Daily COVID-19 Developments (23.09.20)

Daily COVID-19 Developments (23.09.20)

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There are 3 new total cases of COVID-19 to report in New Zealand today.

The total number of active cases of COVID-19 is 62; of those, 28 are imported cases in MIQ facilities, and 34 are community cases.

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

No cases are currently in ICU (Intensive Care Unit).

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The number of COVID-19 related deaths in New Zealand is 25.

The 3 new cases bring a total number of confirmed cases to 1,468, which is the number MOH (Ministry of Health) reports to the World Health Organization. 

Case information:
Today’s three new community cases are a family group linked to a previously reported Christchurch to Auckland chartered flight. They have been self-isolating over the last three days.

None of the new community cases is connected to Auckland’s August community cluster.

37 people are currently isolating in the Auckland quarantine facility from the community. The does also include 17 people who have tested positive for COVID-19 and their household contacts.

Six historical cases have been reported, made up of one confirmed case dating back to February and five probable historical cases connected to the case also dating back to February.

Of the six historical cases dating back to February, one of these is a confirmed historical case and there are five probable historical cases linked. Additional detail is provided below.

Tracing/Testing:
Testing laboratories processed 6,938 tests, bringing the total number of tests completed to date to 924,637.

Since August 11, contact tracing teams have identified 4,014 close contacts of cases, of which 4,006 have been contacted and are self-isolating or have completed self-isolation. The tracing teams are in the process of contacting the rest.

Hospital/Recoveries:
One case is at each Auckland City, Middlemore and North Shore hospitals.

All three patients are in isolation on a general ward at the hospitals.

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Three cases have recovered from COVID-19 in today’s report.

On September 4 a man in his 50’s passed away with COVID-19. On Sept 5 there was a confirmation of a second death related to COVID-19.

On Sept 16 the Ministry of Health reported to media that a man who had COVID-19 sadly died. The man was In his 50s, he was a confirmed case of COVID-19 linked to the Auckland cluster. The man was admitted to Waikato Hospital on August 19 then transferred to ICU on August 26. Sadly, he passed away yesterday afternoon.

The man’s whanau has asked us to tell the country that “coronavirus is so real”, and to be very vigilant and cautious.

They have issued a plea to all New Zealanders: “if you are sick and have symptoms, stay home”.

This man’s death again emphasises the importance of reducing transmission of the virus and also the consequences it can have.

There have now been 25 COVID-19 related deaths in New Zealand.

“Our thoughts are with this man’s family and friends during this difficult time as they mourn the loss of their loved one. They have requested privacy as they grieve, and we ask that that is respected.”

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The total casualties in New Zealand is 25.

NZ COVID Tracer App:
So far there has been 2,255,500 users registered on NZ COVID Tracer.

The app has recorded a total of 72,556,153 poster scans.

Users have created 3,203,810 manual diary entries in NZ COVID Tracer.

App contact alert information:
The Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield says, “we know the app has been making a real difference to the work of our contact tracers. App uptake was also a key factor in the decision to ease physical distancing requirements for public transport so it’s great when people have it and use it.”

A total of 18 alerts sent to contacts have been announced through the app to let people know they might have been exposed to COVID-19, this means they can take relevant steps to protect themselves, their whânau and the community.

Four other alerts were related to the recent case involving a health worker at Auckland’s quarantine facility.

“When we need to send an alert, we can customise it so people who have visited locations with a higher risk of exposure are advised to self-isolate and get tested, while people who visited lower-risk locations can be asked to look out for any COVID-19 symptoms.”

The contact tracing team points to the app as a ‘good example’ of blending technology with human reality.  

“Up to date contact information provided through the app makes the contact and interview process much quicker and easier. It’s been great to see wide uptake and use of the app over recent weeks,” says Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield.  

“It’s vital people continue to do so as we move down alert levels – it needs to be part of our daily routines.”

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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