Third case of COVID-19 confirmed in Canterbury
As announced by the Director-General of the Ministry of Health on 22 March a third person in Canterbury has tested positive for COVID-19. All cases to date are travel-related.
A woman in her 50s is in self-isolation at home in Canterbury after recent travel to the United States. Two members of her family who travelled with her are also in self isolation.
- She returned to NZ from the United States via Auckland on 17 March.
- She then travelled on a domestic flight from Auckland to Christchurch. The flight details will be on the Ministry of Health website. Any air travel contacts are being followed-up.
- The risk to the Canterbury community is low as she and her family immediately went into isolation upon their return to Christchurch.
Close contacts are being asked to self-isolate for 14 days from the date of potential exposure to the case.
“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.
“Now is the time for increased vigilance and – if you are not already doing so – to follow the advice from the Ministry of Health. There is a mine of information on both the Ministry of Health web page and the government’s new website: covid19.govt.nz
Prevention – how to protect yourself and others with good hygiene
- Cough or sneeze into your elbow or by covering your mouth and nose with tissues.
- Wash your hands with soap and water often (for at least 20 seconds).
- Avoid close contact with people who are unwell (try to stay at least 2 metres away)
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
- Avoid personal contact with sick people, such as kissing and sharing cups or food.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects, such as doorknobs.
- Stay home if you feel unwell.
- Practice low-touch shopping. Do not handle things you are not buying, keep your distance, be aware of how you are touching things like bank cards, money, ATMs and Eftpos machines. Wash your hands after touching things like this as soon as you can.
- If you are a business or provide a service: Increase your cleaning routine in between customers.
- People living in communal spaces must be especially careful with distancing, cleaning and general hygiene.
Physical distancing is essential
- Try to put physical distance (two metres) between yourself and other people in public places such as supermarkets
- Be kind to others: Make it easy for them to keep 2m from you – eg, keep a 2m space in front of you in a supermarket queue, and stay 2m back from counters and reception desks
Please stay home if you are sick
- Do not go into any public places if you are feeling unwell and minimise close contact even in your home – ring ahead if you need a service
- Call Healthline on 0800 358 5453 if you have any symptoms and have undertaken any overseas travel in the past 14 days, or have been in close contact with someone confirmed with COVID-19. Please do not go directly to a pharmacy, GP clinic, urgent care centre or emergency department.