Daily COVID-19 Developments (13.09.20)

Daily COVID-19 Developments (13.09.20)

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There are 2 new total cases of COVID-19 to report in New Zealand today.

The first new cases is a returnee New Zealander in managed isolation. The second new case is a health worker that works in Auckland’s quarantine facility.

The total number of active cases of COVID-19 is 97. Of those, 39 are imported cases in MIQ facilities, and 58 are community cases.

There are 3 people with COVID-19 in hospital today.

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2 are currently in ICU (Intensive Care Unit).

The number of COVID-19 related deaths in New Zealand is 24.

The 2 new cases bring a total number of confirmed cases to 1,446, which is the number MOH (Ministry of Health) reports to the World Health Organization. 

Case information:
The one case who is a returnee New Zealander in managed isolation arrived from South Africa on 8 September and continues to be in quarantine in Canterbury.

The second new case is a health worker that works at Auckland’s quarantine facility Jet Park managing people in quarantine after they test positive for COVID-19. Five household contacts are in isolation at their home and are being tested today.

This case is still being investigated to decide if the infection spread from the community or from within the quarantine facility. At this stage, there are no obvious links to other cases in the community that have been established.

Thorough tracing of which people in quarantine the health worker had contact with is being initiated.  Genome testing will happen to see what strain of the virus the health worker has to help identify the source of where it come from. This case, which was found of routine weekly testing just shows the value of the routine testing for all staff.

The health worker was tested last week and the test returned as a negative test. So, the worker might have picked up the virus in between the weekly tests which are done as part of the regular testing of people that are working in the facility.

The results of genomic testing are expected to show on Monday and will help to tell where it has come from with the investigation.

For the first time, a staff member at Jet Park tested positive for COVID-19 in five-and-a-half months of operation. During that time, the facility has processed and managed 2,532 individuals and their close contacts, who have been transported from the border, from other managed isolation facilities and the community.

The Auckland Regional Public Health Service will be working closely with the quarantine facility to make sure double-checking protocols and procedures for keeping safe both staff and people they’re caring for will be a priority.

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“We know that staff working in the quarantine facility are at a higher risk of infection than the general population, which reinforces the importance of the protections already in place.”

The full in-depth information and precautionary steps are now being taken within the facility; this consists of tracking the worker’s recent movements, standing down and testing close contacts and this will be provided today by the Managed Isolation and Quarantine team.

Close contacts that staff were in contact with have been stood down and a deep clean of staff areas at the facility were completed.  

“All staff at the quarantine facility are being retested over the next 48 hours.  That process began last night with 48 staff tested and more are being tested today.  A mobile testing unit will be operating at the quarantine facility today assisting the usual testing service.”

PPE is one of a number of stability measures used by staff at quarantine facilities and a review by the Infection Prevention Control service by the Northern Managed Facilities Quality and Risk team will be taken to see if the source of the infection can be detected.

Mt Roskill Evangelical Fellowship group:
There is 33 cases in the Mt Roskill Evangelical Fellowship group and 15 cases in the bereavement events group, which includes the cases whose source of infection was the bereavement events.

Both groups are working closely with public health staff to manage the outbreak and limit any further spread of the virus.  

“Leaders of the Mt Roskill Evangelical Fellowship have actively encouraged all members of the congregation to get retested for COVID-19 and comply with other public health advice such as self-isolation.”

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As reported yesterday, 98 per cent of the congregation has now been tested.  Similarly, 98% of those attending bereavement events have now also been tested.

“We want to thank them again for their participation in contributing to our efforts to control the wider Auckland cluster.”

Tracing/Testing:
There are currently 63 people linked to the community cluster who remain in the Auckland quarantine facility, this includes 38 people who have tested positive for COVID-19 and their household close contacts.  

Since August 11, the contact tracing teams have identified 3,664 close contacts of cases, of which 3,650 have been contacted and are self-isolating. The teams are in the process of contacting the rest.

Yesterday testing laboratories processed 7,211 tests, bringing the total number of tests completed to date to 864,469.

Hospital/Recoveries:
One is in isolation on a ward in Auckland City Hospital. Two are in ICU, at North Shore and Waikato hospitals.

13 cases have additionally recovered.

On September 4 a man in his 50’s passed away with COVID-19. Earlier today (5Sept) there was a confirmation of a second death related to COVID-19. The total casualties in New Zealand are now 24.

NZ COVID Tracer App:
There are now 2,199,500 users registered on NZ COVID Tracer.

The app has recorded a total of 55,864,131 poster scans, and users have created 2,804,191 manual diary entries in NZ COVID Tracer.

There have been 368,120 QR codes created to be displayed around the country.

App Updates:
On September 9, 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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