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Source: New Zealand Ministry of Health

There is one new case of COVID-19 to report in New Zealand – the worker at the Auckland quarantine facility announced by the Ministry on Friday night. 

In addition to the new case, there is one historical case being added to New Zealand’s total case numbers.

The historical case is a recent returnee who arrived in New Zealand on 5 October from London via Singapore. Upon arrival at their managed isolation facility they alerted staff to their previous positive test which was confirmed in London on 19 September. They were tested again and returned a positive result on 5 October, with a high CT value indicating an old infection, consistent with this earlier positive result. We are awaiting confirmation that the case has been recorded in the United Kingdom totals, and until then are classifying it as a historical case which will be reported in our case numbers. 

Three previously reported cases are now considered to have recovered, bringing the total number of active cases to 43. 

Our total number of confirmed cases is now 1,620. 

Yesterday our laboratories completed 5,834 tests for COVID-19, bringing the total number of tests completed to date to 1,132,820. 

Quarantine worker case in Auckland

Upon receiving the positive result from the worker in the Auckland quarantine facility, our systems quickly responded to ensure the risk of the virus spreading was contained.

This person is now in isolation at the quarantine facility. 

We have identified 25 close contacts of the worker, and they have all been contacted, are isolated, and are being tested. To date, six have returned a negative test result and the remaining are pending. 

As in other cases, this person quickly got tested after developing symptoms, which has allowed us to act quickly to stop the spread of the virus. 

A review of the movements of the case and their contacts is underway – the case has provided a very detailed account of their movements which has informed a rapid contact tracing response. 

The two premises visited by the worker during their infectious period closed for a deep clean, and we thank them for their cooperation in ensuring the public are protected from this virus. 

Less than 20 people received an alert from NZ COVID Tracer notifying them that they had scanned in to the business at the same time as the person who has later tested positive for COVID-19. 

This case once again reinforces the importance of everyone who is able to using the app to keep a record of where they have been – it allows our contact tracing team to quickly notify you if you may have been exposed to this virus, and allows you to take immediate action to protect yourself, your whanau, and your community. 

Testing is widely available for the public in Auckland, at community testing centres and urgent care clinics across the city. Details on where to get tested are available on the Auckland Regional Public Health Service website

A pop-up testing clinic has also been running at the Auckland quarantine facility since this morning to test all staff. This is supplementary to the regular testing that workers in managed isolation facilities undertake as part of ensuring the virus does not leave the facility. Additional testing is also underway for staff who work at other managed isolation facilities who are staying in the same accommodation facility as this case. 

The different layers of protection we have in place are working together to prevent and manage risks.

Managed isolation workers are regularly tested. As in other recent cases this worker quickly got tested as soon as they became aware of symptoms. The early identification of cases along with rapid contact tracing assists in stopping any spread of the virus.

We want to acknowledge the important work being done at New Zealand’s managed isolation and quarantine facilities. 

Thanks to our workers, tens of thousands of people have returned from overseas and completed their managed isolation stay safely, before returning to communities. 

We take the safety of our workers and their families, whânau and broader communities very seriously. That’s because the people who work in managed isolation and quarantine facilities do essential work to keep COVID-19 out of Aotearoa. 

From the time facility staff arrive at work, through to when they get home, they follow health and safety guidelines, which includes regular testing. 

We want to emphasise how important it is to be kind and show aroha to the workers in our managed isolation and quarantine facilities. Like all New Zealanders, their wellbeing matters. Please take the opportunity, whenever you can, to show them your support. 

Managed isolation worker cases in Christchurch 

The genome sequencing results for health care worker Case B from the Sudima Hotel Christchurch Airport has shown a clear link with the international mariners, but their genome is different from Case A.
 
Both cases had lineages of the virus not previously seen in the community in New Zealand. 
 
The finding supports the current theory that there were two separate events infecting both workers at the facility.  
 
While it’s clear the infection came from the mariners, investigation continues to see if we can find out more about how the possible infection occurred.

All of Case A and Case B’s close contacts have now returned a negative result. 

International mariners

The international mariners who have been staying in managed isolation at the Sudima Hotel at Christchurch Airport have now departed the facility to board their ships. 

Last night we reported seven mariners as remaining behind in the Sudima. Of those, three are now considered to have recovered and have been cleared for release.

One additional mariner has remained behind after reporting symptoms during their departure health screening. They have been tested and returned a negative result, but will need to be symptom free for 48 hours before being cleared to depart.

Media contact
Aimee Gulliver
021 870 033

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