The non-respect of the rules of DJ Dimension is “disappointing”, according to the minister

Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said it was “disappointing” that a British musician, who tested positive for the Omicron variant of Covid-19, left isolation before receiving the results of his tests.

Hipkins said the person clearly didn’t follow the rules, which he said were there for a reason.

“We don’t have an Omicron in the community and we want it to be. “

But the information received on the case, his movements and his contacts were so far “encouraging”.

READ MORE:
* Covid-19: DJ Dimension “devastated” after testing positive for Omicron in New Zealand
* Covid-19: Timing of the Omicron affair in the ‘difficult’ community
* Covid-19: Rhythm & Alps music festival headliners give up in fear of Omicron
* Covid-19: Everything we know about the movements of DJ Dimension
* Covid-19: Five new Omicron cases at MIQ, 56 people hospitalized

While the case was briefly active in the community, including at a nightclub, none of his known contacts had yet tested positive.

However, it is not yet clear where the person contracted Covid-19. Genomic sequencing did not allow the DJ case to be linked to the other positive cases at the MIQ establishment where he stayed. But the tests are in progress.

Hipkins said the government will move forward with its plan to change the status of Auckland’s traffic lights to orange at 11:59 p.m. Thursday.

Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins addressed the media Thursday morning.

Ross Giblin / Stuff

Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins addressed the media Thursday morning.

On Wednesday, the Department of Health announced that a person had been “briefly” active in the community while having the Omicron variant of Covid-19.

The border-linked case tested positive for the Omicron variant of Covid-19 and was in the Auckland community.

Wednesday night, Things revealed that it was electronic music artist DJ Dimension, aka Robert Etheridge.

Dimension DJ, aka Robert Etheridge, has the Omicron variant and was in the Auckland community while testing positive.

Dimensions / Supplied

Dimension DJ, aka Robert Etheridge, has the Omicron variant and was in the Auckland community while testing positive.

Etheridge arrived from the UK via Doha on December 16. He received a positive test result on December 27 – from his test on December 25, the ninth day – before being transferred to an MIQ facility.

He did not wait to receive the results of his tests before coming out of isolation, to visit the Impala nightclub and the grounds of Commercial Bay.

The DJ also had four close contacts, with whom he stayed during his period of self-isolation on Waiheke Island. Again, all of these people had been tested and three had so far given negative results.

Hipkins said none of the DJ’s contacts have tested positive so far, health officials did not yet have the full picture, so they would continue to test and trace.

He encouraged people to get vaccinated and get tested if they had any symptoms.

Hipkins said it was important to follow the rules in order to keep Omicron out of the community for as long as possible as the government rolled out its recall program.

At the same time, the minister said he did not want to “overreact” to this situation.

As the borders opened, New Zealand would enter a ‘new space’, where there would be cases of Covid-19 in the community.

“Covid-19 is not done with us,” Hipkins said.

Officials had accepted that the risk of breaking the rules was greater when people were self-isolating, he said, adding that there was still no tolerance for breaking the rules.

There had been no suggestion that the government would take action against this person.

Hipkins said Etheridge was already facing some form of punishment in the court of public opinion.

DJ Dimension and some of his contacts were to play at the Rhythm & Alps music festival.  Now the organizers have had to replace five acts in 24 hours.

Lucas Perelini / Supplied

DJ Dimension and some of his contacts were to play at the Rhythm & Alps music festival. Now the organizers have had to replace five acts in 24 hours.

In addition to the known Omicron case, the Department of Health identified three other positive Omicron cases that were staying at the same MIQ facility as Etheridge. But genome sequencing suggested these cases were unrelated.

The DJ also had four close contacts, with whom he stayed during his period of self-isolation on Waiheke Island. Again, all of these people had been tested and three had so far given negative results.

Meanwhile, 14 known contacts have been identified at Soul bar in Auckland. Eight remained in Auckland and awaited test results. Meanwhile, six had flown to Christchurch and returned negative saliva results. They were isolated and were followed by public health.

There were also 47 known close contacts through Impala nightclub in Auckland. Health officials were following up on all of these contacts.

Although the exact number of contacts is not yet known, Hipkins said he thought it would be around 100. He called this a “reasonably large number.”

Dimension was slated to headline the Rhythm & Alps music festival, but was pulled from the lineup, along with DJ Friction, Wednesday night “due to the continuing impacts of Covid-19”.

After Things revealed the musician tested positive for Omicron, the international chart-topping DJ said he followed government regulations and showed no symptoms until he was “unexpectedly” positive 12 days later his arrival in Aotearoa.

But on Thursday, in an updated Instagram post, Etheridge said: “I cannot comment on how extremely sorry I am for all who will be affected.”

He said he was “devastated” and wished to reiterate his apologies “to those whom I inadvertently endangered because of my misunderstandings”.

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff also urged Aucklanders to get vaccinated if they can, get tested if they have symptoms and scan when they are on the move.

“While it was only a matter of time before Omicron made its way into the community, we hope and continue to hope that it can be contained as much as possible,” he said.

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