Covid-19: Weak positive case of Covid-19 confirmed in Wellington

Health authorities have confirmed a weak positive case of Covid-19 in the Wellington region.

This was for an essential worker from Auckland working in the city, the Ministry of Health confirmed.

The result could indicate a historical case or a case in the earlier stages of infection. The worker is having a repeat test on Friday and follow-up with the workplace includes tests of co-workers.

The apparent arrival of Covid-19 is not unexpected as it has been creeping down the North Island, with positive cases as far south as Levin and the Wairarapa.

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The person is understood to be a construction worker on a major infrastructure project and has been double-vaccinated, according to multiple sources with knowledge of the case.

Regional Public Health has been alerted, with places of interest in the Hutt and Porirua, according to sources.

Wellington City Council spokesman Richard MacLean​ said the council was aware that “information is swirling” about a suspected case in the city.

Hutt City Council spokesman Jarred Griffiths said that the local authority was also aware of the reports, but had no further information.

Speaking at a media conference in Christchurch, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern refused to comment on reports of a case in the capital, saying it was too soon to speculate.

The Ministry of Health declined to confirm reports of the case ahead of Friday’s 1pm update, and the Capital and Coast DHB did not respond to requests for comment.

Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson and director of public health Dr Caroline McElnay were expected to front a media conference, however, it has been called off.

Wellington has been relatively unaffected by the spread of the Covid-19 this year.

The current Delta outbreak, centred around Auckland and Waikato, reached Wellington in August with news three people had been moving around the city unaware they had the virus. A total of 17 cases were located in the capital, but it did not spread any further.

The Grand Mercure Hotel has been used as Wellington’s managed isolation quarantine facility

Ross Giblin

The Grand Mercure Hotel has been used as Wellington’s managed isolation quarantine facility

There are a total of 4192 active cases in New Zealand, linked to the current community outbreak– the vast majority in Auckland. But cases have also popped up in Wairarapa, Waikato, Northland and Canterbury in recent days.

The capital had a close call when a Sydney man unknowingly infected with Delta variant came to Wellington in June and visited multiple restaurants, cafes, and attractions. But there was no community transmission.

One small glimmer of hope is that the suspected case lands amid a relatively vaccinated population.

Central Wellington on Sunday reached the goal of having 90 per cent of the eligible population double-vaccinated. That does not include the entire Capital & Coast health board area, which a Stuff analysis estimates will be double-dosed by November 29.

Ministry of Health data from Thursday shows 94 per cent of the eligible population in the Capital & Coast District Health Board area had received their first dose of vaccine, while 87 per cent had their second dose.

Just 7844 more people needed their second dose for Wellington to reach the 90 per cent rate of people fully vaccinated. Hutt Valley was just behind with 91 per cent receiving their first dose and 82 per cent who had their second.

Wellington region Māori also painted a relatively positive picture in Wellington.

By Monday, 85 percent of eligible Wellington Māori had their first dose, and 72 percent had their second dose. In Hutt Valley, 79 per cent of Māori had their first doses and 65 per cent had their second.

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