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Tracing the Viral Ties

Genomic testing has linked a case of COVID-19 affecting a New Zealand healthcare worker to a group of quarantined fishermen, Stuff reports.

Two healthcare workers who have tested positive for the virus were working in the quarantine wing of a hotel in which fishermen from Russia and the Ukraine were staying, it adds. More than 30 of the mariners had tested positive for COVID-19, according to Stuff. After the first healthcare worker, a nurse, tested positive for the virus, genetic testing tied her case to the fishermen, leading officials to rule out the possibility she contacted the virus outside the quarantine facility, it adds. A sample from the second healthcare worker, who worked with the first, is still undergoing genetic testing, Stuff says.

It adds that the mariners are to remain isolated until at least the end of the week while officials work out how the healthcare workers were infected. "We want to get to the bottom of it and until we do, we won't be releasing any of the fishermen out of the facility," says Ashley Bloomfield, the director-general of health, according to Stuff. "We just need to find out exactly where the source was and how the infection was transmitted."