15 April 2024

Covid 19: People in Hamilton need not be alarmed, says Dr McElnay

People in and around Hamilton should not be alarmed and events need not be cancelled as a result of the new community Covid 19 case in the city. This assurance has come from Dr Caroline McElnay, Director of Public Health this afternoon.

The Ministry of Health had this morning confirmed an individual who had been a guest at the managed isolation facility at the Pullman Hotel, Auckland and has been isolating at home in Hamilton since 30 January had tested positive for COVID-19. This unnamed individual had returned 3 negative tests prior to testing positive, the most recent on February 2.

Dr Caroline McElnay, Dir. of Public Health addressing media today

The new rules requiring additional five-days isolation at home for those who departed from the Pullman Hotel, was announced by Director-General of Health, Dr Ashley Bloomfield on Friday, 29th Jan.

The Hamilton individual’s latest test came back positive yesterday afternoon. Two other persons who lived with this individual have since turned negative, the Director of Public Health confirmed while addressing the media at Wellington this afternoon.

To a question, Dr McElnay also informed that based upon the information at this stage, this person had not visited other places during the period they were in isolation at home.

She said the ministry was not advising people to cancel events.

“Based on our current assessment of the circumstances around this case, we consider the public health risk to be low and people in and around Hamilton should not be alarmed,” Dr Caroline McElnay said.

One local community event to commemorate Waitangi Day was cancelled due to concerns of this community case in Hamilton.

Event planned at Western Community Centre, Hamilton was cancelled

In their announcement cancelling the event, the Western Community Centre said: “…we understand there is a positive COVID case in Hamilton city, with two close contacts. We have made the very difficult decision to cancel the event today”

Among others, local MPs and several Councillors were slated to attend the event, hosted by Te Runanga O Kirikiriroa – the lead organiser.

The Hamilton person has now been moved and quarantined at Jet Park, Auckland.

There are 60 people still left at the Pullman and are due to leave tomorrow.

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