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The issue of the Stewart Island Covid-19 Island family cleared by the Ministry




A Stewart Island resident receives a Covid-19 swab from WellSouth staff Racheal Maheno, left, and Olivia Hall at a pop clinic set up in the community center Thursday.


A Stewart Island resident receives a Covid-19 swab from WellSouth staff Racheal Maheno, left, and Olivia Hall at a pop clinic set up in the community center Thursday.

The family of the child on Stewart Island who returned a poorly positive Covid-19 test have no virus.

A Health Ministry spokesman said at 11:30 a.m. Friday that serological testing of the child’s adult home contacts turned out negative.

The first results from the community test are expected at 13:00.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said Thursday that serological tests would help the Ministry of Health determine the source of the potential infection.

* Covid-19: Stewart Islands remain ‘an elastic band’ in light of the weak positive test that could be linked to the Bluff band
* Covid-19: Case results A genome confirms the variant in the UK, the family member tests negatively
* Napier Child Care Center Remains Open Following Poor Covid-19 Case in Japan

Stewart Islanders are in good spirits as they wait to hear more.

Community board deputy chairman Steve Lawrence said the pop-up test center set up at the community center had been open since 8 a.m. and residents, including himself, were heeding the call to be tested.

The answer has been really good. Typical Stewart Island, he said.

Everyone is in a good mood.

The testing center was set up on Thursday after a child living on the island returned a poor positive result.

The child care center where the child attended was closed as a precaution.

The child’s family came out negative for Covid-19, but health officials said they were testing other residents as safety, given the isolated nature of the community.

Officials have not been able to identify any possible source of the infection and given the relative isolation of the community, health authorities currently believe it is very likely the person is not a case, reads a statement from the Ministry of Health.


Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Director General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield offer an update on the entire distribution of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine.

At a news conference Thursday, Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said the Stewart Island affair was a very poor positive outcome for a child and officials thought it was a false positive.

The family had done pre-departure testing before the trip when the weak positive returned. The rest of the family tested negative and the repeat test was also negative, Bloomfield said.

A weak positive is treated as a supposed positive result that is supposed to be positive, and is generally classified as such, until the information suggests otherwise.

When asked if the issue could be a hangover from the Bluff pile, Bloomfield responded that this is a possibility.

DHB Southern Health Officer Dr Michael Butchard said anyone who attended or visited the childcare center was asked to take a test even if they had no symptoms.

The result is under investigation and these steps are being taken as a precaution as we seek further information, he said earlier.

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