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Unfortunate breach and a reminder to remain vigilant

A Rarotonga family has been ordered into compulsory supervised quarantine after the head of the family had unauthorised close contact with one of the people who returned from New Zealand on Friday.

The contact was brief and apparently unintentional, and the man and his entire family have been ordered into quarantine for the next two weeks. The person he had contact with had returned a negative COVID-19 test before leaving New Zealand, and has had another test in-country this afternoon which has returned negative, and is not showing any COVID-19 symptoms. The man who entered the supervised quarantine property also tested negative this afternoon for COVID-19.

Secretary of Health – Dr Aumea Herman – says, “All the appropriate steps had been taken. The person in quarantine was in the right place and obeying the rules, including wearing a mask; there was a yellow flag outside the property indicating there were people in quarantine there.”

“This was unfortunate on the part of the person who breached the quarantine order and should be a lesson to all of us to remain vigilant. Largely because of the actions of the person who returned on Friday, the public health risk from this incident is very low. However we are taking precautionary measures to ensure the safety of the family involved and members of the public.

Te Marae Ora, which is leading the government effort to keep us safe from COVID-19 has reinforced the quarantine rules in place. There must be no physical contact with the people in supervised quarantine in properties displaying yellow flags. The leads of each of the Puna are aware of those in supervised quarantine in their areas. Food and other provisions, including bottled water may be left on the boundary of the property for the quarantined returnees to collect once the person doing the drop off has left. No rubbish or empty containers – e.g. water bottles can leave the property until the returnees have tested negative twice for COVID-19, completed 14-days supervised quarantine and have cleared the exit medical test.

Members of the public should contact their local community health clinics on the free 0800 numbers if they have any questions regarding the supervised quarantine process in their area. Or call healthline on 20 066, 0800-1800, 0800-1801.

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ENDS: Enquiries to Jaewynn McKay +682 55486