One case of Omicron cited in Auckland Central Business District

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Not highly infectious but Health officials are taking a cautious approach

Some venues in Auckland CBD have been cited as places of interest (Auckland Council Photo)

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Wellington, December 27, 2021

The Ministry of Health has confirmed that a border-related case with the Omicron variant was briefly active in the community in the Auckland CBD earlier this week.

The person was in the area on December 26 and December 27, 2021.

The Ministry said that there is risk of transmission to unknown members of the public.

Whole genome sequencing has found the case to be of the Omicron variant.

“The person is a recent international arrival who returned a positive result on the ninth day of their self-isolation period. They had previously returned three negative tests for Covid-19, completing seven days of managed isolation at a facility in Auckland,” the Ministry said.

Fully Vaccinated passenger

According to the Ministry Statement, the person arrived on a flight from the United Kingdom via Doha on December 16, 2021 and is fully vaccinated with a mRNA vaccine. No other Covid-19 infections have been identified from the individual’s flight. Investigations are underway as to the source of the infection.

“The result of their day nine test was received on December 27, 2021 and they were immediately transferred to an Auckland MIQ facility. At this point, whole genome sequencing was carried out and confirmed the Omicron variant. A number of close contacts have been identified and those tested have returned negative test results,” the Ministry said.

Locations of Interest

Locations of interest include the Impala nightclub on Shortland Street, the Sunny Town restaurant, Partridge Jewellers, Ahi Restaurant and Soul Bar.

Some attendees have been identified as close contacts and will be contacted by Public Health.

“We are viewing this seriously and taking a precautionary approach. However, we do not believe that the individual was highly infectious at the time of the above exposure events. We encourage all Aucklanders to check the Locations of Interest website regularly and follow the advice provided,” the Ministry said.

“We have been doing everything we can to prepare for Omicron and to keep it out of the community since the variant was first identified. This has included undertaking whole genome sequencing on every PCR sample taken from Covid-19 cases detected in international arrivals,” it added.

Any further information on the case and next steps will be made available tomorrow.

There were 46 new community cases reported in New Zealand today (December 29, 2021)

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