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2 Additional Cases Of COVID-19

There are two additional cases of COVID-19 to report today, and the case we announced last night.

Of today’s cases, one involves the second managed isolation worker in Christchurch which is being formally added to our total today. One is a recently arrived case from managed isolation and the third is a recently identified historical case.

Today’s recently arrived case arrived from Singapore on 31 October and tested positive at around day 3. They are now in quarantine at our Auckland facility.

Today’s historical case arrived in New Zealand on 18 October from Japan. They tested positive at around day 12. Subsequent negative repeat PCR tests, high CT values and positive serology mean we can now be confident this is not a case involving a recent infection.

5 cases are now considered recovered, meaning our total number of active cases is 73.

Our total number of confirmed cases is now 1,615.

Yesterday our laboratories completed 7,171 tests for COVID-19, bringing the total number of tests completed to date to 1,113,739.

Managed isolation cases in Christchurch 
Last night the Ministry announced a second case involving a worker at the Sudima Christchurch Airport facility where international mariners are in managed isolation and quarantine.

This individual had very recently been tested as part of the routine testing for staff in the facility and returned a negative test.

As a result of this week’s first case, other staff at the isolation facility who worked relevant shifts were contacted and tested as appropriate. This is when the second case, who is a close workplace contact, was detected. They remain asymptomatic.

A push notification regarding the second case has been sent this morning to people who logged on with the COVID Tracer app at the same time as the person who briefly visited The Chemist Warehouse at the South City Mall between 3.52pm and 4:03pm on Friday 30 October.

The person had checked in using COVID Tracer - an important reminder for us all to keep using the app so the system can work quickly to identify people who may have been exposed.

In this case, the person was in the store for a very short period of time and didn’t have any close contact with other people during their time there, so the visit is regarded as very low risk and a ‘casual’ exposure event.

Anyone who is concerned about potential contact with these cases can get free advice from Healthline 24/7 on 0800 358 5453.

Free COVID testing continues to be available at most general practices in Canterbury and also at two Community Based Assessment Centres (CBACs) at Orchard Road near the airport, and Whānau Ora Community Clinic CBAC (Wainoni).

There’s also additional testing availability in Christchurch, with a pop up centre running in the carpark outside The Princess Margaret Hospital from 11.30am – 4.30pm today. People who shopped at The Chemist Warehouse are welcome to come along.

Genome sequencing of the first staff member has been received and indicates that their viral genome is the same as that of five international mariners at the facility. This genome has not been seen in New Zealand before. Genome sequencing of the second staff member is underway.

The results of these two staff members mean that all the international mariners have had their stays extended until Friday as an additional precautionary measure. This will continue to be reviewed as case investigations continue.

Investigation around these cases is actively underway and will be thorough, and includes full assessment of the cases’ movements in the facilities, intensive review of video footage and further interviews with the two cases to determine any potential sources of infection.

As we said yesterday, with our ongoing low number of cases in New Zealand, there tends to be very intense public interest in specific cases. Please be respectful of privacy considerations for these cases and their families.

NZ COVID Tracer 
There are now 2,338,900 users registered on NZ COVID Tracer.

The app has recorded a total of 106,235,257 poster scans and users have created a total of 4,433,681 manual diary entries.

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