Close contacts not required to isolate in new changes to Covid 19 protocols as community transmission reach record numbers

Today the government announced the changes to the response to Covid 19 which will no longer require the close household contacts of positive cases to isolate but they will have to test for five days using RAT.

According to the statement, effective immediately, the Niue COVID response will focus solely on managing positive cases of COVID-19.

Health Orders will remain in force for positive cases and they will still be required to isolate for 7 days.

The changes were announced today as the island reached new high numbers with the current daily total from yesterday at 107 active cases.

The statement from the government said that since the first community transmission in November and with the cases continuing to climb, it is proving difficult for the health department to monitor the close contacts of all active cases. 

The timing of the latest spike in cases is also a contributing factor to the need to change the response because of the number of public gatherings and the lack of compliance with health orders 

The current number of active cases, which accounts for more than five percent of the total resident population in isolation, is having an impact on the families and business community as well. 

Many businesses have had to reduce their opening hours with many staff in isolation.

It was for these reasons that the government has made the decision not to impose isolation requirements on close contacts unless they are positive cases.  

The health department will focus on the identification and isolation of positive cases and the provision of strong communications for families to manage their own risks.

For affected households, only the positive case will be given health orders to isolate for at least seven (7) days.

All other household members will be required to complete daily RATs for five (5) days but will not be required to isolate.

Individuals can make their own decisions on how best to protect themselves, their families, and the wider community from infection.

The public is further reminded that the Niue Foou Hospital should be the first point of contact for anyone needing medical assistance, especially with positive cases.

The current spike in cases is attributed to three events from last week including the Niue High School Year 13 formal at the Scenic Matavai Resort, the Niue High School Prizegiving event, and the Niue Power Corporation gathering.

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