The Director-General of Health has provided updated information around the two active cases announced yesterday.
“We have always expected that New Zealand would get more cases of COVID-19, especially with more people from overseas coming into the country,” said Dr Ashley Bloomfield.
“COVID-19 remains a serious pandemic continuing to affect many countries. We are not immune to further cases arriving on our shores.
“The risk of spread of COVID-19 from these two cases while they were travelling to New Zealand and in the managed isolation facility they were in is low but not impossible, so we are ensuring all steps are in place to mitigate the risk.
“As Director-General of Health, I have overall system responsibility for the health operations of our self-isolation facilities and exemptions.
“In this instance, these individuals should have been tested prior to leaving the managed isolation facility.
“I am taking responsibility for ensuring this does not happen again.
“We have put in place a number of actions to provide the public and Government assurance that anyone arriving into New Zealand does not pose any risk from COVID-19.”
Actions taken to date include:
- Ensuring that no one leaves a managed isolation facility without having had a negative COVID-19 test including those on compassionate grounds
- Ensuring that all people in isolation are tested on around days 3 and 12.
Cases and tracing
The two people reported as confirmed cases yesterday remain in self-isolation and are doing well.
There is one family member isolating with them who is being monitored daily by the local public health unit. The Ministry of Health is managing wider contact tracing from the National Contact Tracing unit.
We are treating anyone on the flight or in the facility at the same time as the cases as if they are close contacts who have potentially been exposed. We are getting them all tested and isolated until a negative result is received.
At this point, there are 320 identified close contacts. The majority of these will have been contacted by the end of the day. All of these people will be encouraged to get a test.
We are confident there was no contact made with anyone on the journey between Auckland and Wellington.
The actions of these two individuals have been exemplary in terms of following health advice and the agreed plan on departure from the facility.
I want to thank them for their cooperation and ask that their privacy continues to be respected during this time.
Today we have no new cases of COVID-19 to report.
Our total number of confirmed cases is now 1,156, which is the number we report to the World Health Organization.
Our combined total of confirmed and probable cases is now 1,506.
The number of recovered cases remains at 1,482.
There are no additional deaths to report.
There is no one in New Zealand receiving hospital-level care for COVID-19.
Yesterday our laboratories completed 3,603 tests, bringing the total completed to date to 316,251.
An additional significant cluster – Matamata – has now closed. This means four significant clusters remain open.
A cluster is considered to be closed when there have been no new cases for two incubation periods (i.e. 28 days) from the date when all cases have completed isolation.
NZ COVID Tracer
NZ COVID Tracer has now recorded 562,000 registrations – that’s an increase of 4,000 since this time yesterday.