Case under investigation confirmed as historical

Media release

16 October 2020

The person reported earlier today as having returned a weak positive COVID-19 test result has now been confirmed as having a historical infection and is therefore no risk to the public.

The person had returned two negative tests during their time in MIQ in Auckland in September. They then returned a weak positive result this week after becoming unwell with a respiratory illness.

Earlier we reported a PCR test conducted today had returned a negative result. Serology tests run today have shown the presence of antibodies that further confirm this is a historical infection.

The Ministry’s public health experts have assessed this person’s test results and concluded that the infection is historical, and there are no further steps required to limit risk to the community.

An acute non-COVID-19 respiratory illness can sometimes create a situation where residual COVID-19 virus particles are detected when a sample is taken.

Importantly, international research shows people with a historical COVID-19 infection are not infectious.

Our assessment is that because the person is not infectious, there is no further management of close or casual contacts required.

Media contact
Aimee Gulliver
021 870 033

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