Covid-19: No new cases of Omicron in Manawatū

Manawatū has avoided any further cases of the infectious Omicron variant of Covid-19 since Friday’s first case in the region.

It was confirmed on Friday a person in the MidCentral District Health Board region had tested positive for the Omicron variant of Covid-19, a person in the Manawatū district.

But on Sunday the MidCentral District Health Board announced there were no new cases in the region as at 1pm Sunday.

About 800 tests were done across the rohe on Friday and Saturday. All the positive case’s 76 contacts have so far returned negative tests, with day-five tests under way.

* No further Covid-19 cases in MidCentral region
* Covid-19: Precautions paramount now Omicron is in Palmerston North, expert warns
* Covid-19: Everything we know about the suspected Omicron case in Palmerston North

Covid-19 has not been detected in wastewater results, but this is not unexpected because where the person lives is not connected to the central sewerage system.

The person tested positive for Covid-19 three days after leaving a managed isolation facility in Christchurch on January 16, where they had returned five negative tests.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced on Sunday all of New Zealand would move to the red setting of the traffic light system at 11.59pm on Sunday night.

There were 10 Omicron cases in the Nelson-Tasman region, a cluster of people who flew to a wedding in Auckland, who also attended other events in Auckland.

All people in the group who were eligible for the Covid-19 vaccine had been vaccinated, but because there is not yet a clear lead on the source of infection which linked this family to the border, as it did with other Omicron cases, the risk of undetected community transmission was considered high.

Vaccine line for child vaccinations in the hot sun outside the COVID-19 vaccination centre at Fitzherbert Ave.


Vaccine line for child vaccinations in the hot sun outside the COVID-19 vaccination centre at Fitzherbert Ave.

Ardern said Omicron was circulating in Auckland, possibly Nelson and other parts of the country, and it was likely there would be more cases.

She said lockdowns were not being enforced at this stage, but the country had to plan to be in red for some weeks.

After the announcement there were only a handful of people at the Palmerston North testing station when Stuff visited in the early afternoon, but a long queue had formed at the vaccination centre.

MidCentral encouraged people to follow the advice on the Ministry of Health website if they have visited any of the high-risk locations of interest connected to the positive Omicron case.

Locations of interest are listed on the ministry website. No new locations of interest had been added in Manawatū.

MidCentral also encouraged anyone in the community to get tested if they had Covid-19 symptoms.

Tests are available at the drive-through community testing Site at 575 Main St in Palmerston North from 8.30am to 4pm all weekend.

Tests may also be available at select general practices for people with symptoms.

Information about where to get tested is on the HealthPoint website, or people can call the Covid-19 Healthline on 0800 358 5453.

Walk-in vaccinations for first, second, booster and paediatric doses were available during the weekend at the two central walk-in clinics: the Palmerston North central vaccination centre at 38 Fitzherbert Ave, from 8.30am to 4pm and at the Horowhenua AP and I Show pop-up clinic at the Horowhenua Events Centre in Levin from 9am to 4pm.

People can also be vaccinated at select pharmacies and other healthcare providers.

The health board would update the community about pop-up testing and vaccination sites this week as details were confirmed.

Palmerston North City council chief executive Heather Shotter said most council services and facilities would operate as under the orange setting, although it could only hold events for up to 100 people.

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