News and Notices

Exposure events in Nelson marks the shift to Phase Two

Case Update

  • Marlborough - 2 active cases
  • Nelson/Tasman - 19 active cases

Nelson Marlborough Health has been advised of a number of exposure events including a workplace and school in Nelson which are being investigated by Public Health as COVID-19 exposure events. Nelson Hospital Emergency Department has also had COVID-19 positive presentations.

Dr Stephen Bridgman, Medical Officer of Health, Nelson Marlborough Health said, “We are shifting into a new phase of our Omicron response. We should act as if Omicron is in our community. This doesn’t mean we need to be afraid, but does mean we need to be prepared."

"It is not too late to vaccinate. Getting your booster or childhood immunisation remains the most important thing you can do for yourself, your whānau and your local health services.

"In Nelson Marlborough we saw a really strong uptake of the childhood immunisation with 46% of children between 5 and 11 at least partially vaccinated. However as schools have started back we have seen a sharp decline in the number of children presenting for immunisation.

"While children and young people are less likely to become seriously ill, some will become very sick and need to go to hospital.

"Children infected with COVID-19 may transmit the virus to other people such as grandparents or classmates whose current health condition may make them more vulnerable to COVID-19.

"Schools are doing a great job at providing opportunities for children to continue their learning from home when well and isolating. Through vaccination we can collectively reduce the burden of COVID-19 in the community helping to keep our schools and workplaces open.

"The Trafalgar Centre in Nelson and Stadium 2000 in Blenheim remain open for walk-ins this week. There is a lot of capacity in these centres so do not delay, get vaccinated today.

"The Public Health team are working with the Ministry of Education and a Nelson school regarding a school exposure event. All close contacts have been identified by the school and have been asked to isolate.

"Yesterday a workplace was identified with a number of positive COVID-19 cases. The workplace has been working with the Public Health team to enable staff to isolate and get tested. Today multiple staff have tested positive to COVID-19. Further cases are expected to be identified as PCR test results are received and processed this afternoon and tomorrow.

"At 11.59 tonight (Tuesday 15 February) we shift to Phase two of the Public Health Omicron response plan. The purpose of this phase is to ‘flatten the curve’ of infection.

"As case numbers increase, flattening the curve is important to ensure our community, workplaces, schools and health system are in the best position of managing COVID-19.

"Testing remains important in Phase Two. If you are unwell or have symptoms don’t go to school or work. Please do get tested and wait for your result. A PCR test will continue to be the main form of test used to check whether you are positive for COVID-19.

"The drive through testing station in Nelson at the Saxton Field parking area up by Oaklands Milk remains open 9am to 6pm daily.

"In Marlborough there Urgent Care Centre is providing COVID-19 testing between 1pm and 4pm daily.

"All locations and hours available on the Healthpoint website including by appointment opportunities at medical centres (GP), please phone ahead first.

"What people will notice as different in Phase Two is the shift to digital technologies. As case numbers grow, low-risk people who test positive for COVID-19 will be able to complete an online form instead of doing a public health phone or in person interview. This allows for targeted support to people without access to a mobile phone or a website.

"Other changes include the period of self-isolation for people who test positive, reducing from 14 days to 10 days. People who live in the same household as a confirmed case will also immediately self-isolate for 10 days.

"Close contacts now need to isolate for seven days, noting that people who live in the same household as a close contact, do not need to isolate but should be on the lookout for symptoms.

"With Omicron now present in a number of community settings we should all be monitoring for symptoms and getting tested."