TMO Update: COVID-19 cases, Vaccincation and Pa Enua

13 April 2022

As of 9am this morning a total of 3688 COVID-19 cases have been confirmed in the Cook Islands. Of this number 3049 have recovered and 639 remain active, with 58 of these on Aitutaki, the balance (581) on Rarotonga.

This long weekend the Health Clinics of Rarotonga and Aitutaki will be operating on reduced hours. On Rarotonga, they will all be open from 8am to 12 noon Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, resuming to normal operating hours on Tuesday.

On Aitutaki, the Covid Operation Centre will be open from 8am to 4pm on Good Friday, 2-8pm on Saturday, and 8am to 8pm on Sunday and Monday.

Late yesterday the MV Lady Moana returned from a voyage to the Northern Group that began on 31 March when she departed Rarotonga with a crew of six. The purpose of the voyage was to repatriate back to Rarotonga the crew of the MV Grinna, left stranded after she went up on a reef.

All the crew on board Lady Moana were RAT tested prior to departure from Rarotonga and all tested negative. The 8 Grinna crew members in Manihiki were also RAT tested and all tested negative prior to boarding Lade Moana – only 7 crew members returned to Rarotonga.

Upon arrival in Rarotonga yesterday, all 13 people onboard Lady Moana tested positive for COVID-19. The ship was immediately cordoned off and no-one was permitted to leave the vessel.

After leaving Manihiki, Lady Moana dropped a load of cargo off in Rakahanga. This was a contactless transfer using the barge and a crane. Cargo was also dropped off in Penrhyn, no-one disembarked the vessel but surveillance testing of all those who were on the wharf took place this morning and test results have confirmed two positive cases in Penrhyn.

The requirements are that crew must maintain non-contact distance with locals, that appears not to have been adhered to on this occasion. Te Marae Ora is planning to mobilise support and resources for Penrhyn in the next few days.

Earlier today a Te Marae Ora team from public health travelled to Atiu to help ready the community for the re-opening of their domestic border on Monday 18th April.

Travel to the Northern Groups islands of Manihiki, Rakahanga and Penryn will begin on Monday 25th April. Travel to Pukapuka, Mitiaro, Mauke and Mangaia will likely resume on 1 May.

A 7-day standdown in Rarotonga remains in place for any fully vaccinated people travelling from New Zealand or further abroad to the Pa Enua (excluding Aitutaki) and pre-departure RAT tests in Rarotonga also remain in place. 

A reminder that Te Marae Ora will be offering all eligible 16- and 17-year-olds on Rarotonga and Aitutaki the opportunity to get their third/booster shot in the coming week.

To be eligible these teens must have had their second dose at least 6 months ago.

Te Marae Ora is checking their records and will be contacting all those who are eligible this week. However, if you are aware of any 16- and 17-year old’s who have had their first and/or second dose in New Zealand or elsewhere at least 6 months ago please encourage them to come along for their third/booster dose.

The vaccination clinic will be set up at the National Auditorium in Rarotonga this Saturday (16 April) from 8am to 4pm.

On Tuesday (19th April) the Vaccination Team will be operating out of Aitutaki Hospital between from 8am to 4pm.

Te Marae Ora will be extending the roll-out to include anyone 12 years and over who wishes to continue or begin their COVID-19 vaccinations, that is, doses 1, 2 and the booster (3rd) dose will be available at the locations and times stated above.


ENDS: For more information, please visit or contact Jaewynn McKay; [email protected]   +682 55486