2 new cases in the community, 1 in MIQ

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Ministry of Health update
February 17, 2021

There are two new cases of Covid-19 in the community, and one new case in managed isolation.

Auckland February cases
Both of today’s community cases are linked to the previous Auckland February cases.

Both cases are students at Papatoetoe High School. Case D is a classmate, and had already been identified as a close contact, of Case A. Case E is Case D’s sibling.

Case interviews are continuing and we will have further information, including any locations of interest, at a media conference at 4.30pm.

We have received the first results from ESR’s wastewater testing for February 15.

So far, they have found no evidence of any community cases of Covid-19 in wastewater sampled.

•             Results for Monday February 15:
o            Auckland Western and Eastern Interceptors, North Shore (Rosedale), Rotorua, and Christchurch all returned negative.
o            The South Western Interceptor (Auckland) returned a positive result, which is a consequence of Covid-19 cases at the Auckland quarantine facility. The levels detected are consistent with those seen over the last month.
•             Samples collected from the Papatoetoe catchment area arrived this morning and are being processed today. Hamilton samples are also being processed today.
•             Further results will follow as they are received and tested throughout the week.

Contact tracing
Contact tracing has identified 128 close contacts associated with Cases A, B and C. Of these, 76 have tested negative; there is one positive (Case D) and 49 results are pending.

Case investigation and contact tracing for Cases D and E is currently underway.

As at 1130 this morning, a total of 31 close contacts and 1523 casual plus contacts have been identified at Papatoetoe High School.

Of those, 29 close contacts have returned negative results, one positive result (Case D), and one is outstanding.

Of the casual plus contacts, 1159 have returned negative results, there is one positive (Case E), and 363 are outstanding. It’s important to note that Case E is a close contact of Case D, but for the purpose of test reporting is classified as casual plus.

Community testing centres in Auckland remain steady today, with no significant wait times reported at any of the 10 community testing centres or pop-ups.

As at 11am, the wait time at the Otara CTC was less than 20 minutes and less than 10 minutes at the Wiri CTC. There are no reports of queues at any of Auckland’s other CTCs.

We want to thank our Auckland communities for getting tested – since Sunday, more than 20,000 tests have been performed in the community.

Today there are 10 community testing sites available testing in Auckland, including the pop-up testing centre at Kohuora Park in Papatoetoe.

We are monitoring the situation continuously and will continue to increase capacity and hours at the current CTCs and open new CTCs as needed.

We would like to thank the public for their patience while teams work tirelessly to test everyone who needs a test.

There is room and resource to test everyone – but we need your help to get testing running quickly and easily.

·       If you were not at a location of interest at the stated times and you have no symptoms you do not need to be tested.
·       If you were at the locations of interest at the times stated, you need to get a test.
·       If you have symptoms but have not been to a location of interest stay home and call Healthline for advice.
·       Be patient, take care, they do want to talk to you.
·       If you do have to wait for a test, our frontliners ask for your patience and empathy, please be kind

All community testing centres in the metro Auckland experienced a big increase in demand for testing yesterday.  As at 11am today (February 17), labs in metro Auckland had registered 7,010 tests from yesterday (February 16) – this number will increase throughout today. Swabs are registered up to 48 hours after the test is carried out.

Labs across the Auckland region are coping well and the current turnaround time for test results is 48 hours and extra staff have been rostered on to help manage any surge in the number of tests needing to be processed.

For up-to-date information on testing locations in metro Auckland, visit www.arphs.health.nz/covid19test . Testing locations nationally are also available at www.healthpoint.co.nz

New border case details

Arrival date From Via Positive test day/reason Managed isolation/quarantine location
14 February Kazakhstan United Arab Emirates day 1 / routine testing Auckland

The total number of active cases in New Zealand is now 49. Our total number of confirmed cases is 1984.

The total number of tests processed by laboratories to date is 1,613,211.

On Tuesday our laboratories processed 17,439 tests.

The seven-day rolling average up to yesterday is 6,466 tests processed.

Historical cases  
Since January 1, there have now been 29 historical cases, out of a total of 174 cases.

NZ Covid Tracer
NZ Covid Tracer now has 2,636,000 registered users.

Poster scans have reached 182,799,643. More than 1,024,397 poster scans have been recorded since midday yesterday.

Users have created 7,486,108 manual diary entries.