No more Covid-19 community cases yet

By Te Ao - Māori News

Despite intensive testing, no new community cases of Covid-19 have yet been found to the relief of health officials and Northland residents.

Two cases in managed isolation hotels have been reported in New Zealand since yesterday.

The two new cases have come from Japan and Portugal (via UAE and Malaysia) and were both tested on the first day of their managed isolation. They are now in quarantine in Auckland.

One previously reported case has now recovered. The total number of active cases in New Zealand is 65.  The total number of confirmed cases is 1,934.

Northland case update

Sixteen people have been identified as potential close contacts of the previously reported case in Northland. Fifteen people have returned negative tests, including a household contact of the case. 

A last close contact is awaiting their test result. A total of 157 staff from the managed isolation facility at Pullman Hotel have been tested, along with 192 guests currently in the facility. Of those, 30 still have test results to come, and all others have returned negative results.

Contact tracing staff are following up with 357 people who departed the managed isolation facility between January 9 and 24. Of that number, 325 have been contacted, are in isolation and have been or are being tested. The remaining former guests are being followed up today.

Some 187 people received a push notification as a result of having scanned into one of 31 locations of interest. A further location was added yesterday and is on the ministry’s website. A total of 154 people have been identified as ‘casual plus’ contacts, as a result of either the push notification or after speaking with Healthline following media publicity. These people are being tested and are isolating until they receive their result.

The source investigation into how the Northland case was infected continues today at the managed isolation facility. This includes reviewing CCTV footage at the facility and looking at whether the infection may have occurred from person-to-person or surface transmission, or airborne transmission, including possibly through the ventilation system.

Testing in the community

Yesterday more than 1500 people were tested at community testing centres around Northland.

The Northland District Health Board says that the rate of testing per 1,000 people was greater for Mâori than any other ethnicity in Northland.

Due to the demand at Covid-19 testing stations, delays are expected and requests are being made for people to be patient. Extra staff from Counties Manukau have given their support to testing sites around the region. However, it is being repeated that those who were not at a location of interest at the stated times and do not have symptoms do not need to be tested.