The Ministry of Health has been notified by the United States Centre for Disease Control and Prevention that eight passengers from New Zealand who were aboard the Grand Princess cruise ship between 11 and 21 February may have been in contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19.
All eight had already returned to New Zealand prior to the receipt of this notice.
Upon receipt of this information, public health officials in New Zealand have spoken to seven of the eight affected this afternoon and have completed health interviews.
Four people are well and are outside the isolation period and they pose no risk of COVID-19.
Three people have been assessed as needing to be tested.
One of those three was already in medical care at North Shore Hospital and appropriate testing and public health actions are underway.
Contact tracing for close contacts of this person has also commenced as a precaution, including some health care staff.
One person is still to be spoken to.
Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield reiterated earlier comments that New Zealanders should be vigilant about monitoring their health, especially those who have recently returned from overseas travel where they may have come into contact with COVID-19.
“When people are unwell, they should stay away from work and school, and not attend events.
“If they are displaying symptoms of COVID-19 they should seek medical advice by either calling Healthline on 0800 358 5453, or ensuring they ring their medical centre ahead of visiting in person,” Dr Bloomfield said.
More details will be provided at the Ministry of Health media conference on Saturday afternoon.