Covid 19 coronavirus: ‘Puzzle’ as retested family member of border case returns negative result, remains under investigation

The household member of an infected managed isolation facility cleaner who had a weak-positive Covid-19 test result has now come back negative for the virus.

Director general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield this morning confirmed the family member had undergone further tests, including serology, which had come back negative.

Speaking to TVNZ’s Breakfast Show, Bloomfield said genome results had also come back, showing the cleaner at the centre of the latest border-related case had contracted the UK variant.

The genome sequencing had shown a link with the cleaner’s workplace, the Millennium Hotel managed isolation facility.

“It matches the genome of a person who was staying in the hotel, a returnee from overseas, who was there from the 13th to the 15th of March,” he said.

That infection was picked up day zero/ one of routine testing, he said.

The infected returnee was staying in managed isolation before the cleaner had received the second dose of the Pfizer vaccination.

Bloomfield said the negative result of the re-tested household member who had initially returned a weak positive, coupled with the negative serology result, was unexpected.

“So this is a little bit of a puzzle but it suggests that it could have been a false positive or it could have been an early infection,” he said.

That person was going to remain as a case under investigation and there would be further testing in coming days, he said.

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