First South Island COVID-19 case in over a year, confirmed in Blenheim

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch
Oct 22, 2021 |

One person has tested positive for Covid-19 in the South Island in Blenheim.

Marlborough Mayor John Leggett told Chris Lynch the person’s second test result came through the morning and it was positive.

“These things happen, and we’ve got a plan, and we’re going to roll it out and deal with it.”

A Ministry of Health spokesman said the individual flew from Rotorua and arrived in Blenheim on 21 October.

The individual sought a test upon arrival after developing a sore throat. The initial test, including a follow-up swab, returned a weak positive result.

The current public health assessment is that the risk appears low given the individual’s likely late stage of infection.

So far, initial case interviews have identified a small number of close contacts, who have been contacted and are currently isolating with tests arranged.

Interviews are also being undertaken to determine any locations of interest. People living in the Blenheim township are asked to monitor the Ministry of Health’s locations of interest page, which is regularly updated.

”We are also asking Blenheim residents with symptoms – no matter how mild – to please get tested, even if they are vaccinated.”

Investigations into the source of the infection are underway. However, initial case interviews suggest the case is linked to the Te Awamutu cluster.

Testing is available at:

Blenheim CBAC: Horton Park, off Redwood St
· Open 9am to 5.30pm on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday

Nelson CBAC: Saxton Field parking area, Suffolk Rd, Stoke
· Open 10am to 6pm on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday

Additional testing capacity in the area will be stood up, if needed, and details will be available on the Healthpoint website.

Meanwhile, those in Marlborough, Nelson, and Tasman are reminded to get vaccinated this weekend if they have not already. Vaccination clinic locations across the region are available on the Nelson Marlborough Health website.

So far, vaccination rates in the Marlborough region have remained steady with 90% of residents having received their first dose, and 78% fully immunised.

The Ministry is monitoring the situation and will provide further public health advice if, and when, required.

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch

Chris Lynch is a journalist, videographer and content producer, broadcasting from his independent news and production company in Christchurch, New Zealand. If you have a news tip or are interested in video content, email [email protected]

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