New COVID-19 case confirmed in Nelson
A Nelson woman in her 30s has been confirmed with COVID-19 and her case is thought to be related to travel. This is the first case confirmed in the Nelson Marlborough region since 9 April.
NMH Clinical Director of Public Health, Dr Stephen Bridgman says that the Nelson Marlborough Public Health Service is investigating the case. Close contacts and household contacts of the case are in isolation at home, and will be monitored for symptoms.
Dr Bridgman says that while the case may be related to travel, this does not necessarily mean that the case originated in the country of travel. He says that travel-related cases can be caused by contact with an infected passenger on a flight, in transit or by contact with infected people in another country. Dr Bridgman emphasises that the case is still being investigated by NMH and the Ministry of Health.
The woman is a New World Stoke employee. She is not in a customer-facing role, and worked in the store on three separate occasions (mostly outside of store opening hours) before she tested positive and went into isolation at home.
New World Stoke have undertaken a deep clean of the store. Staff who may have come into close contact with the case have been tested and are in isolation until their test results come in.
Dr Bridgman says that the risk to other staff members and to the public is considered to be low, given the use of a face mask in the workplace, the absence of a cough in the case (one of the main ways the virus is spread) and the limited movements of the case under Alert Level 4 restrictions.
Dr Bridgman says that the current advice for anyone with symptoms to be assessed and tested for COVID-19 is relevant to this situation. In addition to this, he advises that people who visited New World Stoke between 18 and 26 April be especially vigilant to any symptoms: a cough, fever, runny nose, temporary loss of smell or shortness of breath.
Dr Bridgman thanks New World Stoke, the case and her close contacts, for their quick response and full co-operation with public health safety measures.
What to do if you develop symptoms?
Anyone with symptoms is advised to contact a local community-based assessment centre (CBAC), Healthline (0800 358 5453) or their GP for advice.
CBAC locations and opening hours are on the NMH website: https://www.nmdhb.govt.nz/covid-19/