Mongrel Mob.

He said police were involved and CCTV footage showed the positive case travelling with another woman – which was confirmed by staff at the Comfort Hotel Flames in Whangārei.

Police have identified the second woman but had not yet located her.

“The person rumoured to have been with her has stated he was not in Northland,” Hipkins said.

“I’ve not been informed of the case’s occupation or associations.”

Today’s earlier cases

There are 26 people in hospital in total: North Shore (3), Middlemore (13), Auckland (8), Waikato Base Hospital (1), Palmerston North (1). Seven of the 26 people are in intensive care or high dependency units.

The Herald understands the case in hospital in Palmerston North is an Auckland truck driver who tested positive and has been isolating.

74 per cent (31) of yesterday’s cases had exposure events in the community.

A total of 85,757 vaccinations were administered yesterday – 32,051 of which were to Aucklanders. Of the total, 18,568 were first doses and 67,189 were second doses.

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