A little over a week ago (Saturday 23rd January) New Zealand Ministry of Health officials advised the public that a community case of COVID-19 had been confirmed.
The positive COVID-19 case recently completed their stay in Auckland managed isolation facility, The Pullman Hotel. After returning 2 negative tests on 2 and 10 January, the case met the requirements for release and returned home to the Northland region on 13 January.
Three days later two other former returnees (father and daughter) who completed their managed isolation in the same facility and at the same time as the Northland case returned positive COVID-19 tests.
The initial tests of close contacts of all three cases have all been negative.
As a precaution the Cook Islands government required passengers booked on the flight arriving Rarotonga Tuesday 26th to rebook their passage.
As a further precaution, passengers who arrived on Friday 29th January were required to enter Supervised Quarantine and were tested for COVID-19 on arrival at the quarantine facility. All 54 test results came back negative.
Te Marae Ora officials have been closely monitoring the situation in New Zealand and note there have be no more community cases. NZ Ministry of Health officials confirm there is no evidence of community transmission outside the cases mentioned above.
“New Zealand has remained at Alert Level 1, which, given this a long weekend for Auckland and Northland provides comfort. No restrictions on gatherings have been imposed, this is reassuring and supports NZ Ministry of Health claims that there is no evidence of community transmission” Secretary of Health Bob Williams stated.
With all this information to hand and subject to there not being any new community cases confirmed in the NZ COVID update this afternoon, passengers currently in Supervised Quarantine will be released from the facility at 6pm today, if not a little sooner.
“The Cook Islands government puts measures like these in place to keep the Cook Islands COVID-19 free. Decisions are not made on a whim, but rather based on information, evidence, and knowledge to hand. Everyone has a role to play, whether that be following Te Marae Ora advice when travelling or practicing public health measures” Mr Williams said.
The 54 passengers who arrived on Friday will be required to have a follow-up COVID-19 test next Saturday.
“I cannot stress enough how important it is that everyone here is compliant with our key COVID-19 Public Health measures: physical distancing, wash and dry your hands often, cough and sneeze into your elbow, regularly clean frequently used surfaces and objects, if you are feeling unwell stay home and seek medical attention by phoning the Healthline on free-call 0800 1801 or 0800 1802 and please tag in with your CookSafe card every time you see the CookSafe “tag in here” logo” Mr Williams concluded.
ENDS: Enquiries to Jaewynn McKay +682 55486