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Patient with covid-19 in isolation in Wellington, after returning home from Auckland on AirNZ

News from Ministry of Health
There are six new cases of COVID-19 to report in New Zealand today. Five are recent arrivals detected in managed isolation and one is a close contact of the Auckland quarantine worker first 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 quarantine facility. Case B does not work at the facility but had a work-related meeting with Case A on Wednesday 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 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, we 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, we 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 working to track this. 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 196 Taranaki Street, Wellington Central; 178 Bedford Street, Cannons Creek Porirua; and the Lower Hutt Central CBAC. You 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 you to the correct phone number to book a test.

You can also visit https://www.ccdhb.org.nz/our-services/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.

The five new cases from managed isolation are all at our Auckland quarantine facility:

· One case who arrived from Italy via Hawaii on 3 November and who tested positive at around day 3 routine testing.
· Two cases who arrived from the United Arab Emirates on 3 November and who tested positive at around day 3 routine testing. Please note these people did not travel together.
· One case who arrived from Romania via Doha and Australia on 3 November and tested positive at around day 3 routine testing.
· One case who arrived from Germany via the United Arab Emirates on 5 November and was taken directly to the quarantine facility after appearing symptomatic.

One previously reported case is now considered to have recovered. Our total number of active cases is 48. Our total number of confirmed cases is now 1,626.

Yesterday our laboratories completed 4,116 tests for COVID-19, bringing the total number of tests completed to date to 1,136,936.

4 comments:

  1. TrevorH, 9. November 2020, 7:10

    Are quarantine facility staff being adequately tested? Why are people not required to take a test before being allowed to fly into New Zealand? That might not catch every case but it would reduce the risk. We have sacrificed too much for our “COVID-free” status to have it squandered by sloppy procedures.

     
  2. Claire, 9. November 2020, 15:07

    Even if you are tested before leaving you could still develop covid en route. Or catch from a fellow passenger. Quarantine is a whole cycle including asymptomatic period. Maybe quarantine would work before people leave from hotspots. Again though there is still the plane travel.

     
  3. TrevorH, 9. November 2020, 18:51

    @Claire. If you test people before they catch the plane it is likely you will reduce the risk of infection, even if you can’t eliminate it. That is worth doing. The whole system is based on risk mitigation.

     
  4. Claire, 9. November 2020, 22:03

    Trevor the minute after you have a test you are still at risk unless you are in quarantine.Your suggestion would have been actioned if the experts thought it was worth it. The only way to shut down the risk is to be in quarantine for 14 days – the whole cycle of infection. You are wasting your time otherwise.