Case numbers on the rise across Nelson Marlborough
As of this morning, the Medical Officer of Health had been notified of 152 active cases in total across Nelson Marlborough (123 - Nelson, 16 - Marlborough, 7 Tasman and 6 other).
Notification occurs when a test that was conducted in our region returns a positive result. Therefore the number may include people who have been tested in our region while travelling.
Dr Stephen Bridgman, Medical Officer of Health, Nelson Marlborough Health said, “With undetected community transmission in Nelson, and cases beginning to emerge in Marlborough, the number of cases and contacts in the community are likely to continue to rise sharply.
“We can all play our part to limit infection by staying home if we’re sick, washing our hands, wearing our masks indoors, scanning in and maintain social distancing where possible.”
“In Phase Two, we are seeing schools enabled to quickly identify close contacts of cases and advise school communities of the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Health guidance.
“This early identification means schools can continue to function with only close contacts required to get a test and isolate. We are hearing from the testing stations that some people are taking a precautionary approach and testing without symptoms and without being identified as a close contact.
“Whilst this desire is understandable as we learn to live with COVID-19 in our community, we really need to preserve our testing stations for those people who have symptoms of COVID-19 and who have been identified as a close contact.
“In Phase Two, rapid antigen tests (RATs) are for priority groups only. For example under the Close Contact Exemption Scheme they are used to allow fully vaccinated close contacts who have no COVID-19 symptoms to go to work if they produce a negative test.
“If the close contact develops symptoms they need to get a PCR test and isolate. The test allows the person to attend critical work, however outside of work the person needs to continue to follow the isolation rules as a close contact for 7 days.
“People who live with someone who is a case are considered a household contact and need to isolate for 10 days. However people who live with someone who is a close contact do not need to isolate. This change recognises the need for everyone to be monitoring for COVID-19 symptoms and if they develop, to get a PCR test and isolate.
“I would like to acknowledge the partnership of New Zealand King Salmon who have embraced RATs to ensure critical food supply chains are maintained. The organisation has responded brilliantly to the need for the public health measures at a time of rapid change in the public health approach as we have shifted to Phase Two.
“Their use of the RATs allowed for the timely identification of the cases and their actions following will have contributed to us slowing the spread of the virus. ‘Flattening the curve’ not only allows time for people to get boosted and prepared, it protects our local health services.
When and where to get tested
We ask anyone with symptoms – no matter how mild – to please get tested, even if they are vaccinated. Read about symptoms to be alert to on the Ministry of Health website:
About COVID-19 symptoms and spread | Ministry of Health NZ COVID-19
COVID-19 testing locations
Community Based Assessment Centres (CBAC) hours will be kept up-to-date on the Healthpoint website:
Nelson Marlborough COVID-19 CBACs | HealthPoint
All locations and hours available on the Healthpoint website including by appointment opportunities at medical centres (GP), please phone ahead first:
COVID-19 Testing | Nelson Marlborough | HealthPoint
People living in Marlborough, Nelson, and Tasman are reminded to get vaccinated if they have not already. Everyone aged 5 years and over is eligible for free COVID-19 vaccination. Booster doses are also now available to anyone aged 18+ who had their second dose 3 months ago.
Vaccination clinic locations across the region are listed on HealthPoint.