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2 New Imported Cases Of COVID-19

There are two new cases of COVID-19 to report in New Zealand today, both imported cases in managed isolation facilities.

The first case arrived on October 19 from the Netherlands via Dubai and the second case arrived on October 21 from Doha.

They were both tested on arrival after developing symptoms on their journey.

Both cases are now in the Auckland quarantine facility.

Our total number of active cases is now 58.

Our total number of confirmed cases is now 1,558, which is the number we report to the World Health Organization.

Yesterday our laboratories completed 7,083 tests for COVID-19, bringing the total number of tests completed to date to 1,047,994.

The number of cases in the managed isolation facility at the Sudima Hotel at Christchurch Airport that is housing the seafarers from Russia remains at 18.

Their additional day 6 tests are being conducted today.

We expect to have genome sequencing results back for this group late on Saturday.

Last night we issued an alert through the NZ COVID Tracer App to people who had been at The Malt pub in Greenhithe on October 16. One of the cases we reported yesterday, who is a workplace contact of the port worker we reported on Sunday, visited the pub from 7.30 – 10pm on Friday.

Anyone who was at that pub on Friday night and their household contacts should self-isolate and get tested for COVID-19. They should remain in isolation until they receive their results. We will ensure those results are returned as quickly as possible once the test is processed.

The metro Auckland DHBs have opened two additional community testing centres on the North Shore – a pop-up centre is open today at North Wainoni Park in Greenhithe, and a surge centre is open for a week from today at Northcare Accident and Medical off Constellation Drive.

COVID-19 testing is also available across the city at the six permanent community testing centres, and at urgent care clinics and all general practices. Three community testing centres are confirmed to stay open through the long weekend – those are Northcote Community Testing Centre, Northcare Accident and Medical, and the Whanau Ora Community Clinic in Wiri. A reminder that wherever you get swabbed, a COVID-19 test is free of charge.

The pub is what we call an “exposure event” – where people have potentially been in contact with COVID-19 by being in the same place at the same time as someone who has been infected with the virus. It’s another example of the importance of keeping track of where you have been and who you have seen, and of scanning in using the app wherever you go. Quickly getting in touch with people who may have been exposed to the virus and getting them isolated and tested is how we limit the spread of COVID-19.

A family member of a person who has tested positive for COVID-19 also attended Rangitoto College briefly after returning a negative test, and before subsequently going into isolation. Auckland Regional Public Health Service has assessed the risk to the school community as being very low, but they have been provided with information and reassurance today as part of our precautionary approach.

If you are contacted by public health staff and asked to be tested because you are a possible contact – please get tested promptly and remain in isolation until you receive the result. Even if this is negative, monitor your health for the next two weeks – the incubation period. Please also consider ways you can minimise social contact for the full 14 days after your potential exposure and be diligent about using the NZ COVID Tracer app to record where you’ve been. Anyone who is a close contact will of course be self-isolating at home for the 14 days and regularly monitored. These additional precautions will help us all limit any potential for the virus to spread.

We are heading into a long weekend which will provide a well-earned break for many people – but remember, this virus doesn’t take breaks.

Wherever you go and whatever you do over Labour weekend, record it.

If you see a QR code, scan it. This is particularly important as many people may be moving around the country, and you may not recall later the names and places of everywhere you visit if you are away from home.

Even if you have fallen out of the habit of using the app, please start again – reset your habits and go from now. And to businesses, make sure your QR code is visible and easily accessible, and please encourage people to scan in. 
In addition to using the app, we also all need to make sure we’re washing our hands regularly, keeping surfaces clean, coughing and sneezing into our elbows, and wearing face coverings when we can’t maintain good physical distancing in crowded indoor spaces. We strongly encourage everyone to continue to use a face covering on public transport and flights. 
Most importantly, stay at home if you are sick, and get a test for COVID-19. If you become unwell while you are away from home, call Healthline. Don’t wait until you get home to get tested. Testing will be available throughout the country over the long weekend and you can find testing locations on your local DHB website.

We have had a case under investigation on board a ship off Port Chalmers in Dunedin. A person on board the ship had returned a weak positive result, and we have since confirmed that they have been previously reported as a case in India in August – so they are not considered a case for New Zealand reporting purposes. They are not considered to be infectious and pose no risk to the New Zealand public. All other crew have tested negative.

NZ COVID Tracer 
There are now 2,312,600 users registered on NZ COVID Tracer.

The app has recorded a total of 96,054,212 poster scans, and users have created 4,017,574 manual diary entries.

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