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Meitaki Ma’ata Rarotonga

Secretary of Health Bob Williams today reiterated his appreciation for the way most
people responded to advice from Te Marae Ora over the weekend.

He also wanted to provide some clarity on where things are at.

“Those passengers who arrived last Tuesday were tested on Friday/Saturday and all
tests results came back negative. Prior to leaving New Zealand they also tested
negative. The passengers from last Tuesday’s flight, with the exception of 3 people, are
not required to self-isolate. These three advised authorities that they had visited one of
the locations of interest and whilst the risk is very low (they have not been identified as
casual contacts) in line with the precautionary approach Te Marae Ora has committed
to taking, these three will complete a 14-day period of self-isolation and will be tested
again during this time.”

“Passengers who arrived on Friday’s flight were tested on Saturday and those results
also came back negative. They had all also been tested three days prior to that test in
New Zealand, with negative results. The risk analysis for these people has been
deemed low, and they too can now re-enter the community, with the exception of
three people who had also visited a location of interest, again whilst not identified as
casual contacts, they too will complete a 14-day period of self-isolation and will be
tested again during this time.”

“All hospitality venues are welcome to resume normal hours and all sporting activities
can resume too. I note with interest that some sports are taking this opportunity to
introduce public health measures into their “new” routine, and I support this approach
and leadership.

“And talking of leadership, I want to thank the Cook Islands Police and the Rarotonga
Puna, who were once again able to mobilize very quickly when asked and assist Te
Marae Ora staff with the work that needed to be done on Friday and over the
weekend. Puna have been an important part of our history and traditions and have
risen to this latest challenge admirably since they were reinvigorated almost a year

“Finally, I want to ask people to try and avoid the temptation of spreading
misinformation. Do not repeat gossip or unfounded rumors. Doing so can be dangerous
and unhelpful and serves no purpose other than to create unnecessary anxiety among
the community.

“What we all say and do makes a difference. We have kept COVID-19 at bay together
by staying vigilant and working together and we need to continue doing this. We all
have a part to play in making sure we do the right thing, honesty and honest people
play a major role in this.”

ENDS: Enquiries to Jaewynn McKay +682 55486

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