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The Minister of Health Chris Hipkins and Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield provided an update on COVID-19 at 1:00 pm today.
13 new total cases. 12 in the community and one in managed isolation.
The number of active cases is 69, of which 49 are from the recent community outbreak, and 20 are reported cases in managed isolation and quarantine facilities.
The 13 new cases bring a total number of confirmed cases to 1,271, which is the number MOH (Ministry of Health) reports to the World Health Organization.
The case in managed isolation is a child who arrived in New Zealand on August 3 from Afghanistan via Dubai. They have been in managed isolation at the Pullman Hotel and tested negative around day 3 of their stay, then positive around day 12 of their stay. They have been transferred to the Auckland quarantine facility.
The 12 cases in the community are all Auckland-based and based on current information none has travelled outside of Auckland recently.
From early investigations, all have a connection to the existing outbreak as close contacts of cases already reported.
There are three people receiving hospital-level care for COVID-19. Two are in Auckland City Hospital on a ward, and one person is in Middlemore on a ward. One is the person who we have previously reported as being in hospital, one has been admitted overnight from the Auckland quarantine facility, and one person connected to the community outbreak has also been admitted to hospital.
To date, 66 people linked to the cluster have now been moved into the Auckland quarantine facility, including 29 people who have tested positive for COVID-19.
Of the 49 cases in the community outbreak, 46 are linked to the cluster, and three remain under investigation but are believed to be linked to the same cluster.
The national tracing service has 1,536 close contacts identified; they have contacted 1,322 as at 10 am this morning, and they are all self-isolating. The Ministry of Health is in the process of contacting the remaining close contacts.
If you are called by one of our contact tracing team please take or return the call.
In addition to Americold and Finance Now and the educational organisations, the Ministry of Health have also had contact with, also have been working closely with religious institutions in relation to contact tracing and testing.
“We are aware that one of the positive cases in Tokoroa was present at the Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology – Tokoroa campus on 10 and 11 August. We have also been working closely with Toi Ohomai to ensure anyone who needs to know about potential exposure has been contacted and given advice,” said Ministry of Health in a press release.
Contact tracing is well progressed with this, but if you were also present in the vicinity at this time please also monitor your health and contact Healthline or your GP with any concerns.
“We ask all workplaces, churches and other institutions to keep up to date records of their staff, volunteers and members, so we can quickly contact anyone from a particular site as we may need to. These institutions have all been very helpful in responding to this situation we thank them for their efforts and cooperation,” said Ministry of Health in a press release.
Yesterday, laboratories processed 23,682 tests for COVID-19, bringing the total number of tests completed to date to 571,942.
Because of the high volumes that we are seeing it may take up to 48 hours for swabs to be processed through the labs. All results still need to be reported back through primary care and reported back to the patient which can add to the time for an individual to hear their result.
“We are continuing to see unprecedented testing across the country and our laboratories have responded exceptionally well to meet the demand,” said Ministry of Health in a press release.
All parts of this process are currently under pressure and delays may be seen at various points.
Only people who fit the criteria should get tested so that the highest risk swabs are getting processed as quickly as possible. Swabs of close contacts and other high-risk people are prioritised and those with positive results are alerted quickly.
NZ COVID Tracer has now recorded 1,374,200 registered users, which is an increase of 71,000 in the previous 24 hours.
There have now been 193,505 QR codes generated – an increase of 7,025 in the past 24 hours.
The number of poster scans has now reached 5,293,568.
Lastly, on our website we will be describing this outbreak separately to our overall COVID cases – these cases will still be included in the overall totals but this outbreak has distinct characteristics separate to our previous outbreak and we will now be reporting it separately online.
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