National | Novel Coronavirus / COVID-19

First Omicron case within the community

A British DJ has tested positive for the highly contagious new variant of Covid-19 code-named Omicron; he was active in the community.

Robert Etheridge, who goes by DJ Dimension was in the country to perform at the Rhythm and Alps New Year's festival. In a social post last night he said he received a positive test result at Day 12, two days after completing a 3 day self-isolation following his 7 day MIQ stay.

Images have since emerged on social media of the man socialising with others during self-isolation on Waiheke Island. At a press conference this morning Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins expressed regret the man ‘cleary wasn’t following the rules for his self-isolation period’.

Etheridge arrived on a flight from the UK via Doha on December 16 and is fully vaccinated. No other COVID-19 infections have been identified on his flight according to the Ministry, so investigations continue as to how and where he acquired the virus.

While awaiting his final test results which Hipkins conceded were delayed due to the Xmas holiday period, Etheridge attended a number of bars and restaurants in Auckland, against ministry advice.

There are four casual locations of interest and one close location of interest - the Impala nightclub on Auckland's Shortland Street, between 11pm on 26 December and 3am on 27 December. As many as 47 patrons could have been exposed.

While there are as many as 100 close contacts, the Ministry believes the man did not present a high contagion risk to the community.

'We are taking this situation seriously and taking a precautionary approach. However, we do not believe that the individual was highly infectious at the time of the exposure events.' they said.

Locations of interest - Omicron Community Case