Covid-19: Six new cases prompt call to use app
The Ministry of Health wants to reinforce the importance of everyone who is able to use the Covid Tracer app to do so, in order to keep a record of where they’ve been.
This was emphasised today as part of the Ministry of Health's update about Covid-19 in NZ. There are six new cases of COVID-19 to report in New Zealand today
"This allows our contact tracing team to quickly notify you if you may have been exposed to this virus, and allows you to take immediate action to protect yourself, your whanau, and your community," says a Ministry of Health spokesperson.
Five of the six new cases reported are recent arrivals detected in managed isolation and one is a close contact of the Auckland quarantine worker first reported by the Ministry on Friday.
The five cases from managed isolation are all at the Auckland quarantine facility.
One case arrived from Italy via Hawaii on November 3 and tested positive at around day 3 routine testing.
Two cases arrived from the United Arab Emirates on November 3 and tested positive at around day 3 routine testing. Please note these people did not travel together.
One case arrived from Romania via Doha and Australia on November 3 and tested positive at around day 3 routine testing.
One case who arrived from Germany via the United Arab Emirates on November 5 and was taken directly to the quarantine facility after appearing symptomatic.
One previously reported case is now considered to have recovered.
The total number of active NZ cases is 48.
The total number of confirmed cases is now 1,626.
Yesterday NZ laboratories completed 4,116 tests for COVID-19, bringing the total number of tests completed to date to 1,136,936.
November quarantine cluster
Today’s sixth case is a close contact of the quarantine worker reported from the Auckland facility on Friday.
Neither of these cases are health workers. Both are Defence Force employees. Case A has performed a role at the Auckland facility. Case B does not work at the facility but had a work-related meeting with Case A on Wednesday 4 November in Auckland before travelling home to Wellington. Attendees at this meeting have been identified and are isolating.
Genomic testing is underway to confirm, however Case B is currently regarded as a community case which can be traced to the isolation facility. They are now in a quarantine facility in Wellington. Five household contacts are in self-isolation and are being tested.
Case B flew from Auckland to Wellington on Thursday evening, November 5, on Air New Zealand flight NZ 457 and sat in row 23. Those passengers sitting two seats in all directions are being contacted and asked to get tested and self-isolate until 19 November.
As an added precaution, Ministry of Health staff are also asking the households of these flight close contacts to isolate until advised that their flight close contact has had a negative test. These households are regarded as second-order contacts.
Anyone else who was on the flight and is concerned about their health can call Healthline on 0800 358 5453
Case B reports developing mild symptoms late on Friday evening. Auckland Regional Public Health and Regional Public Health in Wellington will continue to work with Case B to trace other meeting attendees, and movements following their meeting with Case A.
Relevant locations of interest, including any businesses, will be contacted and publicly advised as they become available. Close contacts will be contacted directly.
Regarding Case A, the Ministry of Health can now advise that preliminary results from their genomic testing shows a link to cases previously identified within the Jet Park facility.
"This can give us confidence that we will be able to identify how transmission may have come about. We are already actively working to track this," says a Ministry of Health spokesperson.
"At this point, there is nothing to suggest there is any wider risk in the Auckland or Wellington regions. If anyone is concerned about their health, or wants more information about testing, they can call Healthline on 0800 358 5453."
Testing is available for the public in Auckland at community testing centres and urgent care clinics across the city. Details on where to get tested are available on the Auckland Regional Public Health Service website.
In the Capital, testing is available at the following CBACs, 196 Taranaki Street, Wellington Central; 178 Bedford Street, Cannons Creek Porirua; and the Lower Hutt Central CBAC. People can also make appointments to be tested at Team Medical, 1 Coastlands Parade, Paraparaumu. Hours have been extended for this afternoon at the Porirua site. Please contact Healthline for any information and advice around the Wellington sites. They will direct callers to the correct phone number to book a test.
The public can also visit COVID-19 Community based assessment centres (CBACs)
At this stage the Ministry is not advising of any need to change the current approach to alert levels.
"The different layers of protection we have in place are working together to prevent and manage risks."
Managed isolation worker cases in Christchurch
"As we said yesterday, the genome sequencing results for health care worker Case B from the Sudima Hotel Christchurch Airport has shown a clear link with the international mariners staying there, but their genome is different from health care worker Case A," says a Ministry of Health spokesperson.
"While it’s clear the infection came from the mariners, investigation continues to see if we can find out more about how the possible infection occurred."
Covid Tracer app
There are now 2,344,300 users registered on NZ COVID Tracer.
The app has recorded a total of 109,345,126 poster scans and users have created a total of 4,547,788 manual diary entries.
"We want to reinforce the importance of everyone who is able to use the app to keep a record of where they’ve been," says a Ministry of Health spokesperson.
"This allows our contact tracing team to quickly notify you if you may have been exposed to this virus, and allows you to take immediate action to protect yourself, your whanau, and your community."