Health ministry Te Marae Ora (TMO) confirmed another positive case of Covid-19 late yesterday on Thursday, February 17, bringing the current total number of positive cases in the Cook Islands to four.
Case four is a New Zealand-based Cook Islander who arrived in Rarotonga onboard Air NZ flight NZ946 on Tuesday, February 15.
Having travelled to Rarotonga to attend a family funeral, the case was contacted on Thursday by a sibling who had tested positive for Covid-19 in New Zealand. Having developed symptoms of a sore throat, runny nose, and headache earlier that morning, the case then went to the airport to be RAT tested, returning a positive result.
The case was then directed to return to where they were staying in their family home and was subsequently PCR tested along with four close contacts all in the same household, all of whom are asymptomatic except for one younger contact with a runny nose that is likely not connected. Only the case returned a positive result.
Case four is now under a 10-day Isolation Order, while their four household contacts will spend 10 days in quarantine. All five individuals are staying at the same location and all four of the adults have been fully vaccinated, while the younger contact has received their first vaccine dose.
Sixteen further potential close contacts have so far been identified in connection with a family funeral attended by case four on Wednesday, February 16. Further locations of interest are also listed below at the end of this release and additional locations may be added to this list as time goes on.
Contact tracing has also identified 18 potential close contacts from Air NZ flight NZ946, all of whom have now been formally quarantined. Two of these close contacts travelled to Aitutaki after returning negative RAT tests on Thursday, February 17, and both are currently under quarantine at their resort there. PCR tests they undertook today have returned negative results.
As a result of this new positive case, a decision has been made to extend the suspension of passenger travel to the rest of the Pa Enua until midnight on Wednesday, February 23. A decision on passenger travel to Aitutaki is yet to be made.
For those who would like to get vaccinated – whether that be first dose or second dose for those aged 12 and over, or a booster dose for those aged 18 and over – come to the Nikao Social Centre between 8am and 6pm tomorrow on Saturday February 19 and be sure to bring your passport or birth certificate with you as well.
We will also be able to offer the paediatric vaccination (first dose) to children aged 5-11 at this time.
Yesterday on Thursday, February 17, TMO PCR tested another 72 people, bringing the total number of PCR tests so far conducted over the period of Sunday to Thursday, February 13-17, to 837.
As at 5pm today 156 PCR tests had been carried out, of which 125 returned a negative result, with 31 pending.
Remember, only those who test positive for Covid-19 are deemed to be in isolation, while close contacts of positive cases are placed under quarantine. And as already mentioned, those people waiting on the result of a Covid-19 test should also be self-quarantining as well.
Testing will continue at the Tupapa Primary Care & Public Health Centre tomorrow from 9am to midday.
TMO will continue to provide daily public updates on our test numbers and results as the Covid-19 situation in the Cook Islands develops.
The current locations (and dates) of interest are as follows (note that some times may overlap):
Friday February 11
Police Station (11.30am-12.30pm)
ANZ bank (2-3pm)
Party bus from 8.30pm onwards – Hula Bar, Luna Bar, OTR, Rehab
Saturday February 12
Trader Jacks (7-9pm)
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)