Covid-19: Places of interest for the Delta epidemic – December 7

A Department of Conservation shack in Fiordland is the last place of interest for the Covid-19 outbreak in the delta.

The Green Lake Hut in Southland is considered high risk and was visited by one positive case last weekend.

The Ministry of Health advises anyone present at the shelter between 7 p.m. on Saturday, December 4 and 8 a.m. on Sunday, December 5 to isolate themselves and be tested.

The Department of Conservation’s hut is the Southland region’s first landmark in the Delta outbreak.

In a statement released Tuesday afternoon, the health ministry said the Southern District Health Council was investigating a case at the border.

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The person returned a first weak positive test and a second test returned a negative result, a spokesperson said, adding that public health staff are awaiting serology results.

The hut has been flagged as a place of interest out of caution, the spokesperson said.

“We would like to remind people of the importance of getting tested, especially if you are at or near the place of interest at the time or in general if you have symptoms, no matter how mild.”

Later Tuesday, a ministry spokesperson said the case was tested in the community after completing a stay in a managed isolation center in Christchurch.

A Department of Conservation hut in Fiordland is a high-risk place of interest.  (File photo)

Alden Williams / Stuff

A Department of Conservation hut in Fiordland is a high-risk place of interest. (File photo)

The person has systematically tested negative during their stay in managed isolation; returned a weak positive result from a swab taken on December 6 and a negative retest result on Tuesday, the spokesperson said.

Green Lake Hut is the only place of interest at this point, he said, adding that when cases were interviewed, each potential place of interest was assessed for its risk to public health.

“In this particular case, any other site is either an exposure site or a low risk to public health and does not need to be identified,” the spokesperson said.

By treating the case as current and treating the Green Lake Hut as a high-risk landmark, public health staff hope to prevent any potential transmission, he said.

“The environment of the hut means that if the case were infectious there would be a high risk of transmission to other parts of the hut. ”

Green Lake Hut is a remotely accessible backcountry hideaway and cannot be booked, but available on a first come, first served basis.

The hut can accommodate 12 people, but since it does not go through a reservation system, it is not known how many people accessed the hut during the period of interest.

The Department of Conservation is following the ministry’s guidelines as to whether the lodge should be deep cleaned or closed. At this point, it remains open.

There are no DOC personnel positioned at the hut. It is not known whether the affected person has been vaccinated or where they came from. They are considered low risk.

The location will be removed and contacts will be released from isolation if the investigation reveals the case to be historical.

A WellSouth spokesperson said Covid-19 testing was available in Te Anau and the PHO was preparing to increase its testing capacity, if necessary.

Southland District Mayor Gary Tong did not appear surprised by the news.

“We know that people travel … we know that it is [Covid-19] is going to be here.

The Green Lake Hut was quite a distance away and he thought anyone who stayed there would have stayed in other places in Southland as well.

“My question would be where else has this person stayed in Southland?”

Tong said he was proud of the fact that more than 90 percent of the people in Southland District have been vaccinated.

The people of Southland should learn to live with Covid-19 “at some point,” he said.

“We know that when the borders open, there will be breaches. Everyone needs to do their part and get vaccinated.

The Department of Conservation Green Lake Hut has become the last place of interest for the Covid-19 outbreak in the Delta. [File photo].

Shirley Whyte / Stuff

The Department of Conservation Green Lake Hut has become the last place of interest for the Covid-19 outbreak in the Delta. [File photo].

Southern DHB became the fifth DHB in New Zealand to be 90% fully vaccinated, reaching this milestone early on Tuesday.

The closure of New Zealand’s borders had left businesses in Fiordland struggling due to lack of tourists and national lockdowns.

Many people with work visas had left the region when the pandemic hit, and companies have reported that it is also difficult to find and retain staff.

Fiordland Business Association chairman Nathan Benfell said businesses in Fiordland would be on high alert until more information was released.

“It’s not useful not to have more places of interest, but I would say they don’t have that information yet,” he said.

“We don’t know if they [the case] stayed in Te Anau or not, so we’ll have to wait and see what happens with the plotting.

“It was expected that he [Covid-19] was coming so I would say we’ve probably been able to last quite well as long as we have it without a case here. ”

Fiordland Business Association chairman Nathan Benfell said businesses in Fiordland would be on high alert until more information was released.

Barry Harcourt / Tips

Fiordland Business Association chairman Nathan Benfell said businesses in Fiordland would be on high alert until more information was released.

He congratulated the person who reported his symptoms and got tested.

“If they have traveled you hope they are vaccinated so hopefully the transmission rate is not as high. The distance to this hut might also help – a staff member hiked there down there and they haven’t seen anyone all day.

“It just reiterates that Covid can be anywhere and you need to scan and adhere to best practices because it doesn’t look like it’s going to go away,” Benfell said.

The Department of Conservation website says Green Lake Hut in Fiordland National Park has 12 bunk beds and is located at the south end of Green Lake.

The hut is accessed via a track from Borland Rd.

This list can be viewed in two ways: Visit date (locations added today have the word NEW next to them) or, if you switch to Date included, the newly added locations appear at the top of the list.

If you were at a place of interest during any of the specified times, you may need to self-isolate and get tested. Follow the directions for that location on the Ministry of Health website and call Healthline on 0800 358 5453 for testing advice.

This list is automatically updated as soon as places of interest appear on the Department of Health website.


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