Coronavirus: Te Puke kiwifruit workers test negative for COVID-19

A group of kiwifruit workers considered 'casual contacts' to a recent case of COVID-19 in Te Puke have all returned negative results.

The group of 265 were tested after the case in a local accommodation provider.

The final four results follow 261 negative test results last weekend from the seasonal workers. 

The DHB set up a temporary assessment clinic within the accommodation specifically to test the people staying there. 

Dr Joe Bourne, who is in charge of the Bay of Plenty DHB's Community-Based Health Services response, said it was a pleasing outcome. 

He said the cooperation and collaboration between the DHB Community Based Assessment Centre (CBAC) teams and the Te Puke community meant they were able to deliver an efficient assessment process.

"We had great collaboration with the kiwifruit industry to support the workers and that has given a result that should give the community confidence," said Dr Bourne.

He said the testing was a precautionary measure only. 

"The people tested were considered at low risk of infection because they had not been close contacts of the affected staff member. 

"However, in line with the Ministry of Health's surveillance programme to determine if there is any community spread, these people were tested."  

All close contacts of the person who tested positive have been tested and all their results were also negative.

More surveillance testing was likely over the coming weeks.

Three new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in New Zealand were announced on Thursday. There have been no additional virus-related deaths. 

The overall total of combined and probable cases is now 1476 , including 1129 confirmed and 347 probable.