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Case not linked to gang cluster


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Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfied has discounted a direct link between a cluster of covid cases involving the Killer Beez gang and a Masterton case.

Bloomfield’s comments on Wednesday put to rest widespread speculation in multiple media outlets about reported links between two Masterton cases and a large meeting of the gang in town on the weekend of November 6th and 7th.

“There are a number of our cases at the moment that are associated with the Killer Beez gang. We are getting a good response in terms of testing, which is important, and I want to thank them for that,” Bloomfield said at the daily press conference.

“It seems our case in Masterton is separate from the other cases outside of Auckland that are associated with that gang.”

The Ministry of Health [MOH] earlier declined to comment on specific information about reported links between local cases and the large get-together of the gang in town earlier this month, citing privacy.

The meeting is thought to have been held at Te Ore Ore Marae on the outskirts of town.

The relatively secluded private venue is well set back from the road in a semi-rural area.

The New Zealand Herald reported gang members travelled to the event from around New Zealand, including from the South Island.

On Monday, Dr Ashley Bloomfield said a positive covid case from Taupo had attended a sizeable gathering in Masterton earlier this month.

“One of the people from Taupo had visited there and was at a gathering of people who had come from other parts of the country,” Bloomfield said.

“They [public health officials] are doing an excellent job of getting through the network and getting those people tested. There were over 30 people in Wairarapa who were at that gathering who were tested and offered vaccinations.”

High St in Masterton was very quiet on Wednesday. PHOTO/MARY ARGUE

A MOH spokesperson said on Wednesday that unless there were compelling public health reasons, information about individuals was not made public.

“For privacy reasons, the Ministry of Health does not share personal information about people who have tested positive for covid-19, including groups or organisations they might be part of,” they said.

“The public health priority is to ensure potential contacts of cases are notified of exposure so they can isolate.

On many occasions, public health staff identify exposure sites rather than locations of interest. Exposure sites are locations where attendees are well known or have registered their attendance, such as a general practice or other locations that require check-ins.

“Where private gatherings are identified as possible exposure sites, the participants are supported directly. Where private gathering locations are not open to the public, those locations are not listed as locations of interest. The ministry only publishes locations of interest where we cannot identify contacts,” they said.

MOH reported both local cases were currently isolating in Masterton. No new cases were reported in Wairarapa yesterday.

The spokesperson said additional locations of interest in Wairarapa would be added to the MOH webpage if they were identified.

So far, six such locations have been identified, five in Masterton and one in Greytown. No new locations have been reported since Tuesday.

Wairarapa residents are advised to check the MOH website for the new locations and get a free covid test if they experience symptoms, no matter how mild.

  • More information is at https://www.health.govt.nz/our-work/diseases-and-conditions/covid-19-novel-coronavirus

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