6 new cases of Covid-19 in managed isolation

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Ministry of Health Covid-19 update
January 29, 2021

There are 6 new cases of Covid-19 in managed isolation to report in New Zealand since our last media statement yesterday.

There are no new cases in the community to report.

The two people who tested positive in Auckland remain in the Auckland quarantine facility.

These two people have ten close contacts, who have all been tested and returned negative test results. Yesterday we reported there were 11 close contacts – on further investigation one person has now been deemed not a contact.

As we have reported, the person who tested positive in Northland is now recovered. The 11 close contacts of this person have returned negative tests, and there are no further exposure events. The close contacts will start to be released once their isolation period is complete.

Of the 353 guests who left the Pullman between January 9 and January 24, we have negative results for 313 people. Most of the remaining people have indicated that they have had or are having a test. Additional efforts are underway today to follow up the outstanding people and confirm the results of testing.

Locations of interest

As of yesterday afternoon, 249 people had received a push notification via the NZ Covid Tracer app – having scanned in at a location of interest. Locations of interest are available on the Ministry of Health website.

While the risk from these locations is most often very low, casual contacts who attended one of the locations during the relevant timeframes are asked to stay at home, get a test and wait until a negative result comes back.

Testing in the community

We are continuing to see higher than usual demand for testing in Auckland and Northland.

This week there have been 3926 community tests completed in Northland (including Mangawhai). This represents nearly two percent of the total Northland population, and almost half that number were tested in a single day – January 25.

This is an outstanding effort by those in the community and the local health workforce.

Yesterday (January 29) our laboratories had registered 2940 community tests taken from the Auckland metropolitan area.  Our colleagues in Auckland tell us that this figure is likely to exceed 4000 as the tests and samples are logged and processed.  And noting that this figure does not include testing at the border and in managed isolation and quarantine facilities.

On Wednesday, a total of 6121 tests were processed nationally.

The seven-day rolling average for testing up to yesterday is 5435 tests processed.

Two new pop up testing stations have been opened north of Auckland to manage the expected demand in testing. The pop-up testing centres are in Orewa and Albany and are in addition to the six regional community testing centres (one in Northcote – on the North Shore) and a number of other primary care and urgent care clinics offering testing. They are confirmed to operate today.

Further details about testing over the weekend and Monday are available on the Auckland Regional Public Health Service website.

Events

As all of New Zealand is currently at Alert Level One, there are currently no restrictions on gatherings.

However, it is more important than ever that everyone is compliant with our  key Covid-19 conscious behaviours:
·        Most importantly – staying home if sick and calling Healthline.
·        Physical distancing
·        Hand hygiene
·        Coughing and sneezing into your elbow
·        Regular cleaning of high touch surfaces and objects
·        Signing into places using the NZ Covid Tracer app and enable Bluetooth tracing. Check that you have Bluetooth tracing enabled on the dashboard of the NZ Covid Tracer app. If you don’t, please turn it on. If you don’t have the NZ Covid Tracer app, please keep a record of where you’ve been.

We thank event organisers in advance for helping people stay safe at their events and commitment to protecting New Zealand.

Updates and more information about any Alert Level or Health Order changes are available on the covid19.govt.nz/ website.

Case numbers

There are 6 new border cases of Covid-19 – all have been transferred to a quarantine facility in Auckland.

Arrival date From Via Positive test day/reason Managed isolation/quarantine location
16 January United Kingdom* Qatar Day 11 / routine  Auckland
16 January United Kingdom* Qatar Day 11 / routine  Auckland
16 January United Kingdom* Qatar Day 11 / routine  Auckland
19 January Ethiopia United Arab Emirates Day 8 / contact of case Auckland
24 January Italy United Arab Emirates Day 3 / routine and contact of a case Auckland
26 January United Kingdom United Arab Emirates Day 1 / routine Auckland

*The three cases who arrived from the United Kingdom via Qatar are all part of a family bubble and travelled together.
Three previously reported cases have now recovered. The total number of active cases in New Zealand is 72.  Our total number of confirmed cases is 1,949.

NZ Covid Tracer

NZ Covid Tracer now has 2,514,708 registered users.

The total number of poster scans is now 162,282,854.

Users have created a total of 6,658,969 manual diary entries.

“If you’re out and about this long holiday weekend it’s more important than ever that people keep a record of where they’ve been.

“We continue to strongly encourage people to continue to scan using the NZ Covid Tracer app and turn on Bluetooth. The more we all scan, the safer we’ll all be. Scanning helps our contact tracers to quickly find and alert any potential close and casual contacts of people who have tested positive for Covid-19,” says Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield.