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Two New Cases Of COVID-19

Today there are two new confirmed cases of COVID-19 to report in managed isolation facilities in New Zealand.

The people who have tested positive for COVID-19 are a couple who arrived in New Zealand from India on June 5. Both are in their 20s. They also have an infant who has not been tested due to the child’s age, and we are still to determine whether the child may be considered a case as well.

The couple did not note any symptoms of COVID-19 and the daily health and welfare checks conducted did not uncover any symptoms or issues during their time in managed isolation.

They were tested through the Day 12 swabbing process on Thursday at their managed isolation facility in Auckland.

The couple flew to New Zealand on a repatriation flight from Delhi flight number AI1306. It is one of a number of similar flights organised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade to bring New Zealanders home from around the globe over recent months.

They were this morning transferred from the Grand Millennium to the Jet Park Hotel, our quarantine facility in Auckland. Everyone who is at the Grand Millennium has or will be tested as part of the day 3 and day 12 testing that is now routine at all managed isolation facilities. We are working to confirm that everyone from the flight the couple were on, and at the hotel they were at has been tested if they haven’t been tested yet as part of routine testing, they will be.

The Auckland Regional Public Health Unit has today conducted interviews with the couple and appropriate contact tracing has commenced. CCTV footage from the hotel is also being reviewed to assess whether there was any risk to others, both staff and guests.

Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said this was a good time to remind everybody that we were always expecting to get new cases at our border as Kiwis return home from overseas.

“The people who are in our managed isolation or quarantine facilities are Kiwis citizens or permanent residents who have come home from one of the many countries that Kiwis go to when they live, work and travel abroad,” Dr Bloomfield said.

“Tens of thousands of New Zealanders have returned to our shores since the beginning of this pandemic that has swept the globe. Since 9 April they have been undergoing a period of mandatory isolation at our border, which has been the mainstay of our of defence against importing cases of COVID-19.

“Since 9 June, we have moved to introduce routine testing at all managed isolation facilities as an additional safety net. That system is working, as demonstrated by identifying today’s cases that were asymptomatic.

“We know there is interest in how many of those people were tested before they left a facility since 9 June. A significant amount of manual reconciliation is required to determine this while we are in the process of transitioning to a single database. We will provide an update as soon as this work is completed, which we expect to be on Monday.”

Numbers

Our total number of confirmed cases is now 1,159, which is the number we report to the World Health Organization.

Our combined total of confirmed and probable cases is now 1,509.

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 7,707 tests, bringing the total completed to date to 335,167. This is the second highest day of testing since we began, underscoring the high capacity of our laboratories and the testing that continues in the community and across our managed isolation facilities.

Managed isolation and quarantine numbers

There are currently 3,821 people in managed isolation facilities, with 498 due to leave today.

There are 197 in quarantine, with 44 due to leave today.

There were 735 tests done in managed isolation facilities yesterday.

Contact tracing

Contact tracing has progressed for the cases we reported earlier this week.

For the two cases who travelled from the UK, out of 386 people being followed up as part of a precautionary approach:

- 352 have been contacted and referred for testing if a test had not already been undertaken

- 273 have returned a negative test

For the case who travelled from Pakistan, 208 people were followed up as a precautionary approach:

- 30 have been contacted and referred for testing

- 171 have been contacted and advised that they were a casual contact by virtue of having been on the same flight as the man who tested positive, but outside of the close contact zone

Efforts continue to follow up the small number of people who we have not managed to reach yet.

NZ COVID Tracer

NZ COVID Tracer has now recorded 571,000 registrations that’s an increase of 2,000 since this time yesterday.

We continue to encourage as many people as possible to download and use the app this will support our contact tracing efforts in Level 1.

It's great news that more and more businesses and organisations are displaying their official QR codes. The number of posters created by businesses is now 63,057.

There have been 1,127,299 poster scans to date.

Clarification

As the Director-General said in today's press conference, logistics around managed isolation for returning New Zealanders is an All of Government responsibility, which is now led by Air Commodore Webb.

Dr Bloomfield added some additional information including that, based on the information he had received, the Stamford Plaza Hotel had previously been used for accommodating individuals in managed isolation.

Dr Bloomfield has corrected this as he has since been notified that the Stamford Plaza had not been used prior to today.

Also at the press conference today, Dr Bloomfield gave an update on the number of people that had left managed isolation facilities. Dr Bloomfield said all those who had left managed isolation since June 9 had been tested for COVID-19, either at the facility or subsequently. The process of ensuring that is still underway. Meanwhile, our contact tracing teams are following up people who have left since 9 June to check on them and refer them for testing if it is clear they didn’t have a test prior to leaving the facility. An update will be provided Monday.

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