In a press release today, the Ministry of Health confirmed the first case of Omricon community exposure in New Zealand.
Whole genome sequencing detected the border-related case of Omicron who had briefly been active in the community.
The case is a recent international arrival who returned a positive result on day nine of their self-isolation period. They had previously returned three negative tests for COVID-19 while completing 7 days of managed isolation at a facility in Auckland.
The case arrived on a flight from the United Kingdom via Doha on 16 December and is fully vaccinated with a mRNA vaccine. No other COVID-19 infections have been identified from the individual’s flight. Investigations are underway as to the source of the infection.
The result of their day nine test was received on 27 December and they were immediately transferred to an Auckland MIQ facility on the same day. At this point whole genome sequencing was carried out and confirmed the Omicron variant.
To date, a number of close contacts have been identified and those tested have returned negative test result for COVID-19. They are currently isolating. Public Health are in the process of identifying and contacting all other known close contacts, and ensuring they also isolate and get tested.
The individual was in Auckland CBD on 26th December and 27th December. Specific locations of interest where there was a risk of COVID-19 transmission to unknown members of the public include:
- Impala, 26/27 December, 23.00-03.00. Isolate for 7 – 10 days. Get tested at Day 5, or immediately if you have symptoms. Contact Healthline if you have not been called by PH.
- Commercial Bay Precinct, 26 December, 14.30-16.30 & 18.30-20.00. Watch for symptoms for next 14 days, if symptomatic get tested immediately.
- Sunny town, 26 December, 14.30-16.30. Watch for symptoms for next 14 days, if symptomatic get tested immediately.
- Partridge jewellers, Queen Street, 26 December, 15.30-18.00. Watch for symptoms for next 14 days, if symptomatic get tested immediately.
- Ahi Restaurant, 26 December, 18.30 – 20.00. Watch for symptoms for next 14 days, if symptomatic get tested immediately.
- Soul Bar, 26/27 December, 21.30-03.00. Watch for symptoms for next 14 days, if symptomatic get tested immediately.
Some attendees have been identified as close contacts and will be contacted by public health.
The Ministry is taking this situation seriously and taking a precautionary approach. However, do not believe that the individual was highly infectious at the time of the above exposure events.
The Ministry encourages all Aucklanders to check the Locations of Interest website regularly and follow the advice provided. If you have symptoms of COVID-19 please get a test immediately and if you were at any of these venues contact Healthline on 0800 358 5453. Aucklanders who have no symptoms and were not at a location of interest at the times stated do not need to be tested. We ask that testing resources provided at Community Testing Centres, GPs, and Urgent Care are preserved for those who need it.
No exposure events have been identified from the individual’s movements between MIQ and the accommodation they stayed in while completing their isolation period.
Any further locations of interest will be added to the Ministry of Health’s website if necessary.