Surge in demand for COVID testing
There has been a surge in demand for COVID testing, following the announcement three community cases on Sunday.
So far, all results are negative.
“We would like to acknowledge the hardworking staff at our testing centres, general practices and other clinics who continue to swab for COVID-19,” says a Ministry of Health spokesperson.
“We also thank everyone who patiently waited for their COVID-19 tests yesterday. We are anticipating strong demand again today.
“It’s important the right people can get access to testing — so please don’t rush to a centre if you are well, or if you weren’t at one of the current locations of interest.”
Information on where to get a test is available at Healthpoint.co.nz.
Healthpoint has all the testing locations and hours supplied by DHBs – it includes more than 1100 testing sites nationwide, including most GPs.
On Monday, 5818 tests were processed.
The seven-day rolling average up to yesterday is 4380 tests processed.
The total number of tests processed by laboratories to date is 1,595,770.
Update on Auckland February cases
The three positive cases remain in quarantine at our Auckland facility, says the MOH.
“Their household contact is in isolation at home under strict public health protocols and supervision.
“Our intensive investigation around the potential source of transmission for all three cases continues.
“We have a number of scenarios we are pursuing.”
Contact tracing has now identified 109 close contacts outside the household.
Of these, 33 have returned a negative test and 74 results are pending.
The increase in the number of close contacts is because of a very precautionary approach to people classified as close contacts at one of the locations of interest.
All contacts from this location have been identified and there is no public health risk.
More than 2000 contacts have now been identified as casual plus and loaded into the national close contact tracing system.
These include people who attended workplaces of Case B and C, Papatoetoe High School and other locations of interest.
Health Services remain open
New Zealand’s hospitals, pharmacies, GPs and urgent care clinics remain open to provide care to patients.
“We urge anyone needing medical care not to put it off,” says the MOH.
“All health services are regarded as essential and will continue as usual with an additional focus on infection prevention control measures and physical distancing of patients.
“If you are unwell with the symptoms of COVID-19 please call your contact at the hospital or clinic before coming to an appointment. They will tell you what to do.”
Since January 1, there have now been 29 historical cases, out of a total of 171 cases.
NZ COVID Tracer
NZ COVID Tracer now has 2,620,649 registered users.
More than 1.1 million (1,147,193) people have now enabled bluetooth.
Poster scans have reached 181,250,153 and users have created 7,435,475 manual diary entries.