COVID-19 contacts return negative test results

21 October 2020

The close and casual contacts identified as being at risk of having contact with a positive COVID-19 case who worked at Port Taranaki last week have all returned negative test results.

Taranaki’s medical officer of health, Dr Jonathan Jarman, has confirmed the first round of tests for the four close contacts and nine casual are all negative. 

“The four people who had close contact are in self-quarantine for 14 days from the time that they might have had exposure. Their risk is higher so they will also be having a COVID-19 test on day 12”.

However, Dr Jarman warns that the time it takes to get symptoms from COVID-19 can vary from one to 14 days from the time of exposure. 

“We won’t be able to have a high level of certainty that there has been no virus spread until two incubation periods have passed (28 days) and there has been a high level of community testing completed.

“It would be great if people with flu-like symptoms can get a COVID-19 test over the next few weeks so that we can have confidence that the virus has not become established in Taranaki”.

Today the Ministry of Health announced there are two new positive cases linked to the port worker but these are believed to be workplace contacts from Auckland.

Over 400 tests for COVID-19 have been completed in Taranaki since Sunday. Testing is available throughout the region in New Plymouth, Hāwera, Waitara and Opunake at these locations - https://tdhb.org.nz/covid19/public.shtml#testing

Dr Jarman reiterates that regular use of the NZ COVID Tracer app remains important.

“This will make it so much easier for our contact tracing if our next COVID-19 case has been out and about in the community.

“It is quite surprising how many people you have contact with when popping in and out of shops or visiting the supermarket.

“If we get more cases then we’ll be using the Tracer app alert to tell people quickly that they may need a test”.

 

 

Last updated: Wednesday, October 21, 2020

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