Coronavirus: Four cases confirmed from international cattle conference in Queenstown

Attendees at an international cattle conference held in Queenstown are being told to self-isolate after four tested positive for COVID-19.

Around 400 delegates from around the world including Europe, South America, USA, England and Australia were at the World Hereford Conference which was held from March 9th-13th.

Of the four attendees who have tested positive, two were from New Zealand, one was from Australia and one from Uruguay.

Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield said a public health team had been following up with delegates.

"Close contacts of those cases are being asked to self isolate and other attendees at the conference are now considered as close contacts in a precautionary way and they have also been contacted and required to self isolate for 14 days, since they were in contact with people who were at that conference," said Dr Bloomfield. 

The Southern District Health Board was carrying out the tracking and tracing work with support from the Ministry of Health, he said.

The conference was held from March 9th-13th.
The conference was held from March 9th-13th. Photo credit: Supplied/NZHA

Organisers of the event had also sent an email to attendees.

"As a recent attendee at the World Hereford Conference (9-13 March in Queenstown), you may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19.

"As a precautionary approach, we are treating ALL people who were at the conference as a close contact of a confirmed COVID-19 case, and ask you to self isolate for 14 days from the end of the conference on 13 March (isolation will end on Saturday 28 March), it said.

"For those who carried on to the South Island Post Tour which ended on Thursday 19 March, self isolation will end on Friday 3 April."

While the conference was based in Queenstown, delegates also visited two stud farms in Central Otago as well as the Wanaka A&P Show.

The current number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in New Zealand stands at 66.