The Ministry of Health has confirmed one new case to report in the Nelson Tasman region. This person is a close contact of the existing nine cases and has been in quarantine during their infectious period.
Whole genome sequencing on the 9 cases reported over the past two days has confirmed it is the Omicron variant. The Air New Zealand crew member announced yesterday has also been confirmed as having the same Omicron variant.
Dr Stephen Bridgman, Nelson Marlborough Health, Medical Office of Health said, “While we have seen an increase in testing since the announcement with 205 tests on Friday and 172 on Saturday, we are interested in seeing these numbers grow.
We are concerned about possible undetected transmission in the community. It is important to have the right people getting tested. This means if you have no symptoms or have not been to a location of interest please don’t get tested.
We do expect the number of cases and therefore the locations of interest to grow. These will continue to be updated on the Ministry of Health website alongside advice.
The National strategy to Omicron at this stage remains to slow down spread through testing, contact tracing, and isolation. Public health measures such as mask wearing, social distancing and hand-washing are key to reducing the risk of infection.
These combined measures allow as much time as possible for people to receive their vaccinations and booster vaccinations. Vaccination has a huge effect on reducing the likelihood of hospitalisation and serious disease. It also reduces transmission of the virus. People are strongly encouraged to be fully vaccinated and to have a booster when eligible.
On Friday and Saturday we had 1585 vaccinations occur across Nelson Marlborough. The Nelson and Richmond vaccination sites have increased hours to 8pm to allow for the anticipated increase in demand.”
Eric Sinclair, Health Controller for Nelson Marlborough Health confirmed health services will continue to operate as usual under the red traffic light system.