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LIVE: Another 13 cases of COVID today

UPDATE: There are a further 13 new cases of COVID-19 being reported in the community today.

This brings the total number of active cases to 90. 

Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield says 69 of the active cases are linked to the existing community cluster and 20 are imported cases.

The total number of confirmed cases in New Zealand is 1293.

Ashley says 12 of the new cases are linked to the community outbreak in Auckland and one remains under investigation.

He says the one under investigation is believed to be linked to the existing cluster.

"There are 98 cases linked to the cluster. Forty four are positive and the balance are household contacts."

Ashley says six people are in hospital. Two in Auckland City and four in Middlemore.

He says no is requiring intensive care treatment.

Results of COVID-19 positive cases under investigation returned

Results of genome testing from two Auckland COVID-19 cases that were under investigation have returned this morning confirming one case is connected to the Auckland August cluster.   

The second case is a man who works as a maintenance worker at the Rydges Hotel managed isolation facility in Auckland who does not have any routine contact with guests. His partial genome sequencing results indicate his case is not linked to the community cluster.
 
No other cases linked to this person have been identified to date.  

Further genome sequencing and matching is being completed today and fuller analysis is expected later, says Ashley.

The person returned a positive result for COVID-19 on Sunday, August 16, with symptom onset on August 11.

He was transferred to Jet Park Hotel quarantine facility on Monday, August 17. It has taken till this morning for genomic sequencing results to confirm the origin of the case. 

Genome sequencing shows a returnee from the USA with the same sequence as the maintenance worker was at the Rydges Hotel from July 28 to July 31 before they returned a Day 3 positive test and were immediately moved to the Jet Park quarantine facility on July 31. 

Ashley says at this stage, there is no obvious person-to-person connection between the worker and the returnee from the USA but investigations continue. 

Initial reviews of CCTV footage and swipe card movements so far show no interaction between the two people including no entry to physical locations occupied by the returnee from the USA.

The room the USA returnee was in has been unoccupied since the case was transferred to the Jet Park quarantine facility and is still empty. The room underwent hospital-grade cleaning with hydrogen peroxide vapour sanitation using a BioQuell machine.

Ashley says contact tracing and testing has not connected any further cases to the maintenance worker, and to date this remains a single case. 

Six close contacts he worked with at the managed isolation facility have been identified and are in self-isolation.

They have all returned negative results from surveillance testing last week, however as a precaution all staff and returnees at the Rydges are being retested again via an onsite testing team. Forty-five staff members and 54 guests were tested yesterday, the remainder will be tested today.

Three household close contacts of the man are all in self-isolation and have been tested.  

Interviews with the man have revealed that he attended two of the Emmanuel Cook Islands Good News Fellowship church services on the morning and evening of August 9. Health officials have contact traced all attendees as close contacts.

As of last night, all but nine of them had been tested with the remainder being tested today. All are in self-isolation. 

The venue of the service is a school hall and deep cleaning of the facility is currently underway.   

Health officials are currently assessing if environmental testing at the Rydges would provide any further insight, however, the frequent deep cleansing of the facility means this is most likely not possible. 

Actions undertaken at the Rydges Managed Isolation Facility

As soon as the positive test was established a series of actions were undertaken immediately at Rydges including:

  •   •  The hotel was put into immediate lock down on Sunday morning, as soon as the positive test was returned.   

  •   •  Thorough cleaning of shared areas of the hotel was carried out.

  •   •  Close contacts of the staff member identified and put into self-isolation until tested (noting that this staff member was not in a public-facing role)

  •   •  Lock down of guests in hotel lifted once cleaning completed and close contacts identified. 

  • Close analysis of movements were undertaken at including: 
    •   •  Review of CCTV

    •   •  Review of room entry data to look for connection to cases

  •   •  Genomic Sequence sought from ESR

  •   •  Health advice sought 

  •   •  Further testing of all returnees and staff undertaken

  •   •  Confirmation that infection prevention controls have been followed

  •   •  Normal procedures resumed

The man carried out maintenance tasks on vacant rooms between bookings, following full infection prevention and controls, including wearing PPE. 

100 per cent of staff have been tested since the Auckland outbreak, and as a precaution all staff are being retested. Returnees are also undergoing testing and in some cases, being retested now. 

EARLIER:

Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield will provide a COVID-19 update at 1pm.

Here is what we know so far:

On Monday, there were nine new cases of COVID in the community.

Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield says there are no new cases in managed isolation.

Seven of the nine cases have been linked to the Auckland cluster, and the other two remain under investigation.

There are currently five people receiving hospital level care in both Auckland Hospital and Middlemore Hospital.

Ashley says as of 6pm yesterday, 86 people linked to the Auckland cluster have been moved to the quarantine facility.

The total number of active COVID-19 cases in New Zealand is 78. Of those, 58 are related to the community cases and the other 20 are imported.

This brings the total number of confirmed cases is 1280.

Laboratories in New Zealand processed 26,014 cases yesterday, Ashley saying it has been heartening to see the number of people coming forward to be tested.

He says due to the high number of people coming forward to get tested, there can be delays of up to 48 hours.

"Testing at the border for the workforce at airports and ports continue to increase.”

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Prof

Posted on 19-08-2020 11:23 | By

Think about it. We have ships and planes, staffed by thousands, bringing in goods and taking goods out, which is important for the economy and people’s livelihoods, as well as survival. Returning Kiwis is neither here nor there. It is impossible to keep out a cold virus and foolish and expensive to try. But it’s the Kiwi way. The approach will be proven to be a mistake.

Come on Jacinda!!!

Posted on 18-08-2020 14:05 | By

CLOSE THE BORDERS!!!! This proves that keeping the borders open for returning Kiwi’s is far too risky. Think about the economy, people’s jobs, livelihoods, homes. Kiwi’s were given plenty opportunity to return back at the beginning of the year before lockdowns were put in place.