Person with Covid went to work at retail store in central Auckland's High Street before receiving confirmed Covid test; source of infection unknown

Person with Covid went to work at retail store in central Auckland's High Street before receiving confirmed Covid test; source of infection unknown

A new unlinked community Covid case has been reported in Auckland.

The person went to work at a retail store, A-Z Collection, in central Auckland's High Street this week before receiving confirmation they were positive for Covid.

The details were revealed by Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins and Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield at a press conference. 

They said another press conference would be held at 5pm on Thursday to provide further updates.

Hipkins said it was too early to discuss the question of Alert levels, but suggested that would be addressed in the later press conference.

There was also a further community case reported in Wellington in the 'November quarantine cluster' - a close contact of a previous case.

Additionally there was one new case in managed isololation. 

This is the media release that was put out by the Ministry of Health: 

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

One case was detected in a recent returnee in a managed isolation facility.

They arrived on 9 November from Los Angeles. They returned a positive test around day 3 of their stay in managed isolation and have been moved to the Auckland quarantine facility.

There are two new cases in the community.

One of these is connected to the November quarantine cluster. Case C is a close contact of Case B and tested positive on 11 November.

Case C met Case B for lunch in Wellington at the Little Penang restaurant on The Terrace on Friday afternoon. On developing symptoms on Saturday they self-isolated at home and had a COVID-19 test.

Although initially returning a negative result on day 3, they were moved to quarantine at the Grand Mercure in Wellington as a precaution on Tuesday. A second test yesterday resulted in a positive result.

Push notifications were sent out on Sunday for Little Penang The Terrace, visited by Case B and Case C.  Anyone who visited the restaurant between 1pm and 4pm on Friday should have a test if they feel symptomatic.

Household contacts for Case C are in isolation and have returned negative results.

All identified close contacts of the new case are isolating.

All close contacts of Case B, other than Case C, have returned a negative test result.

Auckland community case

Today we are also reporting a community case in Auckland for which we continue to investigate the source of transmission.

The person became symptomatic on Monday 9 November. They were tested late on 10 November. They went to work at A - Z Collection on High Street from Sunday 8 November to Wednesday 11 November.

Their positive test was confirmed this morning, 12 November. They are being moved to the Auckland quarantine facility today.

This is another very important reminder that if you are unwell with cold symptoms, you should get a test and stay at home until you have a negative test result.

Auckland Regional Public Health is interviewing the case today to identify close and casual contacts, and to further understand their movements during the period they may have been infectious, which we currently believe to have been around Saturday 7 November.

The person lives alone and appears to have had limited community outings recently. For instance, they have not visited a supermarket during the period they might have been infectious. The person is a student at AUT, however they have not been to any lectures or classes on campus since mid-October. There is no concern with any potential exposures on campus.

At this time, as highly precautionary step we are asking people who may have visited A-Z Collections store on High St and the Vincent Residences at 106 Vincent Street between Saturday 7 November and today 12 November to isolate and get advice on being tested promptly even if asymptomatic, and stay isolated until you receive the results.

As always anyone in the Auckland area who has cold or flu symptoms should get a test and stay at home until you have a negative test result.

There are details on the Auckland Regional Public Health website around current testing sites, and these will be further updated this afternoon.

Additional locations of interest will be identified and notified to the public as soon as possible, including any locations in the central city area where the case lives and works.

Auckland health officials are also working to provide additional testing in this central city area.  The location of that additional testing will be available later today.

We are urgently working to trace this person’s movements over the past week to determine how they became infected.  Genome testing of this case is also underway to help us understand any potential links to previous cases.  

At this stage the Ministry is not advising of any need to change the current approach.  

We will also be providing a further update on this case later this afternoon, likely at approximately 5pm.

Anyone concerned about today’s news can ring Healthline’s dedicated number 0800 358 5453 for advice.

Numbers

Two previously reported cases have now recovered, bringing our total number of active cases to 53.

Our total number of confirmed cases is now 1,635.

Yesterday our laboratories completed 6,581 tests for COVID-19, bringing our total number of tests completed to date to 1,155,514.

NZ COVID Tracer

There are now 2,349,900 registered users of the NZ COVID Tracer app.

Poster scans have reached 112,469,275 and there have been 4,667, 638 manual diary entries.

These recent cases have once again re-emphasised the importance of keeping track of your movements.

It’s important we all scan the QR codes wherever we see them, so we can be notified when we may have been exposed to COVID-19 and to help contact tracers stay one step ahead of the virus.

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.

44 Comments

So... going to level 2?

or maybe level 3

If it's a widespread imposition people are gonna flip. I doubt Auckland will accept a rerun of Lockdown 2.0

I think L2 personally. Will be interesting to see what the crowd expectation is though.

It is unlikely unless it is linked to a larger cluster. Towards the end of the previous lockdown we got a few cases like this one if memory doesn't fail to me and went back to L1 anyway.

The previous LD was kicked off by exactly the same scenario - an undefined contact that spread. If this spreads Auckland is back to square one. NZ shouldn't be having these "unknown contact" spreaders (if that's how it pans out) The last LD all but the initial infection point were identified. Funny how the trail went cold and no followup or info to the public has been released about the 1st infection.

The August cluster was also prolonged by a religious group that refused to obey lockdown restrictions.

It appears there was contact with people from the quarantine facility next door during a fire alarm. If so, the infected person is patient zero which is a good start for stamping it out.

It's not that, too soon. The fire alarm was Monday evening, this person was already symptomatic.

Yes, I see the Herald has changed their story.

The herald's version of 'journalism' doesn't involve things like basic consistency, sadly.

Statistically, it is inevitable we will have someone be negative at day one but then possibly return a false negative or incubated negative that would only register after the day 12 test. I am not alarmed by that.

It is the potential for something to have already widely circulated in an inner-city apartment block before someone finally got a test that worries me.

Pretty obvious that alongside all of the recent incursions, the government's COVID strategy is not comprehensive enough to meet their elimination goals.

I think they need to get real and follow the advice of the epidemiologist group and start applying more restrictions on who they let into the country.

Also a bit silly that they aren't using N95 masks in the quarantine facilities in particular. One of the reasons early on that advised against the widespread use of masks was to ensure adequate supply was reserved for healthcare workers. At this point the people in the quarantine facilities are healthcare workers and so should be using those masks. I also hope they're getting hazard pay.

The lack of N95 masks is more than "a bit silly" - it's unacceptable. The original excuse has long since expired. Time for Hipkins to go in "hard and early" and get these MIQ/DHB managers sh1t together or get them replaced.

I wouldn't worry to much the virus doesn't spread very easily in the summer.

And it's not that bad for most people anyway.

... have you been paying attention to the northern hemisphere? Complacency over the summer and then what?

The hemisphere that is coming into winter now, and generally did well over summer?

There definitely is seasonality. But after the relative success of the northern summer, things now look pretty dire. I wouldn't suggest emulating that approach.

"Generally did well over summer"? Are you actually following the news?

Yes.

I think Lanthanide is being a bit sarcastic CJ

Nope. Generally the northern hemisphere as a whole didn't do too badly over summer with regards to COVID. That is also more countries than just the US, which has done badly the whole time.

Spring, and Autumn (the current season) are a different story entirely.

Not too sure about that. Portugal, Spain, Italy had a resurgence in the summer months and the UK never really got on top of their first round. Didn't Germany suffer the same fate?

Not saying complacency, just saying I wouldnt worry about it having spread far and wide because it's not in its happy season.

I have caught and recovered from covid in the northern hemisphere, does that count?

Yeah.. and we'll have a vaccine by christmas

As I understand it the virus spreads faster in winter only because more people spend longer inside. Apparently temperature does not affect the spread.

There's evidence that suggests it prefers cooler temperatures and moister humidities. That's partly why freezing works have been sources of many outbreaks around the world.

I think you'll find that whilst freezing works are cooler, generally they are fairly low humidity areas. They are however quite close quarter type workspaces - hence they spread

Like any coronavirus (eg the common cold) it spreads much more readily in winter. Firstly, because people are crammed together indoors a lot more. And secondly, sun and its vitamin d helps protect people against respiratory illness.

Yep, that's why Brazil, Peru and many other tropical nations in central America have not been hit that hard.

Baaahhaaaaa.. is that the Brazil that was was digging mass graves with excavators??

Peru has also had very, very high infection rates

Sarcasm is obviously above your and Hooks pay grade.

Oh yea, the virus. I remember now.

Uncontrolled community spread is almost a matter of when not if. My guess would be an 80-90% chance before end of summer.
Just another clear cut case of total buffoons running the show. Defence Force personnel mixing with Jet Park staff before flying back to Wgtn same day without a mask. WTF. I'm just hoping to get a few family trips away when school ends before the inevitable lockdown.

Vaccine will likely be here before end of Summer. Stay the course.

Have you got over Trump's defeat? You can stop parroting his jibberjabber any time you like

There will not be a vaccine available before christmas - period

Wow you embarrassed yourself there!

TDS is real.

NZ has ordered enough for 750,000 people, if they can overcome the distribution barriers posed by it needing to be transported at -80C.

Also depends where we are in the pecking order for actually receiving the doses.

I've always said that vaccines would begin to be rolled out Q1 of next year. Bill Gates has said that COVID will be largely solved in developed countries by the end of 2021, thanks to vaccine availability, and end of 2022 in developing countries.

The first lot of vaccines will be used for healthcare workers, and then presumably more vulnerable people such as the elderly. It also needs 2 doses to be administered which in itself, when you're trying to vaccinate a whole population at once, is a logistical challenge.

I'm surprised he has time for making predictions, what with being involved with all those conspiracies.

Another debacle.

NZ is not just flatten the curve, we beat the crap out of this bugs. Our supreme defense is by using the apps, wear mask & robust border control. Thank you very much to the tirelessly to those non-property owner essential workers: cleaners, rubbish collectors, front line health workers that took the swabs, staffing MIQ, Lab workers.
Now, close to Christmas... chill out, relax you all deserve a break. 2021 take your strike action or jump to OZ.