| 18 Apr 2020

The Ministry of Health announced one new COVID-19 case in the South Canterbury region on the 18 April. The total number of South Canterbury cases is now 15, this includes 14 confirmed cases and one probable case.

New case information  
A male who is over 70s, is recovering at home in self isolation. This case is under investigation.

Further details about the South Canterbury COVID-19 cases and an updated summary about cases across the New Zealand can be found on the Ministry of Health’s website here: 

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.

South Canterbury Existing Case Status

  • 12 confirmed and probable cases are either travel-related or close contacts of confirmed cases
  • 2 cases remain under investigation
  • One male who is over 70 remains in a serious condition in the Timaru Hospital COVID ward
  • Six of the COVID-19 cases have recovered.

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