| 28 Apr 2020

The Ministry of Health announced one new COVID-19 case in the South Canterbury region on the 28 April. The total number of South Canterbury cases is now 17, this includes 15 confirmed cases and two probable cases. One male who is over 70 remains in a serious, but stable condition in the Timaru Hospital COVID ward, and nine of the COVID-19 cases have recovered,* leaving eight active cases in South Canterbury.

New case information

The new probable case is a female who is over 70.

Further details about the South Canterbury COVID-19 cases can be found on the South Canterbury District Health Board website here: https://www.scdhb.health.nz/about-us/news-publications-media/news.

An updated summary about cases across the New Zealand can be found on the Ministry of Health’s website here: https://www.health.govt.nz/our-work/diseases-and-conditions/covid-19-novel-coronavirus/covid-19-current-cases.

Dr Cheryl Brunton, South Canterbury Medical Officer of Health, says contact tracing starts for people who test positive as soon as test results are received.

“South Canterbury DHB’s Community and Public Health team identify and inform the close contacts of confirmed or probable cases. The close contacts are advised they must self-isolate immediately for 14 days from the date of potential exposure to the confirmed case”, Dr Brunton says.

“Now is the time for increased vigilance and – if you are not already doing so – please follow the advice from the Ministry of Health. There is useful information, updated regularly on both the Ministry of Health web page and the COVID-19 website: www.covid19.govt.nz,” Dr Bunton says.

Who should get tested?

The South Canterbury DHB are encouraging as many people as possible to be tested for COVID-19 if they have the following symptoms:

  • An acute respiratory infection with at least one of the following:
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Shortness of breath
  • Coryza - head cold e.g. runny nose, sneezing, post-nasal drip
  • Anosmia - loss of sense of smell
  • With or without fever.

The COVID-19 Testing Clinic is located at 14 Butler Street, Timaru, this is not a drop-in clinic, a referral is needed by contacting Healthline on 0800 358 5453, or your family doctor. Please do not go directly to a pharmacy, GP clinic, or emergency department.

Anyone who is tested for COVID-19 must go into immediate self-isolation while awaiting results and further advice. Depending where the test was performed, the results will be notified by your GP, or the COVID-19 Testing Clinic.

How to protect yourself and prevent the spread of COVID-19  

South Canterbury DHB continues to remind the public that the best way they can help with the COVID-19 response is to:

  • Cough or sneeze into your elbow or by covering your mouth and nose with tissues
  • Wash your hands with soap and water often (for at least 20 seconds) and dry thoroughly
  • Avoid close contact with people who are unwell (stay at least 2 metres away)
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth
  • Avoid personal contact with sick people, such as kissing and sharing cups or food
  • 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.

Practice Physical Distancing

  • Keep two metres physical distance from people who are not in your bubble. Practice this when you’re using essential services such as supermarkets
  • We are all in this together and it is important as a community we remember to Be kind to each other, and to check up on friends, family and neighbours, by using the phone, online messaging, or just chatting over the fence while following the physical distancing guidelines of a safe two-metre distance.

* The Ministry of Health defines a recovered case as: At least 10 days have passed since they first had symptoms of COVID-19, and they have had no symptoms for at least 48 hours. Like most countries, we don't usually test again to make sure, because the test result shows whether or not they have remnants of the virus, not whether or not they can infect other people.

Media contact:

Karen Berry
Communications Manager
South Canterbury District Health Board
P: 03 687 2395 | M: 021 139 7442