Coronavirus: Friend of COVID-19 sisters isolating after visiting pair prior to test

A friend of the two COVID-19 infected sisters whose exemption from managed isolation caused a stir last week has been told to isolate after visiting them prior to their test.

On June 13, two sisters were given exemption from managed isolation after the sudden death of a parent. They subsequently drove from Auckland to Wellington, where on Monday last week they tested positive for COVID-19. 

Neither of the women had been tested prior to leaving managed isolation and it later emerged they got lost during their trip, seeking help from friends who briefly came to their aid.

Regional Public Health in Wellington confirmed on Tuesday that a friend of the pair has been told to go into self-isolation in the Hutt Valley after visiting them prior to their COVID-19 test.

"The contact visited the women, prior to them being tested for COVID-19, remained outside and maintained physical distance," a statement provided to Newshub says.

"As an extra precaution, given this was the first case in 24 days, Regional Public Health Medical Officer of Health asked the friend to go into isolation."

A family member the women met in Wellington is also isolating at the same residence as the pair.

New Zealand currently has nine active cases of the virus, all being imported cases.

Following news neither woman was tested, the Government temporarily suspended compassionate leave exemptions. It has been stressed that anyone leaving facilities must first return a negative test result.