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Covid-19: 35 additional community cases

Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield.

There are 35 new cases of Covid-19 in the New Zealand community to confirm today.

Of these 33 are in Auckland and two are in Wellington.

This brings the total number of cases in the community outbreak to 107, says a statement from the Ministry of Health.

All of the cases have or are being transferred safely to a managed isolation facility, under strict infection prevention and control procedures, including the use of full PPE.

"As previously indicated, it’s not unexpected to see a rise in daily case numbers at this stage. At its peak last year, New Zealand had a daily total of 89 new cases," says the MOH.

"The total number of community cases in Auckland is now 99 and Wellington’s number of community cases has increased to eight.

"Of the 107 cases in the cluster, 72 are already epidemiologically linked to other community cases identified in the outbreak.

"Investigations are continuing to determine whether and how the remaining 35 cases are linked to the outbreak, however most have a plausible link on initial assessment. For example, people were at a location of interest.

"We will continue to release this information and new locations of interest as it becomes available."

ESR also continues to run whole genome sequencing on cases.

Yesterday, 29 samples were sequenced and all were confirmed as being linked to the Auckland outbreak.

There are three new cases in recent returnees in managed isolation facilities.

Case 1 and 2 – Arrived from Belgium on August 5. Contact of a case. Is in managed isolation in Auckland. Full travel history to be confirmed. These cases are in a family bubble.

The total number of active cases being managed in New Zealand is currently 154.

Since January 1, there have been 123 historical cases, out of a total of 880 cases, says and MOH spokesperson.

"Our total number of confirmed cases since the start of the pandemic is 2698."

Testing

Yesterday, 35,766 tests were processed across New Zealand.

Testing centres in Auckland had another busy day yesterday with just over 17,000 swabs taken across Auckland, with around 11,000 at community testing centres and around 6000 at general practice and urgent care clinics. This was our biggest day to date at our community testing centres.

If you were at a location of interest, at the specified times, or have cold and flu symptoms, please call Healthline on 0800 358 5453 for advice on testing, says the MOH.

"By calling Healthline for advice on testing, people who have been at locations of interest at relevant times are logged into the contact tracing system. This means their swab can be tracked and processed faster by the laboratories.

"There are 16 community testing centres available for testing across Auckland this afternoon, including a new site at Pukekohe.

"More than 3850 tests were processed yesterday for Wellington and the Hutt Valley with 11 community testing centres operating, and around 32 GPs open for testing.

"District Health Boards remain focussed on meeting testing demand and standing up additional testing centres if, and when, needed.

"When you go for a test, please wear a mask, scan in to the QR codes located on site and if possible take your NHI number with you. This is likely to speed up the process."

People will be able to find your NHI number of a hospital letter, a prescription or prescription receipt. The Ministry has also established a new 0800 number to find out - 0800 855 066.

For up-to-date information on all testing locations, please visit www.healthpoint.co.nz/covid-19/.

The total number of Covid-19 tests processed by laboratories to date is 2,727,853.

The seven-day rolling average is 23,721.

Wastewater testing

ESR is today collecting wastewater samples from sites throughout New Zealand for testing.

There are no new findings to report today, says the MOH.

"Yesterday, we reported Covid-19 had continued to be detected at Moa Point in Wellington and in the Auckland region, but that samples taken from other sites in Wellington at Porirua, Seaview and Karori and now from the North Shore at Rosedale and Albany, were negative.

"Samples taken on Friday and Saturday returned no other unexpected detections anywhere else in the country."

ESR continues to test wastewater at 41 sites across the country, covering 3.7 million New Zealanders.

Of the 41 current sites, 13 are in Auckland and four are in Wellington. ESR is in the process of adding additional sites.

Contact tracing

Public health staff across New Zealand continue to contact trace, with a focus on higher risk locations.

"The number of contacts has increased significantly. This is something we expected as we identify more cases and test in large numbers.

"As of 8am today, 13,230 individual contacts have been identified – and this number will increase throughout the day, as records are fully processed.

"The majority of these contacts are close contacts."

Of these contacts, 6773 have been contacted by public health staff and are self-isolating, and 42 per cent have had a test.

Work is underway to contact the remaining 6457 contacts.

Locations of interest

The Ministry of Health are continuing to add locations of interest as interviews from confirmed cases completed by public health staff.

There are now more than 280 locations of interest listed on the Ministry’s website.

Of these, 11 locations of interest are in Wellington, a few are scattered across the North Island and the rest are located in Auckland. There are also two flights between Auckland Wellington.

"We will continue to update this regularly. There is now an interactive map that makes it easier to identify locations of interest, and you can also search locations.

"The Ministry’s website also includes advice on what to do if you were at any of these locations at the time when you could potentially have been exposed. Text message alerts are being sent to people who scanned in using the Covid-19 Tracer App at locations during the relevant times.

"If you were at a location of interest at the specified time, please self-isolate and call Healthline on 0800 358 5453 for advice on testing."

Crowne Plaza investigation update

Public health officials are continuing to investigate those who used the atrium thoroughfare at the Crowne Plaza while the earliest identified case was in the lobby, as there is a possibility of air flow between the two spaces.

A total of six people walked in the open walkway while the case was in the lobby, of those four have been identified and three have tested negative and one person is in the process of getting a test, says the MOH.

"There are two people still to be identified, which Police are assisting with.

"This throughfare is located inside the Crowne Plaza building and is not the outside walkway which is used to access the Huawei Centre.

"It has been confirmed the case was indoors while a very small number of people walked in the open walkway, which is well ventilated."

Section 70 Notices

"We’re reminding people that a Section 70 notice remains in place, placing a legal requirement on all people who were at locations of interest at the relevant times to follow the instructions regarding isolation and testing," says the MOH.

"It is also very important that essential workers regularly check the locations of interest so they can isolate immediately and get tested if they have been at any of these locations at the relevant times."

Another Section 70 notice is in place, applying that to household members of those who have been at locations of interest or have been categorised as a close contact.

These household members are required to isolate until the contact has returned a negative day-five test result.

Household members are not required to be tested unless they develop symptoms, says the MOH.

"The requirements of this second notice do not apply to people who are required to provide an essential health service as long as they are vaccinated, the household member who visited the location of interest has had a negative result, and no one in the house has symptoms."

Covid-19 vaccine update  

"Yesterday, we administered 35,800 doses nationally. This was made up of 26,835 first doses, and 8,965 second doses.

"More than 2.78 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine have been administered to date (to 11.59pm on 22 August)."

Of these, 1.77 million are first doses and more than one million are second doses.

More than 156,000 Mâori have received their first vaccination. Of these, more than 92,000 have also had their second vaccinations.

More than 103,000 doses have been administered to Pacific peoples. Of these, more than 63,000 have also received their second doses.

NZ Covid Tracer

NZ Covid Tracer now has 3,026,123 registered users.

Poster scans have reached 327,988,169 and users have created 13,896,382 manual diary entries.

There have been 477,029 scans in the 24 hours to midday yesterday.

“It’s really pleasing to see we’ve hit three million users on the NZ Covid Tracer App. Thank you to everyone who has become a user of the app and to those who continue to scan QR codes to keep a record of where they’ve been," says says Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield.

"Over the past week we’ve seen how important these records have become – making it easier for contact tracers as we all work to keep New Zealanders safe from Covid-19."

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7 Comments
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Major Oranje

Posted on 26-08-2021 16:26 | By Justin T.

Come on. Yadick and Morepork and myself are happy to parrot the facts. Masks help because it reduces the distance our breathing out can send the particles and reduces the potential to draw it in from someone else. Not perfect but effective. Vaccinations reduce the potential for being critically ill, and does reduce potential transmission. Everything helps to prevent the overload of our hospitals. So are you going to be part of the problem or part of the cure? P.s. The evidence and science says this is so!

Wrong Slim

Posted on 26-08-2021 16:13 | By Justin T.

Do some fact checking Slim and stop reading just Click Bait Headlines. You couldn’t have been more wrong about Singapore if you tried.

@Major Oranje

Posted on 26-08-2021 15:40 | By morepork

Sun Live (quite rightly) did not censor your post (even though it is arrant nonsense.) Like most Kiwis, I will defend to the death your right to say what you think, whether I agree with you or not. You would have more credibility though, if you could show credible sources for your position. I also wonder what makes you think that I think I am an authority on Covid. I am well-informed on it, and I think about the information I process when researching it. That is not a parrot process; can you say the same about your repetition of tired cliches like "The vaccine doesn’t work." and "The Government want to repress your rights and are using the virus."? I’d expect that from Marjorie Taylor Greene or some redneck at a Trump Rally, not from someone who actually has an IQ above room temperature...

censor this too?

Posted on 25-08-2021 13:27 | By

Why does morepork and yadick think their parroting of laws and rules and regs, made up on the fly by bureaucrats in some way makes them an authority on covid. The evidence and science suggests you are wrong. Vaccines do not work. Masks do not work. Lockdowns do not work. Of course sunlive will censor this.

Postscript for Slim.

Posted on 24-08-2021 17:10 | By morepork

The idea of opening up is not mutually exclusive with locking down; it just seems that way and really comes down to a matter of careful timing. And behind both of these approaches is the fact that we can and should improve our rate and coverage of vaccination. I agree it has been way behind where it should have been, but that doesn’t help right now... I will be interested to see how many Donkeys will be opting for it, as the case numbers rise and the terrible effects and repercussions predicted by the Eee-Aww world, fail to materialize.

@Slim Shady

Posted on 24-08-2021 17:04 | By morepork

I can see your point but I’m relieved to see that you are not advocating it right now. Zero covid is NOT a bad approach as long as IT IS FEASIBLE. We are finding out at the moment whether it is feasible or not. (Jury is still out, but, personally, I think it can be shut down and the current wave is not as bad as we might have expected.) Leaving that aside, I don’t disagree that other options could be explored. I don’t think we should do something just because somebody else is doing it. We can probably agree that a better rollout of vaccination (which is gradually happening) would solve a lot of the present problem and give us more options. I still think we should not open the borders until we are prepared to mandate vaccinations for ALL travelers. We can/should switch, but not NOW....

Stuck

Posted on 23-08-2021 13:35 | By

Some great overseas analysis of New Zealand’s approach. So true. We need to get off this zero Covid nonsense ASAP. I see Singapore is opening its borders. No isolation, no quarantine. Not even counting cases. Just vaccination. They had the sense to switch approach and so should we. Granted, because of the disgraceful vaccination rollout, we need to jab a few more, but that should be it then, OPEN up. And an apology for the terrible rollout is necessary.