Covid-19: No new cases in Christchurch, wastewater test results yet to be revealed

ESR/SuppliedCovid-19 wastewater testing is handled by Environmental Science and Research (ESR).There are no new cases of Covid-19 in Christchurch and further wastewater tests from 14 sites across Canterbury are going to be released later on Wednesday afternoon. One hundred new community cases of Covid-19 across the country were confirmed by the Ministry of Health in a media statement released at 1pm. New wastewater samples taken from 14 sites across Canterbury were not included in the 1pm update. The ministry said the results would be released later on Wednesday. The new samples were collected on Monday, shortly after two earlier wastewater samples came back positive for Covid-19. READ MORE:* Extra Covid testing centre to open in east Christchurch after positive wastewater sample* Covid-19: Unexplained east Christchurch wastewater result ‘likely’ a historical case* Health boards request funding for extra ICU beds as Covid-19 looms* Covid-19: Explaining the tipping point New Zealand wants to reach (and why it matters)ALDEN WILLIAMS/STUFFThe Christchurch suburb of Aranui has one of the lowest Covid-19 vaccination rates in the country. (Video first published October 9, 2021) One of those samples, collected from east Christchurch on Friday, still has no definite explanation. The other positive sample, from southern Christchurch, was put down to a known case living in the area. It is possible for positive wastewater results to be caused by a person who had Covid-19 in the past few weeks or someone who is currently infectious. The sample results do not show which scenario is more likely. The results also do not indicate how many people have – or have had – Covid-19. Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said on Monday the unexplained east Christchurch wastewater was “likely” caused by someone who recently left managed isolation and quarantine. Still, a Ministry of Health spokesman said on the same day a positive wastewater test “is regarded as a signal of possible cases”. In response to that positive test, health officials set up an extra pop-up testing centre in east Christchurch. It will only open on Wednesday and Thursday from 10am to 4pm. It has been set up at the New Brighton Club and is doing drive-through and walk-in tests. East Christchurch has some of the city’s lowest vaccination rates. The new wastewater results on Wednesday will be released at a 1pm press conference fronted by Bloomfield and Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins. Christchurch has not had a new community case of Covid-19 since Friday. One case reported on Saturday has been reclassified as a historical infection. There are presently only four community cases linked to the city. By the end of Monday, 91.4 per cent of the eligible population living in the Canterbury District Health Board area had received their first dose while 74.5 per cent were fully vaccinated. About 78,000 people still need to get their second jab for the region’s population to become 90 per cent fully immunised.

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