Single Case of Covid-19 Confirmed in Rotorua
19/03/2020 5:39:09 p.m.

19 March 2020

The first case of COVID-19 in Rotorua is now confirmed after a French national was tested prior to arriving in the Lakes district. This test has returned a positive result. 

Medical Officer of Health, Dr Phil Shoemack, has confirmed Toi Te Ora Public Health (Toi Te Ora) has located the individual, who arrived in New Zealand from France on March 13, and he is now in isolation.
 
“Our Public Health team is following up people who have been in contact with the person to ensure appropriate measures are in place. For example, all of the individuals close contacts will be put into protective quarantine.” 

Flight information will be on the Ministry of Health website as soon as possible. 

Dr Shoemack says that continued vigilance, along with thorough follow-up of all cases, will help to at least delay the chance of the virus spreading in the local community.
 
“We anticipated we would get cases of COVID-19 in our region at some stage, and all parts of the local health system have been preparing for its arrival.” 

The symptoms of COVID-19 include a cough, a high temperature (at least 38°C), and shortness of breath. If you have these symptoms and have recently been overseas or have been in close contact with someone confirmed with COVID-19, please telephone Healthline (for free) on 0800 358 5453 or call your doctor immediately – Do not turn up to a health or medical centre without phoning first.
 
“As with other infectious illnesses, the best way to protect yourself and others from COVID-19 is to practice good infection prevention and hygiene.” 

Hand washing
Wash hands regularly, for at least 20 seconds with water and soap, and dry them thoroughly:
• Before eating or handling food
• After using the toilet
• After coughing, sneezing, blowing your nose or wiping children's noses
• After caring for sick people.

Try to avoid touching your face with your hands.

For more information:
• Ministry of Health: www.health.govt.nz/coronavirus
• Toi Te Ora Public Health: www.toiteora.govt.nz/coronavirus

ENDS
For more information contact:
Liz Taylor, Public Health Communications Advisor,ttoimtpim@bopdhb.govt.nz, 027 836 4892.