Cath Handley, Local Board Chair

Tuesday’s announcement that Waiheke had joined the rest of the Auckland region’s suburbs and we were home to a person who had tested positive for Covid-19, brought about two slightly different reactions.

If you sided with the health professionals, then the island’s first case was low-risk but a wake-up call for the community, but for local board chair Cath Handley it posed serious questions about how positive cases were dealt with and the ongoing issue of self-isolation.

After rumours swirled within the community throughout Tuesday, the island’s health services put out a joint statement late in the afternoon to say they had been notified that one positive case was self-isolating at their residence on Waiheke.

“This case was not detected/tested on Waiheke Island. This case did not contract Covid on Waiheke Island,” the statement read.

“The case travelled via Sea Link on Sunday 17th October from Half Moon Bay to Kennedy Point in their vehicle and stayed in their vehicle for the journey. The case went directly to their residence and has had no contact with anyone.

“There are no locations of interest on Waiheke Island for the community to be concerned about in relation to this case. The risk to the community of Waiheke Island is considered to be low at present.” 

Waiheke Medical Centre practice manager Jayme Kitiona said the practice was notified by the Northern Region Health Coordination Centre about the case on Tuesday.

“The case has done all the right things to minimise any risk to the community. They are being well supported by health officials,” Kitiona said.• Erin Johnson

Full story in this week;’s Gulf News… Out Now



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