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New Zealand-Community case is South African strain + 2 more cases announced locally...more news following...

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  • New Zealand-Community case is South African strain + 2 more cases announced locally...more news following...

    Community case is South African strain
    24 Jan, 2021 08:23 PM

    The Covid-19 community case in Northland is the South African strain, Covid recovery minister Chris Hipkins says.

    The South African variant is more infectious than the original strain of coronavirus.

    "The source of the infection is high likely to be a fellow returnee during the person's stay at the Pullman Hotel," Hipkins said.

    "This is good news because it means we know where the source of infection is and we don't have to divert our scientists and health experts from other Covid-related work."...

  • #2
    Sally just told me over skype that there are 2 new cases who stayed in the hotel as the above case. This info is not on the international news sites yet. News is developing on this...


    • #3
      The Ministry of Health is carrying out “urgent testing” after two more people tested positive for Covid-19 after leaving managed isolation.

      The pair were staying at the Pullman Hotel in the CBD – the same facility where the Northland community case stayed – They have returned weak positive test results, and are at home isolating, “It is yet to be confirmed if they are recent or historical infections.

      After news of the case broke on Sunday, all 353 people who were at the Pullman at the same time as the affected woman were asked to self-isolate and be tested for Covid-19


      • #4
        bump this


        • #5
          Update on Northland case
          Page last updated: 27 January 2021

          All potential close contacts of the previously reported Northland case have now returned negative test results.

          The local public health unit has reviewed the status of a number of potential close contacts and has reclassified them as casual plus contacts.

          A total of 212 staff from the managed isolation facility at Pullman Hotel have been tested, along with 192 guests currently in the facility. The vast majority of the test results received so far are negative, we are awaiting a small number of results. We’ll be able to give an updated number when available.

          Of the 353 people who departed the managed isolation facility between 9 and 24 January, 255 people have returned negative tests.

          Contact tracing staff are continuing to follow up with the remaining 98 recently departed guests to ensure they have their test. Today’s number of 353 differs from yesterday’s 357 as since then three people have left the country and since ben referred to their own health authorities while another record has been deleted as it was a double up.

          327 people received a push notification as a result of having scanned into one of 31 locations of interest.
          Testing in the community

          Testing numbers in Northland remain high – yesterday 983 tests were taken around the region.

          Testing staff in Northland inform us that yesterday’s rush on community testing centres had eased by early afternoon and we want to extend our thanks to people for recognising the importance of getting a test and when.

          A reminder that if you were not at a location of interest at the stated times and you have no symptoms you do not need to be tested.

          If you were at the locations of interest at the times stated, you need to get a test, and remain isolated until you receive the result.

          If you have symptoms but have not been to a location of interest stay home and call Healthline for advice.

          Testing centres around Northland remain open and free today for people who need a test. Nine community based testing centres remain open, while another is available for testing on request. Further details can be found here: COVID-19 Testing in Northland


          • #6
            2 border-related COVID-19 cases confirmed

            Media release

            27 January 2021

            Two people who completed their managed isolation in the same facility and at the same time as the Northland case are now being treated as confirmed COVID-19 infections.

            “While we still can’t categorically rule these out as historical infections, test results so far indicate the two people may have contracted COVID-19 towards the end of their stay in managed isolation, after returning two negative tests each during their stay”, said Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield.

            “It’s too early to early to make a firm conclusion. Genome sequencing results, which are expected tomorrow, and serology results expected the following day, will help develop the picture further.”

            However, out of an abundance of caution we are now responding as if these are confirmed current infections.
            Locations of interest

            The Ministry of Health website has a list of exposure events which include a location, date and time. Contact tracing locations of interest.

            People who have visited those locations during the time period, and as ever, anyone in Auckland with symptoms, are asked to isolate and call Healthline to arrange a test and remain isolated until they receive their result.

            “It’s important the right people isolate and get tested, so we don’t overwhelm testing centres,” said Dr Bloomfield.

            “We understand that many will be anxious, but it’s important to remember we are carrying out these measures as a precaution. There is no evidence so far that suggests community transmission — but we need the right people to isolate and get tested.”

            This will come as news to some locations of interest as we move quickly to respond and we thank them for their understanding and cooperation.

            The two former returnees were initially classified as under investigation after returning positive tests and pending further investigation to determine if the infections were recent or historical. They returned a second positive test with a higher CT value which led to them being treated as confirmed cases.

            A third person in the family’s bubble has tested negative. The two family members who tested positive are in the process of being moved to Auckland’s quarantine facility.

            The two positive cases completed quarantine on 15 January and have been residing in North Auckland since.

            Further interviews are being carried out to determine the family’s detailed movements since they left managed isolation to identify close and casual contacts.

            A number of steps have already been put in place at the Pullman hotel including:
            • a deep clean of commonly used areas
            • tighter restrictions on movement of returnees including no arrivals or departures
            • increasing hotel ventilation
            • requesting returnees who’ve recently left, to not fly, to stay home and have an additional test within 48 hours
            • restricting staff from working at other sites
            • tighter restrictions on movement of returnees including no arrivals or departures from the facility.
            Testing centres

            A number of walk-in / drive-thru community testing centres will be open in Auckland — some with extended hours. These can be found on the ARPHS website and Healthline will have this information too.

            The website also includes extra pop-up community testing centres, targeted to North Auckland.
            Public health advice

            In addition, Aucklanders and people travelling to the city should follow key public health advice: wash your hands; use a mask on public transport; use the NZ Covid Tracer App; if you develop symptoms, isolate and seek advice from Healthline about getting tested.

            Media contact
            Peter Abernethy
            021 366 111



            • #7
              The two new Auckland Covid cases in the community have the same South African strain of the virus as the Northland woman infected at the Pullman Hotel.

              The pair are an adult and a child, Covid Response Minister Chris Hipkins confirmed this morning


              • #8

                And Hipkins is now talking to The AM Show
                He provided some more details on the genome testing information
                "The preliminary genomic testing result indicates there's a reasonably close link to the Northland case we've been dealing with.
                "So it's not an identical match but it's a very close match, which would suggest that at this point the most likely scenario is that we're dealing with an infection within the Pullman - that they've picked it up within the Pullman."


                • #9
                  The pair completed their managed isolation in the same facility and at the same time as the Northland community case.

                  They left quarantine at the Pullman Hotel on 15 January and have been living in North Auckland. They will now isolate in the Jet Park quarantine facility

                  See how the day's Covid-19 related events unfolded by looking back over RNZ's live blog.


                  • #10
                    returnees at the Pullman in central Auckland will not be transferred to other hotels but instead will serve the remainder of their time in isolation there.

                    However, no new returnees will check in, meaning the facility will gradually empty, it is understood.


                    • #11
                      "We have been advised that a small number of people who were in hotel quarantine in the Pullman Hotel in Auckland at the same time as these other cases have since traveled to Australia on green zone flights, before the pause was introduced on Monday afternoon," Professor Michael Kidd said.

                      "All these people are being followed up by the health authorities in the state where they landed.

                      "We know that 12 people who were in quarantine at the Pullman Hotel have arrived in Sydney.

                      "Two of these people travelled on to Queensland and the authorities there have also been advised.

                      "The others are all being followed up in New South Wales and are being tested.

                      Three of these people have travelled on to Hong Kong and the authorities there have been advised.



                      • #12
                        bump this