The Southern District Health Board has announced contact tracing is underway after a Dunedin man in his 40s tested positive for coronavirus and that tests for two other family members are expected to come back today.
The announcement comes after Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield this afternoon said the man who had recently returned from Germany had tested positive.
The DHB said contact tracing was now being undertaken by Southern DHB's public health team. It was five days after the man returned to New Zealand when he began showing symptoms – so contact tracing is not required on any flights. Other close contacts are being traced.
Two family members, who have symptoms, were currently being tested and are in self-isolation.
This is the first positive case of Covid-19 in Dunedin, and the second in the Southern district after a tourist tested positive in Queenstown.
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One of the two family members with symptoms, currently being tested, is a student at Logan Park High School in Dunedin. The student is now is self-isolation at home.
The school was working with both Education staff and public health officials. If the test result is positive authorities will be asking the school to close for 48 hours while close contacts are traced and put in self isolation and casual contacts given advice about what to do if they become unwell. The school will be carefully cleaned before reopening.
Test results are expected later today.
Southern DHB Chief Executive Chris Fleming said officials has been preparing for the arrival of the disease and again commended those who had provided care and supported the public health response.
"Our thoughts are firstly with the man and his family. We ask they are supported and that their privacy is respected at this time."
"We are requesting close contacts stay in self isolation for 14 days from the date of potential exposure.
Fleming also called upon the community to play its part in stamping the disease out.
"This is unlikely to be the last case we have of COVID-19 in our district, and we need you to help ensure the health system is able to support those who need care.
"All our efforts need to be on stopping the spread, or at least slowing it to a manageable rate.
"Anyone who feels at all unwell should stay away from work, school or any other institution."