November 9, 2020
There are four new cases of Covid-19 today, all detected in recent returnees in managed isolation facilities. There are no new cases in the community.
The first case reported today arrived on October 27 from Austria via Qatar and Australia. They returned a positive test around day 12 of their stay in managed isolation.
The second and third cases reported today travelled together, arriving in New Zealand on November 5 from Dubai. They returned positive tests at routine day 3 testing.
The fourth case reported today arrived on November 5 from Qatar and also tested positive for Covid-19 at routine day 3 testing.
These four people are now all in the Auckland quarantine facility.
One previously reported case has now recovered, bringing our total number of active cases to 51.
Our total number of confirmed cases is now 1630.
Yesterday our laboratories completed 3042 tests for Covid-19, bringing our total number of tests completed to date to 1,139,978.
November quarantine cluster
An update on the two people who work for the New Zealand Defence Force who have tested positive for Covid-19.
The first of these we reported is Defence Force worker Case A, who works at the Auckland quarantine facility. The genome sequencing we have conducted on Case A’s test result shows a direct link to two returnees who are part of a family group in the quarantine facility. We have not yet determined the source of the exposure, but our investigation is ongoing.
Of the 242 occupants at Case A’s accommodation in Auckland, 239 have returned a negative result, and three are pending.
Of the 25 close contacts of Defence Force worker Case A, 23 have returned a negative result, and one result is pending. One close contact has returned a positive result, which is Defence Force worker Case B.
We have identified 55 close contacts of Defence Force worker Case B, and of those 32 have returned a negative test result.
Case B has three household contacts, who have all returned a negative test result.
These household contacts include two students who attend two different schools, Boulcott Primary and Hutt Intermediate, in Lower Hutt.
These students are in isolation, and they have been tested once and have already returned a negative test. The students have not been at school since Friday. As a precaution they will remain in isolation for 14 days.
Parents, caregivers and staff will be receiving a letter around this. As advised in the letter, other students and staff will not need to be tested unless they have symptoms of Covid-19, and as per routine guidance they do not need to self-isolate. Students at these schools are at very low risk.
Regional Public Health in the Hutt Valley will be in touch with the schools concerned if there is any change to the situation. It is business as usual at the schools today.
Of nine close contacts identified from flight NZ457 from Auckland to Wellington on Thursday evening, seven have already returned a negative result and the remaining results are pending.
Another person who is a casual contact from flight NZ457 is now feeling unwell and is being tested.
The casual contact is reported to have attended a recent meeting in Kawhia, along with members of the Otorohanga College community. Public health staff have been in contact with the school.
Our current assessment is that anyone at that meeting should be vigilant about their health and if they develop symptoms get tested, but no further action than that is required at this stage. Again, the risk for Otorohanga College and the meeting in Kawhia is considered to be very low.
The test result from the casual contact who attended the meeting is expected later today.
Push notifications were sent out yesterday for locations of interest that had been visited by Case B.
Our thoughts are with these two people as they recover from Covid-19 – we are grateful to them and their contacts for moving swiftly to contain any further spread of the virus once it was discovered.
More broadly, we are grateful to every worker in our managed isolation and quarantine facilities.
We have had more than 70,000 people through these facilities since this system began in March.
The people who work in our managed isolation and quarantine facilities are on the front line of our efforts to protect New Zealanders from this virus.
Please remember how important the work of the staff in our managed isolation and quarantine facilities is, and show these people your gratitude.
NZ Covid Tracer
There are now 2,345,700 registered users of the NZ Covid Tracer app, which equates to around 58 percent of the population aged 15 and over. Poster scans have reached 110,061,027 and there have been 4,579,834 manual diary entries.
To date, 50 app users have received contact alerts through the app following yesterday’s push notifications. It’s important we all scan the QR codes wherever we see them, so we can be notified when we may have been exposed to Covid-19 and to help contact tracers stay one step ahead of the virus.
These recent cases have once again re-emphasised the importance of keeping track of your movements. Thanks to the detailed account of their movements provided by the people who have tested positive for Covid-19, we have been able to rapidly trace, isolate and test their contacts, which stops the virus from being able to spread in our community.