Days to the General Election: 21
See Party Policies here. Party Lists here.

Covid update: Ministry of Health reports two new Covid-19 cases in the community

Covid update: Ministry of Health reports two new Covid-19 cases in the community
Image sourced from Pixabay.

The Ministry of Health has reported two new Covid-19 cases in the community, both with epidemiological links to the existing cluster. One is in Auckland and one a medical centre worker in Tokoroa.

Ten people are in hospital with Covid-19, with two in ICU, one in Middlemore and one in Waikato Hospital. There were 10,487 tests processed yesterday.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the source of the Auckland outbreak still hasn't been found, and the tail of the cluster is expected to continue.

"Our system is good, designed to keep us on track for our elimination strategy at Alert Level 2," Ardern said.

Ardern said from tonight, the rest of New Zealand will remain at Covid-19 Alert Level 2, while Auckland will move from Level 3  to "a form of Level 2, Level 2.5." She said social gatherings in Auckland will be limited to 10 people.

"No gathering can be larger than 10. Much of this cluster has stemmed from social gatherings, ...we have to stop socialising for a time."

Funeral and tangi gatherings of up to 50 will be allowed, however.

From Monday masks are mandatory on public transport for those aged 12 and over under Level 2 across the country. For Aucklanders Ardern said: 'If you step out of your home we are asking you to please wear a mask."

Ardern said the Government's not ruling out mandating mask wearing in future, and "we will step up levels again if we need to."

On Saturday the Ministry of Health announced 13 new Covid-19 cases with 11 in the Auckland community.

The Ministry of Health Sunday press release is below.

2 new cases of COVID-19 Media release

30 August 2020

There are two new cases of COVID-19 to report in New Zealand today.

Both are cases in the community and both have epidemiological links to the Auckland cluster. 

One new case is a household contact of a previously confirmed case associated with the Finance Now workplace. 

The other new case is associated with an existing Tokoroa case.

This new case was reported yesterday evening and is a healthcare worker who works at a medical centre in Tokoroa. It is believed they came into contact with the existing case on 17 August. 

As per usual protocols, a test was carried out following exposure which returned a negative result. The positive result was picked up on a second test when the person became unwell.

The medical centre they work at is closed pending further contact tracing and is  undergoing a deep clean.   The centre had been operating under Level 4 precautions with PPE use, telehealth and patient screening.

The potentially infectious period for this case was between 25 – 27 August. The case, who lives alone and has no household contacts, has been in isolation since 27 August.

Contact tracing is actively underway which includes contacting staff and patients of the medical centre.   Two testing sites are available in Tokoroa today. The first is at Tokoroa Hospital and is open until 3pm. The second is at South Waikato Pacific Islands Community Services and is open until 5pm. 

If you are in Tokoroa and have concerns about whether you need to be tested, please contact Healthline (0800 358 5453) or your doctor and have a test if it is offered.

Since 11 August, our contact tracing team have identified 2,587 close contacts of cases, of which 2,475 have been contacted and are self-isolating, and we are in the process of contacting the rest. 

There are 138 people linked to the community cluster who have been transferred to the Auckland quarantine facility, which includes 86 people who have tested positive for COVID-19 and their household contacts.

There are 10 people with COVID-19 in hospital today; two in Auckland City, three in Middlemore, three in North Shore and two in Waikato. Eight people are on a ward, and two are in ICU – one each in Middlemore and Waikato Hospitals.

There are two previously reported cases who are considered to have recovered today. With today’s two new cases, this means our total number of active confirmed cases remains at 136, plus one previously reported probable case remains active. Of the 137 active cases, 20 are imported cases in MIQ facilities, and 117 are community cases.

Our total number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 is now 1,378, which is the number we report to the World Health Organization.

Testing

Yesterday our laboratories processed 10,487 tests for COVID-19, bringing the total number of tests completed to date to 750,808. 

Widespread testing remains a critical part of eliminating COVID-19 in our communities. 

Our advice remains - if you develop symptoms consistent with COVID-19, wherever you are, contact Healthline (0800 358 5453) or your doctor immediately and have a test.

Details about where to get tested both in Auckland and in the rest of the country are on the Ministry’s website.

If you are offered a test for COVID-19, please take it. 

To help speed the testing process - it's helpful to have your National Health Index (NHI) number with you — see information on how to find your NHI number.

A COVID-19 test is free of charge. However, you may need to pay for a test if it’s for the purpose of entering another country — see advice for travellers.

NZ COVID Tracer

NZ COVID Tracer has now recorded 1,940,800 registered users. 

There have been 336,785 posters created, and 25,954,068 poster scans to date. 

There have been 1,952,559 manual diary entries recorded in the app. 

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.

69 Comments

At their current rate of test processing it's gonna take 40-50 days to get through the 500K people in South and West Auckland they asked to undergo testing yesterday. Auckland will be in another lockdown by then.

communication my behind.

It was an incorrect communication. They're still officially only asking for symptomatic people to get tested.

I'm more fascinated by the longstanding advice to keep 2m apart outdoors and only 1m apart indoors; and still no insistence on wearing masks in buildings, shops, workplaces, gyms etc

I volunteered to help our operations during the last lockdown, 2m rule was impractical in our environment. I work in logistics and transport.

Government enforcement of a mode of dress is still beyond the pale. They could scrape compulsion through for public transport (effectively property managed by the government) but the ridiculousness of imposing mask use in private settings is even more obvious.

Wish they would just bugger off really.

17
up

What a great co worker you would be.

Hmmm... with people like you to contend with on a daily basis, no wonder Aucklanders' are getting worn down by it all. You're on this webisite ergo you have a modicum of intelligence - start using it!

"wish they would bugger off".

Assume you don't want "them" to say that to you the next time you require some kind of medical treatment... Or have your bins collected, or need a police callout etc.

I guess folk like this are the reason we can't be Taiwan or South Korea and lock down less.

i watched an american professor this morning that said if all americans wore a mask they could bring it under control pretty quickly,
it makes you wonder why asian countries do it readily but western counties are adverse to it,
no long ago many countries were banning the burka due to fears of identification

Many asian countries, Japan, South Korea, China etc are already predisposed to mask wearing due to SARS and their shocking air quality. That and when the Govt of those countries says "do it!" they say "yes boss" and do it. They don't have underemployed lawyers challenging the legality of their responses or the heavily ingrained mentality of "freedom" which encourages some people to rebel. They also, and probably most tellingly, have a collective sense of responsibility as opposed to a collective sense of individualism

They probably don't have talkback talking heads whose core drive is defending X or attacking Y also undermining such health measures. When idiots out there are equating a recommendation to wear masks with Jews getting tattooed in death camps (Facebook posts in NZ, not a commentator) we may just have an issue with critical thinking and reception of propaganda.

Two ways that I'm looking at it

1. Cost benefit analysis of mask wearing. Costs: practically zero, perhaps a little inconvenience. Benefits: unknown but potentially great, the virus is aerosolised so condensing lung vapour on the mask reduces the viral load in people close by, thereby saving lives.

2. In general the Germans are smarter than us and they have adopted a rigorous mask wearing campaign indoors and on public transport. We'd probably do well to follow their lead.

I wonder what proportion of people are asymptomatic and yet still able to pass on the virus?

In updated guidance, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said its "best estimate" is that 40 % of people infected with COVID-19 are asymptomatic. In the update, posted July 10, the CDC said the basic reproduction number or the number of people one person "is likely to infect" is 2.5, and the infectiousness level of asymptomatic people is 75 %, relative to symptomatic patients.

You're very dutiful in your mission to clarify the government's position on a range of topics. If it's a voluntary service, well done you

Entirely voluntary.

Funny how an "incorrect communication" made MSM, or is that another "border breach".. this time of the comms border?

Hook, you are becoming very boring with this sort of trolling. If you have nothing to say... say nothing please.

Such an interesting view. If you don't like someone playing "devil's advocate" to some of the plainly spurious, partisan, and plainly ill informed but populist comments posted, then I would suggest perhaps you take your own advice to heart.

Devils advocate? My rear end.

So you don't agree with interrogation of opinion or so called "facts"? Thought that's what this website was about. The delivery might not be to everyone's liking but the message is clear - question everything..believe nothing until proven. Sorry I've been a bit more vocal than some, but I won't back down

Isn't that the great Jerry Brownlee's line, just asking the question.

Yep, just like Trump was "just asking" about Obama's birth certificate.

https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Just_asking_questions

Thumbs up Rhumline...

"Incorrect communication" doesn't pass the sniff test. That would explain it happening in a single channel, but it was put out through various websites and press releases over several days (on govt website from wednesday). Amazingly no one in govt possessed the basic common sense to see (or question the source) that testing many 100's of thousands of people when we are limited to <10 thousand a day would be logistically impossible (and pointless given 5-14 day incubation). Seriously highlights the weakness of all those involved (from top down).

Ardern has now said this morning it was a deliberate decision not to edit her script at the 1 pm press conference to correct the wrong official advise for 700,000 people to be tested. WTF? Only explanation is that these pressers are entirely about making her look good and raising her profile, ie campaigning, and corrections and apologies are therefore verboten.

More logical and simple explanation is that if they weren't 100% sure the earlier health advice was incorrectly transcribed then they'd continue with what they had, because the consequences of over testing would be less worrisome than the consequences of under testing.

But I'm sure it's probably a conspiracy as you describe. They're also likely out to get you.

Wuhan tested their entire population, so eve if it was an error, it is something China would have done. They have it eliminated in Wuhan.

2.5?! Isnt that confusing? For Auckland.
Rest of NZ on 2.1?
While Dunedin can relax on a 1.75 ...

12
up

Yep, If you are going to have a level system, stick to it. Then people know what the F is going on. Here the Govt is trying to stay at alert level 3 while telling the public we are moving to alert level 2.

I wonder whether regional NZers feel that it’s now safe to travel to Auckland for business or vacation?

No-one is holding a gun at their head forcing them too..

its the other way around will they feel safe when aucklanders all head off around the country, many businesses want them to visit but the locals not so much.

NewsHub Nation and Q+A further descended into an unwatchable Covid Convention this weekend.

258000 tests in 20 days
Positive result: 126
And STILL the expert health Jeremiads bleating “too soon...repent”
For Gods sake

So can we leave Auckland yet ? That's pretty much all I want to know on Monday.

This from RNZ News yesterday. From New Zealand phylogeneticist James Hadfield. Scientists had genome sequences for about 60 per cent of people who had tested positive for Covid-19 while in managed isolation. However, they had been unable to get genome sequences for the remaining 40 per cent, making it difficult to know if the outbreak came from the border or not.
It does not break down this genomic testing over time. But just assume there is no genome sequence for 40 of the roughly 100 cases that came into MIQ in the 3 months prior to the lockdown. Is it any wonder we have not been able to link the outbreak back to an imported case from MIQ. IMHO we did not care enough to get a quality sample from the average 1 positive case per day in MIQ to get the genome sequence.

"IMHO we did not care enough to get a quality sample from the average 1 positive case per day in MIQ to get the genome sequence." Perhaps IMIO? How do you know they didn't care to do it?

I think the viral load needs to be higher to get a sequence. But I haven't seen that they tried to reswab those where they initially failed to get a sequence.

Because they had maybe a few hundred people arriving at MIQ every day. All to be tested by dedicated nurses at each MIQ facility. All of them at least twice. Why not train the sample takers to take a sample that WILL be suitable for genome sequencing. Maybe request a second sample immediately from those that test positive if their first sample was not OK for sequencing. Or make sure their next required test is of the right quality The most likely path for Covid19 coming into the community is through MIQ. 100% of genome sequencing in MIQ's could overnight identify if a particular MIQ was the source of infection and narrow the testing efforts to those who had contact with the relevant case. Then figure out how it happened and stop it happening again. Its almost like we don't want to know in this case. Better we just keep saying the word Americold because it sounds like America and we all know it's Trumps fault.

WAJ; I think they can't match the bugs up, as for a month in June they did no testing at the border,on around 1500 cases, so there is no matching possible for the virus that was stupidly let in.
Not surprising that the bug crops up randomly a month or two after this massive failure.And may continue to do so at great expense.

Pretty clear that a formal covid response organisation is required now with a new leader.

I'd like one of the reporters to ask the obvious question: "Who is actually in charge here?"
Then request the organisational structure from whomever that is.

20
up

This government is an incompetent shambles. If they can't even do the simple things right, then how can we trust them to do the highly complex things right?

https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12360610

20
up

This time it's not just ordinary anger, no siree. Not even very angry as she recently was at the warehouse for laying off staff like so many other businesses. This is another whole level of hyper serious angry, up even from the incandescently angry when she assured the country that front line staff were being tested when in reality it was a Hipkins fantasy tale. This, little children, is 'incredible' anger. Yes. The real deal. It has happened, finally.

A little bit more and she may well hit volcanic spittling 55-year-old male boomer levels.

There’s a narrow window of opportunity now to get a good outcome for NZ. The option of protecting the vulnerable and deliberately letting the virus spread through low risk groups can occur concomitantly with opening the boarders and normalising the economy.

Realistically though, for NZ this can only be done during the non-flu season (ie. the summer months) so that we minimize casualties, and reduce strain on NZ's weak health system which only has 3 ICU beds per 100K population. In this respect keeping NZ COVID free during winter was a good move, provided the time and financial resources were used wisely to prepare more ICU beds, and telegraphing intentions to the public.

If NZ misses the boat this summer then we'll fall far behind the rest of the world. A year will be an eternity for the economy with closed boarders, zero inbound foreign tourists and periodic lockdowns paralysing the economy.

While ironically there is a pro euthanasia campaign going on to encourage voters to fully liberalise speeding up death for the frail/elderly/sick with severe enough conditions.

Pro voluntary euthanasia, and for those with diagnosed terminal conditions.. the word voluntary is just a tad significant, as is "terminal condition". ie, they mostly get the choice between signing out at a time of their choosing in a humane peaceful way, or spending the last 6 (days/weeks/months) of their life completely doped up out of their tree on strong opiates under a "palliative" care regime.

I still don't understand why the "CovidCard" can't be rolled out on a mandatory basis, seems to be an easy to use, unobtrusive method of tracing. The Covid app doesn't seem to be getting a lot of buy in per head of population - 25% maybe

Imagine the covidiots and conspracists then, if they aren't taking up the current app, can you imagine them with this? It's the covidiots that will ruin all of this.
Don't know enough about how it functions to comment otherwise.

The card is a non geo stamping. stand alone device. I understand why people won't download the Covid app due to "Big Brother" concerns and that's fair enough. The card registers when it's close to (within 1 mtr) of another card and records the serial # of the other card. That's all it does. If a card wearer tests positive the serial #s of any other card that was close (within 1 mtr) can be downloaded and traced.

I wouldn't expect the conspiracy theorists infecting Facebook to believe that the card does not trace everything they do. That's one problem.

Given the other stuff they spout about the government's response this does not demand a stretch of the imagination.

i find the app fustrating having to stop and scan everywhere and no bluetooth it is nowhere as useful as a covid card
example go up to my takeaway to get tea , scan even though standing outside, wander down to the diary while im waiting to get my lotto, scan again, then pop into the grocer to get some fruit and veg scan again, must have come across max 5-6 people apart from shop owners, whom i have no idea whom they are,
so if i caught off one of those people how long will it take them to find me against a card where they would have a list of people straight away
and know who i am

Just so sick of comments like this. If we all do the mask, hygiene, distance and track thing, we can still deal to this. Letting it run riot will mean we are just another covid ridden country, there will be no advantage for us in a world that will be much shrunk economically.

The problem is the track thing is being done by a bunch of bureaucrats that cannot and will not innovate to get a better result.

We need to ditch the posing politicians and put some real leadership in charge of the response.

Really sensible article here on what is wrong with the tracing.
https://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=123...

You're failing to accept the inevitable, that the COVID19 will become globally endemic. Our response to the crisis can only determine the magnitude of financial damage and number of excess deaths. I find your type of idealistic thinking dangerous because of the incredible cost burden to society when the naive approach inevitably doesn't work.

With our geographical location if we just become another covid country we will have nothing to offer a financially constricted world. It is our best and unique shot with this.

How's that working out for the people of North Korea? because that's essentially what you're proposing.

It's North Korea that doesn't work for North Korea

the problem is we have not leveraged that or have a plan to leverage a covid free NZ.
a classic was the stink when the film workers came in, to me that was a good thing , they paid for coming, they inject a lot into our economy and they create jobs for locals, instead we get news media jumping up and down riling people up to stop it.
we should be doing the same for all sorts of companies that might want to set up here

Agree, that was weird. News for news advertising revenue's sake? Seemed like it was approached sensibly.

I asked an elderly relative about their experience of the 1968-69 pandemic from here in NZ. Wasn't really an issue they noticed here, yet it killed many around the world. What does that mean for us? Is there a timeframe after which COVID's virulence would cease to be an issue that prevents us opening up en masse?

12
up

Nah, you can't "deal to it". Just like flu still circulates yearly despite a vaccine. You learn to coexist with it and develop treatments...while life goes on.

Admit that this whole "total war" thing we have got going on, is great for jingoistic soundbites and hammy sports cliches, but it's not a rational long term strategy. It made sense for a while 6 months ago when we knew nothing about the virus, now it's just immature.

one of the things we have learnt is compared to other virus how easy it is to catch it even with care taken ie tokoroa health care worker that was treating a covid positive person.
so without a yearly vaccine we will have to change the way we live, space around people would become the new normal , countries with densely populated cities will suffer the most which to date is what we have seen,
i can see mask wearing becoming the new normal even in NZ, testing before you get on a plane and countries building dedicated quarantine facilities so those with the disease are removed from the general population until they have recovered.
quick, cheap fast testing will become a new normal for some industries and companies, as is already happening in melbourne for ACCIONA
we will see a lot more of working from home and new tech pop up to support that

MEDIA/NEWS 3 LINES:

1. Plague and lockdown needed
2. Lockdown crucifies economy
3. If government does lockdown, it is health driven; if not its political

Headed towards the UK to pay the bills. Is it coming here? Past promises may mean little when the books have to be balanced.

Treasury push for a raid on capital gains, pensions, internet sales, fuel and inheritance... the largest tax rises in a generation to plug the gaping holes in the public finances.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2020/08/29/treasury-officials-push-...

Just found a nice youtube channel called UnHerd. British chap interviewing various eminent scientists regarding, for instance, how parts of Europe have achieved or have come close to herd immunity already. T-cell immunity and whatnot. Food for thought... https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCMxiv15iK_MFayY_3fU9loQ

European leaders don't appear to think so, based on recent measures.

Days to the General Election: 21
See Party Policies here. Party Lists here.