Two crew members from the Mattina container ship who have Covid-19 are quarantining in a monitored facility in the community after being treated at Southland Hospital.
Another crew member, the captain, is isolating separately in a facility in Southland, but he had tested negative for Covid-19.
Southern DHB Medical Officer of Health Dr Susan Jack said a Covid-19 positive mariner being treated at the hospital this afternoon had been discharged into quarantine in arranged accommodation.
He was in the same facility as a second mariner discharged from Southland Hospital on Monday.
This meant there were no Covid-19 patients from the MS Mattina in Southland Hospital, Dr Jack said.
There was 24-hour security to ensure the quarantining mariners remained contained and isolated from the community.
There were five mariners from the MS Mattina at MIQ in Christchurch and 13 mariners, all Covid-19 cases and recovering well, remained on board the vessel berthed in Bluff.
Access to the vessel was tightly controlled, and no one was allowed on board.
Health authorities in Southland reassured the community that mariners from the vessel were being well managed and the situation was tightly controlled.
All mariners from the vessel continued to be in strict quarantine, and any movement of patients from the ship to hospital or quarantine was carefully planned, with appropriate PPE and infection and prevention and control procedures.
Infection prevention and control staff were continually monitoring the situation and medical staff caring for the mariners underwent regular Covid-19 testing in line with Ministry of Health requirements.
“I am aware of some anxiety in the community, but can reassure people that we are taking every precaution to isolate the mariners until they have fully recovered.
“These precautions mean there is no risk to the general public.
“On transfer to hospital, the Covid-19 positive mariners did not enter the emergency department.
“They were assessed outside the building in an ambulance and then, if admission was required, they were transported straight into a hospital isolation room.
“This was well planned and co-ordinated in advance. They did not leave their individual isolation rooms until they were discharged.
“Careful planning and transportation, using PPE and observing infection prevention and control procedures, was also used when mariners were discharged into DHB arranged accommodation.
“These mariners are not out and about in the community, and will remain in quarantine until they have fully recovered, as do all Covid-19 positive cases in New Zealand.
“We are treating this situation with extreme caution to make sure we keep our Southern community safe.”