Ministry of Health Covid-19 update
September 15, 2020
There are three new cases of COVID-19 to report in New Zealand today – all detected in recent returnees in managed isolation facilities. There are no new community cases.
The three cases are a man in his 30s and two children who arrived together from Dubai on September 9. They have been in managed isolation at the Ibis Hotel in Rotorua and tested positive for COVID-19 during routine testing around day 3 of their stay.
There are 56 people linked to the community cluster who remain in the Auckland quarantine facility, which includes 26 people who have tested positive for COVID-19 and their household contacts.
Since August 11, our contact tracing team has identified 3,779 close contacts of cases, of which 3,772 have been contacted and are self-isolating, and we are in the process of contacting the rest.
Today there are four people in hospital with COVID-19 – one is in isolation on a ward in Auckland City Hospital, and one is in isolation on a ward in Middlemore. Two are in ICU, at North Shore and Waikato hospitals.
With today’s three new cases and 16 additional recovered cases, our total number of active cases is 83.
Of those, 28 are imported cases in MIQ facilities, and 55 are community cases.
Our total number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 is now 1,450, which is the number we report to the World Health Organization.
Yesterday our laboratories processed 4,402 tests, bringing the total number of tests completed to date to 872,444.
Health care worker
As reported yesterday, the case of a health care worker from the Auckland quarantine facility has been genomically linked to the Auckland cluster.
The case is most closely genomically related to three cases from the cluster who were staying in isolation at the Auckland quarantine facility.
This indicates that the worker was most likely exposed to the virus at the facility, however a clear epidemiological link to an existing case is still being determined.
The public health unit is continuing to investigate how the infection occurred. A review of infection prevention and control processes is also underway.
Contacts from the gym classes the case attended are being assessed by Auckland Regional Public Health staff.
There are up to 94 possible close contacts being followed up from the three gym classes at Les Mills. Of that number, 72 have been confirmed as close contacts.
Of these, 71 have been contacted and are self-isolating and we are in the process of contacting the remaining person. Most have been tested already.
As part of the assessment, public health staff determine which of the contacts should be in self-isolation and tested.
This is done on a case-by-case basis. The current advice is that anyone who is regarded as a casual contact in this instance is being advised to be tested, but they do not need to self-isolate unless advised to do so.
As investigations progress the assessments of individuals as either close contacts or casual contacts may change as further information is gathered and assessed.
NZ COVID Tracer
There are now 2,215,700 users registered on NZ COVID Tracer.
The app has recorded a total of 59,103,231 poster scans, and users have created 2,894,932 manual diary entries in NZ COVID Tracer.
There have been 370,098 QR codes created to be displayed around the country.
As part of the management of the Auckland community cluster, notifications have been sent out for 18 different exposure events. This includes four related to the health care worker case, covering the Les Mills Takapuna gym (2), the Warehouse Milford, and Countdown Milford.