Friday 20 March 2020Media release2 minutes to read
A US citizen in his 50s has tested positive for COVID-19, after travelling to New Zealand from the United States to visit family.
The man arrived in New Zealand on Saturday 14 March on a flight from Los Angeles. He flew to Christchurch on Sunday 15 March. He was contacted later that day by public health staff from Auckland to advise him that there had been a confirmed case of COVID-19 on his flight from Los Angeles and advised to self-isolate. He and his wife, who travelled with him, complied with that advice. When he became unwell on Monday 16 March, he rang ahead to a local Urgent Care health centre and arrangements were made for him to be seen and tested.
He and his wife are currently self-isolating with family in Christchurch.
Details of the flights the man travelled on will be posted on the Ministry of Health’s website here.
Contact tracing by Community and Public Health is now underway, and close contacts are being requested to stay in self-isolation for 14 days from the date of potential exposure.
Canterbury DHB Chief Medical Officer, Dr Sue Nightingale wanted to acknowledge the work of the public health team, the general practice team, and Canterbury Health Laboratories for their work in promptly assessing, testing and following up with this man and his close contacts.
“It’s important to remember that the Ministry of Health's assessment is that with continued vigilance, the chance of a widespread community outbreak is expected to remain low to moderate.
“Over time we expect we will see more cases in Canterbury. Isolated cases linked to overseas travel, or close contact with a confirmed case will be followed up by public health teams to help stop the spread,” Dr Nightingale said.
Prevention – how to protect yourself and others
Page last updated: 20 March 2020
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