Covid update: Nine patients now in hospital - three in ICU at Middlemore

Covid update: Nine patients now in hospital - three in ICU at Middlemore

There are six new Covid-19 cases in the community, with four linked to the Auckland cluster but two still under investigation.

Three patients (up from one as of yesterday) are now in ICU at Middlemore out of a total of nine people receiving hospital treatment.

There are now 111 active cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand, with 16 of these imported cases in managed isolation.

There was no media briefing on Saturday. Instead the Ministry of Health issued an update media release.

This is the release:

There are six new confirmed cases of COVID-19 to report in the community in New Zealand today.

Four are epidemiologically linked to the cluster in Auckland – two are household contacts and two are church contacts. The other two cases reported today remain under investigation. 

There are 145 people linked to the cluster who have been moved into the Auckland quarantine facility.

This includes 75 people who have tested positive for COVID-19 and their household contacts.

This morning we had identified 2,060 close contacts, and 2,004 have been contacted and are self-isolating, and we are in the process of contacting the rest. 

For the period August 13-19, 84% of close contacts were contacted and isolated within 48 hours of the case being notified to the local PHU.

The six new cases reported today bring our total number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 to 1,321, which is the number we report to the World Health Organization. 

The total number of active cases in New Zealand is 111. Sixteen of the active cases are imported cases from managed isolation facilities. 

There are nine people with COVID-19 in hospital - two in Auckland City Hospital, four people in Middlemore, two people in North Shore Hospital and one person in Waikato Hospital. 

Six people are stable on a ward, and three people in Middlemore are in ICU. 

All of the cases who are in hospital are isolated and carefully managed separately from other patients.

The public can be confident that our DHBs are managing this effectively, as they did in the first outbreak of COVID-19 in New Zealand. We have heard reports of people who are reluctant to get an ambulance or go to hospital – hospitals continue to be safe places to receive medical care, and people should feel confident going to hospital to receive treatment. 

Laboratories processed 12,256 tests for COVID-19 yesterday, bringing the total number of tests completed to date to 685,476. 

Exemptions

Under the current Alert Level 3 restrictions there are strict criteria around who can enter and leave Auckland. 

The Ministry has received more than 10,000 applications for exemptions. These applications are being assigned to teams for processing as soon as they come in – to date the team has approved more than 1,400 applications and declined around 300.

Urgent exemptions, for example, to visit a dying relative, are prioritised and dealt with promptly. 

We encourage people to check the information on the website to see whether they need to apply.

To make the application process easier, the team is working on creating a form that will be on the website soon.

NZ COVID Tracer

There are now 1,712,000 users registered with NZ COVID Tracer – that is 42% of the population aged 15 and over.

There are now 309,218 QR code posters – and the self-service portal is still the fastest and easiest way for people to get their QR codes. 

Turnaround for manual QR code requests is currently around 24 hours. This is for manual requests where people cannot use the self-service portal.

There have been 12,918,793 poster scans to date, and 1,441,268 manual entries into the app. 

Anyone having problems getting started with the app should get in touch with the support team either by email or phone 0800 800 606. 

The team is dealing with a high volume of queries, so please be patient if you don’t get an immediate response.

We welcome your comments below. If you are not already registered, please register to comment.

Remember we welcome robust, respectful and insightful debate. We don't welcome abusive or defamatory comments and will de-register those repeatedly making such comments. Our current comment policy is here.

34 Comments

Did the church contacts catch it at church? The last church meeting should have been 2 weeks ago shouldn’t it?
Wouldn’t you think the only new cases now should be people living with existing cases? Or are they people ignoring lockdown?

Probably in family transmission. SA family member gave to church member. Church member gave it to another family member who is also in church

If social media is anything to go by, there's very little masks, social distancing or 'stay at home' being practised on the North Shore, Mission Bay etc.

Lots of people at milford beach this morning as I ran past. Few masks. Some efforts at distancing.

Seems to be more uptake of masks at shops than outdoors, which I guess isn't surprising.

Certainly not eastern Bays. I live there, compared to the last level 3 there is a low level of compliance. Plenty of merged bubbles at the beach.

While it's unfortunate people aren't following the rules, it's good evidence that everyday NZers trust the government's response and think that they've got this situation under control.

Or that people are idiots, and South Auckland problems are brown people problems which don't affect Bayleigh and her three kids, Jaydn, Kaighdy'n and Haeydin, who are going to go to the Takapuna beach playground because they aren't poor and associate a virus in South Auckland as a status issue, not a pathological one.

I'm almost certain to bet that "it will never happen to me so why should I care" is almost certainly more of a motivator here than confidence in the Government's response.

Your observation is almost guaranteed GV.. "I'm alright jack and f#@k the rest of you" will be alive and well in the northern 'burbs. It's got SFA to do with confidence in a Govt response.

I'm almost certain to bet that "it will never happen to me so why should I care" is almost certainly more of a motivator here than confidence in the Government's response.

I'm not suggesting its an active thought. The fact that these people are saying "it will never happen to me" shows they know the government response is effective, duh.

The curse of the government's success last time is a complacency amongst many that we beat it easily last time so we'll beat it easily this time, conveniently ignoring that we beat it last time because the vast majority obeyed the rules. While it does look like the authorities have got on top of this outbreak it is disheartening that so many are doing their best to give the virus more opportunity.

We now have enough evidence to confidently rule out this being a lingering infection from April or June as some commenters on interest.co.nz keep persisting in saying that it "could" be:

1. With 95 cases found so far (after extensive community testing) and 9 in hospital and 3 in ICU, if there had been lingering infection for months we would have found far more cases and likely would have seen people in hospital by now.

2. Genomic testing has shown that the strain in NZ is only a little mutated from the overseas one, suggesting that it is a recent arrival. Otherwise there would have been ~15 generations of the virus in NZ since April, so we would've expected more genetic drift than what we see.

3. The earliest anyone who has been tested positive had symptoms was 31st July. If it had been here for longer, it is likely we would have found someone who had symptoms earlier than this by now, but so far all of the other cases have had symptom onset more recently than this.

It's been asked a few times here how many of the test samples from MIQ facilities weren't able to be genome sequenced. This article from stuff says it's about 40% of the samples that have inadequate RNA for sequencing. https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/coronavirus/122532630/coronaviru...

It is highly likely on a purely logical basis that it was here for a period of time before 31st July - as many cases are asymptomatically, there would logically be a few others before a symptomatic case made someone sick enough to seek medical help. So factor in a few weeks before that - highly likely the result of a false negative on a second test, or someone who was infected by someone else in an MIQ facility after their 3rd day test and didn't have enough viral load to test positive on day 12.

So you're accepting it was an infection vector that jumped the border then? It sure as hell didn't swim here and haul up on Mission Bay

Any comment anywhere about the location of the two cases today that are under investigation?

SARS2 -origin: Wuhan, China- is now everywhere in nearly every country.
It is likely to be spread throughout NZ over the next 12 months,
By comparison: Could we keep out the common cold or the flu?
Time to plan to live & work alongside its presence.

First sentence: incorrect

Oh, that’s right, North Korea has no cases! Lol
https://koryogroup.com/blog/are-there-countries-without-coronavirus

The search for the truth about the origin seems to be ignored in favour of case reporting.
https://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/SC2008/S00025/a-proposed-origin-for-sars...
Plenty of evidence for a lab escape.

Well. it depends on whether you read scientifiic papers, or conspiracy theories and political propaganda.

The example link above was neither conspiracy or propaganda

Are you sure?

Can you show me where the plan to live with it (or die with it) has been successful?

All countries with no lockdowns are doing well eg Japan, Sweden etc. Sweden's death rate was lower than Belgium with full lock down

What is Cindy's exit strategy? As soon as we open the borders the bug will come in. Lockdowns just flatten the curve. Vaccines are at least 18 months away and corona viruses mutate, as this one is...

Depends what you mean by doing well. Sweden has either somehow hit herd immunity at less than 10% or they have a hell of a lot more deaths to come. If they have hit herd immunity then I agree with you we should all just accept the virus. But let’s wait a few months before assuming that because it’s quite likely they will get another wave.
If you mean they have done well economically I’m not sure I agree.

My relations in Sweden certainly are not living a life as they used to.

Exactly the only thing Sweden did was not go for a hard lockdown initially before easing off. They basically went for a softer lock down (somewhere between our level 2 & 3) from the get go.

Actually it looks like vaccines are going to be rolled en masse in the first half of need year. They're as few as 4-5 months away.

Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, Singapore,

they can not find two bus passengers because they did not use hop cards , that is the problem with the app maybe they may have been caught with a covid card,
also think its time they made wearing masks on public transport mandatory for now
https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/coronavirus/122534176/coronaviru...

They should have kept mandatory hop registration in place. I

this will be devastating for NZ post to lose a whole day shift for two weeks, they will struggle to cover this
https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/coronavirus/122532379/coronaviru...

The problem I see is that due to the breakdown of cases, it appears that the groups are more likely to be essential workers, so they maybe working under level 3. Whereas last time, the cases were largely people returning to NZ and could easily stay at home to during lockdown, and not work in workplaces with other people This is unfortunate, and this cluster is very tricky. I can't see a single virus transmission cycle is going to be enough.The last thing we want is to go out of lockdown, and not to have eliminated the cluster from then growing again, as that will just mean another lockdown.IMO it is better to extend it, and then be sure it has been eliminated, rather than still have new cases popping up, and just hope it will be eliminated and not spread. Especially has we never found who was patient number zero. We haven't been able to prove so far that we can eliminate it, without eliminating it inside the lockdown.
Drivers not wearing masks while transporting people to isolation hotels, because 'they don't need to' is also madness. A lot of common sense is not being followed. Not everything is specified down to the letter.

There are also apparently 1000's of overstayers in Auckland, and guessing it is possible that some may have it. They are unlikely to want to get tested in fear. The big problem is that we ddin't pick up cases fast enough, because we were hardly doing any testing.

AJ, some Canadian musings. Munk debates.

Lockdowns.
https://youtu.be/6pazKScT-FM

Health & economy
https://youtu.be/s3-nBsLp2uU