Health ministry Te Marae Ora (TMO) has two more confirmed positive cases of Covid-19 to report today, bringing the current total number of positive cases in the Cook Islands to eight.
Case seven is a currently asymptomatic close contact of cases five and six and is the third member of their group who travelled from New Zealand to Rarotonga onboard Air NZ flight NZ946 on Saturday, February 19.
Having been in quarantine since Monday, February 21, case seven has now begun a 10-day isolation period starting from Tuesday, February 22, and ending on Friday, March 4.
Case eight is one of the four household contacts of case four, a New Zealand-based Cook Islander who arrived in Rarotonga onboard Air NZ flight NZ946 on Tuesday, February 15. This case is also currently asymptomatic.
Having been in quarantine since Thursday, February 17, case eight has now begun a 10-day isolation period starting from Tuesday, February 22, and ending on Friday, March 4.
Both of these new positive cases were discovered as a result of their scheduled day one and day five in-quarantine PCR tests respectively. There are no new locations of interest or close contacts resulting from either new case.
Of the 12 remaining close contacts connected to cases five and six, all have been contacted and formally placed under quarantine orders and all were PCR tested yesterday on February 22. They are all currently asymptomatic and will also be tested on days five and nine of their quarantine periods.
Two of these close contacts travelled directly to Aitutaki on February 19 after arriving on that day’s flight from New Zealand. They were both RAT tested before boarding the Aitutaki flight and both returned a negative result. A PCR swab was taken from both and flown to Rarotonga for testing yesterday.
As of the last testing carried out yesterday, February 22, TMO has processed a total of 1159 PCR tests since Sunday, February 13, with 1151 returning a negative result and eight positive.
All eight positive cases are fully vaccinated and none have required hospital treatment. All eight are currently in isolation, with case one scheduled to be released today, while their 12 associated close contacts in quarantine will also be released once their day nine PCR tests have returned a negative result. After those 12 close contacts are released we will have a total of 59 close contacts currently remaining under quarantine.
PCR testing will continue to be available to members of the public at Tupapa Primary Care from 9am-4pm, seven days a week. To make an appointment for your test and for directions if required, call 20065 or 20066.
RAT testing will also be available at the airport testing station during Air Rarotonga operating hours for a fee of $10.
If you have visited a location of interest (see below) at the relevant time or if you are displaying Covid-like symptoms, please get yourself tested if you have not done so already.
Covid-19 test results for those who have had a PCR test will be sent via text by TMO to the cellphone number provided. Test results will generally be available within 24 hours, but may take up to 48 hours to be processed.
It may not necessarily take the full 48 hours to get your test results back, but you MUST self-quarantine at your home or accommodation until you are contacted by TMO with your results and given the all-clear.
Passenger travel to Aitutaki remains open at this time, while the suspension of passenger travel to the rest of the Pa Enua is set to be lifted at midnight tonight for returning residents only. Visitors or anyone travelling for other purposes will not be permitted by the respective island governments.
TMO will continue to provide periodic public updates on our test numbers and results as the Covid-19 situation in the Cook Islands develops, as well as if any further new positive cases emerge.
The current locations (and dates) of interest are as follows (note that some times may overlap):
Tuesday February 15
Air NZ inbound flight NZ946, rows 46-50
Sinai Hall (7-10pm)
Wednesday February 16
Family funeral at Takuvaine home (10.30am-1.30pm)
Tupapa Gym (7-8.30pm)
Saturday February 19
Air NZ inbound flight NZ946, rows 53-55