Ministry of Health Covid-19 update
November 11, 2020
There is one new case of Covid-19 to report in managed isolation today. There are no new community cases.
Today’s case arrived on November 3 from Romania via Qatar and Australia. They are a family member of a previous case from managed isolation and had already been transferred to the Auckland quarantine facility.
One previously reported case has now recovered, so there are 52 active cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand.
Our total number of confirmed cases is 1632.
Yesterday our laboratories completed 5995 tests for Covid-19, bringing the total number of tests completed to date to 1,148,933.
November quarantine cluster
While CCTV does not capture all movements around the Auckland quarantine facility, a review of footage has not identified a connection between Case A and the returnees who have a similar genome. No other cases have this genome sequence and all staff at the Auckland quarantine facility have returned a negative result to date. The investigation is ongoing into how transmission occurred.
All occupants of Case A’s accommodation have returned negative test results.
Genome sequencing for Case B matched that of Case A, confirming transmission of Covid-19 from the first New Zealand Defence Force worker to the second.
Of 58 close contacts identified for Case B, 56 have returned a negative result. The remaining two are pending.
West Indies cricket team training exemption revoked
The Ministry of Health has today advised that all members of the West Indies men’s cricket team who were provided certain exemptions from managed isolation rules will now be denied further training privileges after breaking managed isolation rules inside their Christchurch facility.
The team, here to play New Zealand’s Black Caps, is in the managed isolation facility at the Chateau on the Park in Christchurch.
Following an investigation, members of the team were confirmed to have repeatedly broken managed isolation rules. Many of these incidents have been captured on CCTV and have also been reported by staff. The incidents include groups mingling and sharing food. It’s important to note that all incidents occurred within the hotel facility and there is no risk to the public.
“As with other sports teams that have come to New Zealand, the West Indies cricket team were given certain exemptions from the managed isolation rules which apply to everyone else. This included being able to be in larger bubbles and train in preparation for their international games,” Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said.
“It is a privilege to come here but in return they have to stick to the rules. Keeping Covid-19 out of our communities and keeping our staff safe depends on it. They didn’t do that, despite agreeing to abide by the parameters of the exemption.
“Consequently, we have revoked the team’s exemption from those requirements of the Managed Isolation and Quarantine Order. This means members of the team will spend the remainder of their time in managed isolation and they are unable to train.”
Members of the team are currently on day 12 of their isolation period. The group will be tested today, and the local Medical Officer of Health will determine whether the team in its entirety meets the low risk indicators for release.
If there are any concerns, their period in managed isolation could be extended.
New Zealand health authorities have taken this step as an appropriate action in response to the behaviour identified.
Evidence will be provided to Cricket West Indies to conduct its own investigation, and any disciplinary action it may consider appropriate.
The West Indies cricket team are today discussing next steps with NZ Cricket.
The Ministry is currently working to update its advice around access to and use of N95 masks in MIQ facilities, including clinical criteria and the supply chain. The advice will be finalised and then communicated appropriately to clinical teams and managers in MIQ in coming days.
NZ Covid Tracer
The NZ Covid Tracer app now has 2,348,900 registered users.
The app has recorded 111,647,050 poster scans, and users have created 4,639,895 manual diary entries.