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There are 4 new total cases of COVID-19 to report in New Zealand today. Two are reported as community cases linked to Auckland’s August cluster, and the other two are cases detected at managed isolation facilities.
The two cases of the four have epidemiological links to existing cases and link back to the Mt Roskill Evangelical Fellowship group.
The total number of active cases of COVID-19 is 120. Of those, 39 are imported cases in MIQ facilities, and 81 are community cases.
There are 3 people with COVID-19 in hospital today.
2 are currently in ICU (Intensive Care Unit).
The number of COVID-19 related deaths in New Zealand is 24.
The 4 new cases bring a total number of confirmed cases to 1,441, which is the number MOH (Ministry of Health) reports to the World Health Organization.
One of the isolation facility cases is a man in his 30s, the other isolation facility case is a woman in her 50s. They arrived in New Zealand on a flight from India on 27 August. They were in a Christchurch isolation facility and did test positive on day 12 testing. The two isolation facility cases are currently in quarantine.
On the two community cases, both are an epidemiological link to existing cases in the bereavement sub-cluster and back to the Mt Roskill Evangelical Fellowship group.
“One factor that it’s important to underline here is that this sub-cluster has come about as a result of a contact of a case having close contact with other people. As far as we can tell, they were unaware they had been infected and were incubating and spreading the virus at the time. This underscores the importance of close contacts following the public health advice they’re given which includes strict self-isolation even if they don’t have symptoms, and even if they have returned a negative test,”
“We are aware that church leaders are actively encouraging all members of the congregation to retest by Friday and to comply with other public health advice such as self-isolation. As a result of this cooperation, by 8 am today, labs had registered new tests for 64% of the congregation (213 of the 332 people),” said the Ministry of Health to media.
There are currently 101 people reported as close contacts that are associated with this sub-cluster. Health officials of the Public have been making daily phone calls to close contacts to do symptom checks on the close connections of the cluster.
It is reported that compliance is at a ‘high degree’ according to contact tracing teams.
Auckland’s public health has good testing coverage of the area; it has only needed to set an additional testing site in Mt Roskill. The testing site is set up at the Mt Roskill War Memorial, and is open from 9 am to 4 pm.
There are also pop-up testing stations that can move to new locations every couple of days to respond to community need.
St Dominic’s College:
The school has done a deep clean and has also tested of all Staff and students. The Ministry says ‘it is well underway’.
Many members of the school community were tested or have been tested ever since they were told there was a case on Tuesday afternoon.
Testers have been provided with a ‘surveillance code’ for testing of asymptomatic Staff or students of the school community so it can keep track of the numbers.
As at 11 am today, labs had recorded 561 tests from the surveillance code.
There have been other additional tests, where the person identified did not specifically specify if they were connected with St Dominic’s College.
“Staff and students have been provided with access to two dedicated testing centres not open to the general Public. This means they can be tested without long waits and the results can be processed as quickly as possible – tests from these sites are prioritised at laboratories. The vast majority of students at St Dominic’s are casual contacts, and being tested as a precaution. If these students and Staff are well and have no symptoms of COVID-19, they do not need to self-isolate, while waiting for test results,” said the Ministry of Health.
Close contacts were advised that they do need to stay in self-isolation for a duration of 14 days, even if their test result returns as a negative.
There are now 72 people linked to the community cluster who remain in the Auckland quarantine facility, which includes 56 people who have tested positive for COVID-19 and their household contacts.
Since 11 August, contact tracing teams have identified 3,372 close contacts of cases, of which 3,354 have been contacted and are self-isolating. Contact tracers are in the process of contacting the rest or to identify the rest.
One case is in isolation on a ward at North Shore Hospital. Two other cases are in ICU, at North Shore and Waikato hospitals.
Nine cases have additionally recovered.
Laboratories yesterday have processed 7,950 tests for COVID-19, bringing the total number of tests completed to date to 839,467
NZ COVID Tracer App:
The NZ COVID Tracer app by the Ministry of Health has recorded 2,171,700 registered users so far.
There have been 364,812 QR codes created and displayed at entrances to shops and businesses around the country.
There have been 49,717,733 poster scans recorded so far from the registered users.
Yesterday, the Ministry of Health announced new updates to the COVID Tracer App.
The new NZ COVID Tracer app update will mean that the scanner will open directly to the scan screen, but only if they are logged in. A smart feature also means you can bypass the login screen to scan a QR code if you do not have much time to enter your COVID Tracer password.
Diary entries for the NZ COVID Tracer app will now be stored in your phone for 60 days instead of 31, as previously they were deleted at 31 days– this will make it easier for contact tracers to establish links between possible cases or links to COVID-19.
“Note that this doesn’t in any way affect the security of your information – the Ministry cannot access your digital diary unless you choose to share it with us after a request from a contact tracer.”
The Ministry is recommending that you are adding notes to your diary entries to record who you were with to ensure contact tracing is a lot quicker. The app now allows you to do this as you’re scanning a QR code or a specified time to add them when you can.
The Ministry also announced to media that the NZ COVID Tracer booklet is also available from the COVID19 Government website to help people keep a written record of where they’ve been and who they’ve seen if they cannot download the NZ COVID Tracer app.
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