Coronavirus: South Island reports first COVID-19 case of 2021, four cases detected in Northland

The Ministry of Health has confirmed a person has tested positive for COVID-19 in Blenheim - the South Island's first community case this year.

A list of locations of interest linked to that case can be found below.

Four new cases also have been reported in Northland, including two children under 12.


Blenheim's positive case flew from Rotorua into town on Thursday. They sought a test once they'd arrived in Blenheim after developing a sore throat. The initial test and a follow-up swab returned a weak positive result. 

The ministry said the public health risk is low given the individual's "likely late stage of infection".

Contact tracers have identified a small number of close contacts, who are isolating with tests arranged. 

Locations of interest released on Saturday night include: 

  • Mitre 10 MEGA Blenheim
  • Shosha Blenheim
  • KiwiCamp Riverlands
  • Wairau Pharmacy, Blenheim
  • Rotorua Regional Airport
  • Flight NZ8725 from Wellington to Blenheim
  • Countdown Blenheim
  • Flight NZ8231 from Rotorua to Wellington
  • Wellington Domestic Airport
  • Couplands Bakery Blenheim
  • New World Blenheim

Full details can be found here.

The case is now isolating locally in dedicated accomodation with public health oversight, according to the Ministry of Health.

Residents are asked to get tested no matter how mild their symptoms, including if they're vaccinated. 

Where you can tested 

  • Blenheim CBAC: Horton Park, off Redwood St - open 9am to 5:30pm on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday.
  • Nelson CBAC: Saxton Field parking area, Suffolk Rd, Stoke - open 10am to 6pm on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday.

Health officials are prepared to ramp up any further testing sites if the current capacity isn't enough. 

Marlborough Mayor John Leggett told Newshub the Ministry of Health notified him of the case Saturday morning.

Leggett says he has confidence in the district's health system as teams have been preparing for the worse.


The Northland DHB said just before 1pm four linked cases had been detected, apparently within the same family.

"Northland DHB is strongly encouraging people to get vaccinated and tested, following confirmation of four confirmed positive COVID-19 cases in Northland," the DHB said in a statement.

"Locations of interest for Northland have been updated on the Ministry of Health website this morning and further locations are expected to be added later today."

Northland is at level 2 currently.

Parua Bay Tavern closed on Friday after a staff member had contact with a confirmed case, the DHB said, but is not a location of interest after staff tested negative.

Northland DHB spokesperson Sarah Hoyle said having active cases is an important reminder for everyone who is eligible to get vaccinated against COVID-19 as soon as they can.

"It is also important that anyone who has been at a location of interest, or who has cold and flu symptoms, gets a test."

Testing locations can be found on the Healthpoint site, she said.