Daily COVID-19 Developments (24.09.20)

Daily COVID-19 Developments (24.09.20)

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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 65; of those, 31 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 1,471, which is the number MOH (Ministry of Health) reports to the World Health Organization. 

Case information:
The three new cases are all recent returnees and are all in managed isolation, no new cases are from the community.

The three cases are all separate and arrived on different flights from the United States on September 18th; from London via Dubai on September 16th and from Croatia via Frankfurt and Dubai on September 18th.

Two people are are in quarantine in Auckland; the third case is in quarantine in Rotorua. 32 people are currently isolating in the Auckland quarantine facility from the community. 15 people who have tested positive for COVID-19 are also and their household contacts.

Yesterday’s cases update:
Public health services are continuing to contact trace, test and isolate close contacts of the three community cases that were reported yesterday.
The three people are part of the same family group – two were in managed isolation in Christchurch and returned home of a chartered flight, while the third is a household contact.

Two of the people were tested as they were known flight contacts of the original case; the third was tested because they were a household contact.

The family of which has been self-isolating over the last four days.

Interviews have taken place with the three new cases.

The family travelled to Taupo between 18 and 20September, where they met up with 18 others from 5 locations around New Zealand. Those 18 people, who travelled from Bay of Plenty, Wellington, Christchurch and Hamilton are all considered close contacts.

In addition to those 18 people, another 13 people have been identified as close contacts. All 31 contacts have been or are in the process of being tested and all are isolating.
Public health services have been in contact with businesses where individuals may have visited while infectious.  

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Places and times of those visits assessed as requiring public notice at this stage are:
-Christchurch domestic airport, 11 September, 10.30-12.30PM
-Hot pools at DeBretts Spa Resort, Taupo, Taupo, 18 Sept, 2.30-7.00PM
-Taupo Tandem Skydiving based at Taupo Airport, 19 Sept, 2.00-3.30PM
-Just Cuts, Westfield, St Lukes, Thursday 17 September, 4.00-5.00PM

The National Contact Tracing team is working to identify other locations of interest and expects to be able to issue exposure notices through the COVID Tracer App.

“It’s pleasing to note the extensive use of the NZ COVID Tracer app by one of these cases has significantly assisted contact tracing efforts. Anyone visiting these places at these times should be vigilant of their health and get tested if they develop symptoms.”

Christchurch to Auckland flight update:
A recent flight that went from Christchurch to Auckland had a mad who later tested positive in Auckland but was negative in Christchurch (when he left managed isolation) had people who were on the flight get tested.

The Ministry provided an update today on the case of the man who left MIQ in Christchurch having returned negative tests for COVID-19 and then tested positive in Auckland.

86 people were on that flight. 70 people currently have returned negative results and 6 people were previously reported positive cases that do not require further testing; 3 are recently reported positive cases, 7 are pending.

Tracing/Testing:
Testing laboratories processed 6,142 tests, bringing the total number of tests completed to date to 930,779.

Since August 11, contact tracing teams have identified 4,044 close contacts of cases, of which 4,025 have been contacted and are self-isolating or have completed self-isolation. The tracing teams are in the process of contacting the rest.

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

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

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.”

The total casualties in New Zealand are 25.

NZ COVID Tracer App:
So far there have been 2,259,500 users registered on NZ COVID Tracer.

The app has recorded a total of 72,694,242 poster scans.

Users have created 3,238,450 manual diary entries in NZ COVID Tracer.

“It’s a timely reminder, with the move down alert levels this week, that businesses are still required to display the official NZ COVID Tracer QR codes across all alert levels.”

The Ministry of Health says they will be contacting all businesses that have so far generated QR codes to provide them with new copies of their posters in case they have been damaged or removed. Any business that has not already generated an official QR code can get started by visiting the Ministry of Health website.

“QR code posters should be printed in A4, in colour if possible and should be displayed in a prominent place or near the main entrance. The top of the poster should be approximately 1300 mm from the ground so everyone can scan.”

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.

To see all live daily updates covered by thisquality, click here

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