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Historical COVID-19 Case Detected

A Cook Islands man who has been on holiday in Rarotonga since 21 May 2021 has tested positive for COVID-19, after requesting to be swabbed last evening.

The man who arrived in Auckland from Egypt on 5 May 2021, tested positive on his Day 0 test when in managed isolation (MIQ) in Auckland. He was asymptomatic and his test was deemed a historic case. He remains asymptomatic.

Because he needed to have a COVID test before returning to Egypt, he requested one late yesterday and the result came back positive. The man was not showing any symptoms of the disease.

Secretary of Health Bob Williams says, “Te Marae Ora staff acted with urgency late last night and have taken this matter very very seriously.”

At 11.30pm last night upon confirmation of a positive test result the Health Intelligence Unit was activated, and staff recalled. Investigations took place to find out whether this person was infectious, where he had been and his travel history.

Between 1am and 6am this morning the man, his wife, son, and 9 close contacts were all tested and were self-isolating while the tests were processed. The man was also tested again and again he returned a positive result. His wife, son, and close contacts have returned negative test results, and no-one has been required to self-isolate.

“Our systems have been tested and have worked and I am confident with the results. Indications are that the positive test has reacted to an historical infection of COVID-19. Overseas, people have been known to continue testing positive for the virus for some considerable time after they have recovered from it and are no longer infectious.”

“The Cook Islands Police are presently investigating the matter in relation to the information the man provided in his arrival health declaration form” Mr Williams concluded.

The country remains at Alert Level 1.

ENDS: Enquiries to Jaewynn McKay +682 55486; For up-to-date information visit or