As was announced by the Director-General of the Ministry of Health on 21 March two people in the Nelson Marlborough
region have tested positive for COVID-19.
These are the first two positive cases of COVID-19 in the Nelson Marlborough district. The cases are both travel-related
and not indicative of a local community outbreak.Case details
1. A 20 year-old woman in her 20s is in self-isolation at her home in Nelson.She returned to NZ from the US via Auckland. The international travel was not undertaken during the timeframe the woman
would be infectious.She then travelled on a domestic flight from Auckland to Nelson. The flight details are on the MoH website. Any air
travel contacts are followed-up through the national contact tracing service: https://www.health.govt.nz/our-work/diseases-and-conditions/covid-19-novel-coronavirus/covid-19-current-cases
The risk to the Nelson Marlborough community is very low because she went immediately into isolation upon her return to
2. A 67 year-old woman has been in isolation at Wairau Hospital in Blenheim and will be discharged soon to complete her
isolation at homeThe Nelson Marlborough Public Health Service (NMPHS) has established her movementsContract tracing has been mostly completed. Many of those contacts are already in in self-isolation. There are further
people to contact, jointly between the NMPHS and the national close contact tracing service.
Nelson Marlborough Health (NMH) Director of Public Health Dr Stephen Bridgman thanks and commends the families of the
two cases who have worked with the NMPHS to complete contact tracing and risk assessment. He also thanks everyone in the
region who is in self-isolation, for being proactive, responsible and protecting their communities.
NMH Chief Executive Peter Bramley says NMH has been preparing for the arrival of a case in the Nelson Marlborough region
since late January.
He thanks all NMH staff, regional healthcare providers, regional emergency management teams and other community partners
for their contribution to the pandemic planning.
“Our public health service is now undertaking contact tracing and requesting close contacts stay in self isolation for
14 days from the date of potential exposure. People will be supported in isolation by the public health service and
“The Nelson Marlborough community can be assured that NMH is doing everything it should be to care for the two people
with confirmed cases and to prevent and limit the spread of further cases.
“Our thoughts are with the two people who have tested positive. NMH will not disclose any further information about
these people. Thank you for respecting their privacy.”
Mr Bramley emphasises that these are the first, but unlikely to be the last, cases of COVID-19 in the region.
He urges everyone in the region to work together and unite against COVID-19.
“Now is the time for increased vigilance and – if you are not already doing so – to follow the advice from the Ministry
of Health.”Advice from Dr Nick Baker, Chief Medical Officer, Nelson Marlborough Health
“Do everything to you possibly can to make it hard for the virus to spread across our community. Everyone has a part of
play to slow the spread.”
“Think of the virus as an unwelcome hitchhiker – don’t make it easy for it to get on board and spread to others.”
Dr Baker’s top tips are:Hygiene is essentialCough or sneeze into your elbow or by covering your mouth and nose with tissues.Put used tissues in the bin or a bag immediately.Wash your hands with soap and water often (for at least 20 seconds).Try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell.Don’t touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean.Avoid non-essential personal contact. Avoid sharing cups or food with other people.Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects, such as doorknobs.Stay home if you feel unwell.Practice low-touch shopping. Do not handle things you are not buying, keep your distance, be aware of how you are
touching things like bank cards, money, ATMs and Eftpos machines. Wash your hands after touching things like this as
soon as you can.If you are a business or provide a service: Increase your cleaning routine in between customers.People living in communal spaces must be especially careful with distancing, cleaning and general hygiene.Physical distancing is essentialTry to put physical distance (two metres) between yourself and other people in public places such as supermarketsBe kind to others: Make it easy for them to keep 2m from you – eg, keep a 2m space in front of you in a supermarket
queue, and stay 2m back from counters and reception desksStaying at home if you are unwell is essentialDo not go into any public places if you are feeling unwell and minimise close contact even in your home – ring ahead if
you need a serviceCall Healthline on 0800 358 5453 if you have any symptoms and have undertaken any overseas travel in the past 14 days, or
have been in close contact with someone confirmed with COVID-19. Please do not go directly to a pharmacy, GP clinic,
urgent care centre or emergency department.