The Ministry of Health has confirmed a positive COVID-19 test result for the Air New Zealand staff member suspected of having contracted the virus during routine screening in China.
In a statement today, the Ministry said further test samples taken from the airline staffer had been “processed rapidly” in Auckland and returned a positive result for coronavirus.
“A source investigation is underway and swabs have been sent to ESR in Wellington for genome sequencing, which is being done as quickly as possible,” it said.
The positive case, along with seven close contacts and six casual contacts from the flight all arrived in New Zealand this morning and were all tested on arrival.
“This person and the close contacts are all in quarantine at our Auckland facility,” the Ministry confirmed.
“So far we also have test results on some of the 11 close contacts, all of which are negative. All close contacts are in self isolation or managed isolation.
“Out of an abundance of caution, we have been following public health protocols and have already been investigating this case as if it were a confirmed case in New Zealand.
“We want to thank the staff member and Air New Zealand for their assistance with our investigation.”
The Ministry said it was continuing to investigate locations of interest the person may have visited in the relevant time period prior to departing on their flight. These are listed, and updated, on the Auckland Regional Public Health Service website.
The Ministry yesterday sent a push notification to users of the COVID Tracer app who scanned in to Animates Manukau on Saturday 21 November between 1.22pm and 2.11pm – and recorded fewer than 10 people who scanned in to the business at that time.
“This is a useful reminder to everyone to continue to regularly use the COVID Tracer app to scan into any places they visit each day,” it said.
“The Ministry advises anyone who visited a location of interest during the relevant time period and develops symptoms should self-isolate and get tested.
Meanwhile, there are eight new cases of COVID-19 to report in New Zealand today, all in managed isolation.
One person arrived on 19 November from Finland via Sweden and Qatar and tested positive at around day 3 of their stay in managed isolation.
One person arrived on 19 November from Canada via Hong Kong and tested positive at around day 3 of their stay in managed isolation.
Both are now in quarantine at our Auckland facility.
One person arrived on 19 November from the United States and tested positive at around day 3 of their stay in managed isolation. This case is in quarantine in a Christchurch facility.
Five people from one family that arrived on 19 November from Mexico via the United States and all tested positive at around day 3 of their stay in managed isolation.
These people are in quarantine in Christchurch.