Covid update: 'We're not out of the woods yet'

By Te Ao - Māori News

More than 16,000 Covid tests were processed yesterday and no new community cases have been reported today.

Two new cases have been detected in managed isolation hotels in Auckland. One appears to be historical and is deemed non-infectious and the other is a person who has travelled from India.

At a media conference today, Health Director-General Dr Ashley Bloomfield expressed thanks to the families in Auckland who have been affected by Covid-19.

"I just want to thank all of those who have been affected by the latest cases of Covid-19 in the Auckland community for their cooperation with isolation and testing requirements," he said.

"I recognise it's quite an imposition on you and your whānau and it is because of your actions that we can increasingly be confident through the week that we are getting out of the outbreak."

KFC worker

The KFC worker who had tested positive as a part of the February outbreak has responded to criticism she has received on social media from the public.

She says she was never told to self-isolate.

"It's not fair on our end that we're getting all this backlash for something that we haven't actually done," she told Discovery.

Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said clear guidance was sent out to all of the families who were considered close and casual contacts to the original positive cases in February.

"The person went to work on February 22 despite the fact that at that point there were two people in the household showing symptoms and no-one had been tested."

Hipkins said there was enough information for the family to know they should not have been engaging with the community.

Vaccine programme

As of midnight last night, 9431 people received their first vaccine jab. Some 6,688 of them were from the Auckland region.

“We are well on our way to ensuring those who are most at risk of Covid-19, the cleaners, nurses who carry out health checks in MIQ, security staff, customs and border officials, hotel workers, airline staff, port authorities and vaccinators will be protected from this virus,” Hipkins said.

“I’m also pleased to confirm that a third shipment of Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines arrived safely yesterday afternoon, which adds a further 65,500 doses, bringing the total number of Covid-19 vaccines in New Zealand to 200,000."

Hipkins said the ministry plans to ramp up the vaccination programme, as it moves to vaccinate border workers' families and household contacts. They will then move to frontline health and emergency staff – those people who may be exposed to Covid-19 while doing their jobs.

Border workers' families and household contacts will start getting vaccinated next week.