No new COVID-19 cases in the community on Monday; 11 of the South Auckland family's 42 close contacts return negative results; 30,000 vaccine courses arrive in NZ

No new COVID-19 cases in the community on Monday; 11 of the South Auckland family's 42 close contacts return negative results; 30,000 vaccine courses arrive in NZ

UPDATED AT 5:30PM

There are no new cases of COVID-19 in the community today.

The Ministry of Health has identified 42 close contacts of the infected South Auckland mother, father and daughter. 

Of the close contacts, 11 have returned negative test results. These include two people from Papatoetoe High, where the daughter goes to school.

Separately, seven of the mother's nine workmates have returned negative results. These people aren't considered close contacts, as the woman hadn't been at work since February 5. Her employer - LSG Sky Chefs - provides laundry and food services to airlines.

Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield said the negative results were an "encouraging sign", but the days ahead will be crucial as more test results start coming in.

Around 2300 tests were done in Auckland as at 3pm Monday.  

Vaccine arrives 

The first of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines arrived in New Zealand on Monday morning. The batch includes 30,000 courses/60,000 doses. 

Border staff will start being vaccinated this weekend. 

UK strain previously undetected in NZ

The Ministry of Health has confirmed the South Auckland mother and daughter have the UK strain of COVID-19.

Genomic sequencing results show they have the B1.1.7 variant. 

This doesn't link to any other positive result detected in New Zealand.

ESR is conducting a scan of the international genome database to see if there is a match.

Testing suggests the mother or daughter caught the virus before the father - who is a tradesman. 

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Monday morning told RNZ three possible origins of the virus are being investigated:

  1. An international traveller in transit in New Zealand. 
  2. International air crew - the mother with COVID-19 works at a facility that washes air crew's clothes. 
  3. Someone in managed isolation - this is an unlikely scenario. 

The Ministry of Health said: "This result reinforces the decision to take swift and robust action around the latest cases to detect and stamp out the possibility of any further transmission."

Auckland is currently at Level 3 and the rest of New Zealand at Level 2. Restrictions will remain in place until 11.59pm on Wednesday.

See this page from the Government's COVID-19 website for more on what Level 3 restrictions mean and this page for more on what Level 2 restrictions mean. 

Business support confirmed 

Finance Minister Grant Robertson's office confirmed the financial support Robertson in December said would be provided in the event of a move up alert levels, would in fact be provided. 

Accordingly, the wage subsidy will be available to all businesses in New Zealand if any part of the country ends up at Level 3 or 4 for seven days or more. 

The value of the subsidy will remain the same ($585.80 per week for a full-timer and $350 for a part-timer).

But rather than businesses showing a 40% decline in revenue compared to the previous year, they will have to show a 40% decline compared to the six weeks prior to the alert level change.

The support will be provided in two-weekly payments and total support will match the duration at Alert Level 3 or 4 rounded to the nearest fortnight.

In the event of a move to Levels 2, 3 or 4 for seven days or more, a new one-off Resurgence Support Payment will be made available.

Businesses that incur a revenue drop of 30% or more over a 14-day period, due to a change in alert levels, will be able to receive up to $21,500 depending on how many employees they have.

Businesses will get $1500 plus $400 for every full-time employee up to 50 employees.

Further updates are expected in coming days. 

Locations of interest

Below is an updated list of Auckland, New Plymouth and Otorohanga locations visited by the three cases. Keep an eye on the Ministry of Health's website for updates to this list.

Travel under Level 3

Aucklanders in other parts of the country can travel home, as can non-Aucklanders currently in Auckland. 

"Auckland" includes the southern motorway and the north boundary south of Mangawhai Heads.

Beyond that, the Ministry for Business Innovation and Employment is managing work-related travel exemptions. The Ministry of Health is managing personal exemptions.

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.

129 Comments

So if it wasn't a match with anyone that tested positive during isolation, doesn't this imply it is either airline crew or someone who didn't test positive during isolation but was actually positive after they left. Time to test all airline crew and all recent returnees (particularly those living in South Auckland) isn't it?

Not if the passenger was in transit. Because people are still going though transit via Auckland. I don't know why this is still allowed personally? I guess it is beyond my level of intelligence.

Looking at the MIQ booking site, people can stay 'airside' for up to 24 hours before leaving while in transit. Does this mean they stay in other hotels close to the airport, and are they under MIQ conditions? Or are they policed and restricted to stay in the airport itself.

What countries transit via Auckland? Pacific islands? Antartica?

Isn’t it much more likely to be someone who was positive after leaving isolation? I mean that just happened multiple times at the Pullman and there seem to be a lot of people testing positive after 12 days, isn’t it quite feasible that someone passed their 12 day test but had just breathed in someone else’s cough? Especially as they seem to mix new arrivals with people that been here for a while.

I thought it'd been initially reported that the mother hadn't been at work for over a week and consequently that'd been ruled out?

She hadn't been at work from Feb 5, so the Ministry said it was unlikely she was at work while she was infectious, but nothing is being completely ruled in or out at the moment. Her contact with the border is a material piece of information in the puzzle. 

Ah, I see, thanks.

16
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But what does this new outbreak of China virus mean for house prices?

I’m expecting my house to go up another 20% by Wednesday.

and bitcoin to hit $60K
it just makes sense

I reported this comment.

I am appalled that the term China virus is still being used.

I hope the editors here can do something.

31
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I'm at sixes-and-sevens about this. We've been describing the mutants by geographic origin (e.g. British, South African, Brazilian mutants) so why should we stop describing the virus itself by its place of origin? Societies may just need to learn to be less sensitive about the convention of naming viruses after geographical origins.

17
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Agreed. The ‘UK strain’ and ‘South African strain’ have medical terms also however this isn’t racist? Precious Xi and Xing will have to get some thicker skin.

UK/SA strains are just as inaccurate as calling the original the "China" virus.

There are efforts to come up with a naming convention for strains that avoid geographical links (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Variants_of_SARS-CoV-2). The "UK" strain is probably only "UK" because they've done lots of sequencing.

"UK strain" is not a scientific term, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Variant_of_Concern_202012/01 .

Given how irrationally people react to geographically linked terms, avoiding them seems prudent.

13
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Get serious this thing started in China, they need to suck it up and take the blame.

There's evidence it was spreading in Italy as early as September 2019: https://www.reuters.com/article/health-coronavirus-italy-timing-idUSKBN2...

There are tens of thousands of Chinese migrant workers in Italy's fashion industry, legal and otherwise. Conceivable that it hitched a ride.
https://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/13/world/europe/13prato.html

Doctor to Patient after looking at the test results.

"We have some good news and some bad news. The good news is they are going to name a disease after you."

The difference I think is that people arent calling it the British variant (etc) in an attempt to blame something on Britain or the British people. But references to the China virus etc have frequently been made in an attempt to pin blame on China, and individual Chinese people unfairly got a lot of stick as result even in NZ. So even if it literally looks like the same thing (referring to geographic origin) the implications are different because of the way the terminology has been used in the past. Sometimes we can imply something bad - even if we don't mean to - by saying something literally true that carries negative implications based on prior usage.

It’s quite clearly being used to be derogatory and racist and that comment should be removed. There is no reason not to call it Covid or similar.

So much hand wringing. Let's form a committee to decide the appropriate naming conventions. We can sit around being virtuous and judging anyone who doesn't fit our idea of virtue. If we spend $20M in the process, we might generate enough virtue to signal how virtuous we are.

Agreed. It was a pretty needless reference.

15
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xingm,

Was the term being used pejoratively, or strictly as an identifier of where it originated. Do you dispute that it originated in Wuhan? If so, what evidence do you have to support that?

I trust that you are even more appalled by the Chinese government's treatment of the Uigher population and have made representations to your government to that effect.

There's evidence it was spreading in Italy as early as September 2019. https://www.reuters.com/article/health-coronavirus-italy-timing-idUSKBN2...

It's not certain that it originated in Wuhan or China.

Well, the Chinese are now saying it likely came in on Frozen seafood, and they did reject NZ seafood that 'had' the virus.

Which would suit NZ as it would give us another world first, to go alongside our world-first Asthma rates and unaffordable housing. We don't care what we are first at, as long as we are first.

19
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did you also report Jacinda for calling it the UK variant - or Dr Bloomfield for mentioning the South Africa Variant no of course not -- but hell we cant possibly use the county of origin -- where the bloody problem that has killed 2 million people came from ... no way that would be racist -

11
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Didn't realize the Chinese were so touchy. All good killing millions in the 20th Century, but touchy about this virus.

Well, being overly sensitive to criticism and intolerant of other people's ideas and then killing people sort of go hand in hand.

Would you prefer Wuhan flu, China cough or CCP contagion? Maybe you should report the comment direct to Xi Jinping. I'm sure he'll sort it.

American flu > China virus > South Africa mutation > UK enhanced.

Dont have a problem with it apart from being associated with Trump.

I think you’re being precious

10
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I'm disgusted the term "UK variant" is being used. But I do get a giggle out of ridiculous double standards. It's a hard life being a Gweilo sometimes.

10
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I'm just happy that finally Britain has something it can export post-Brexit.

Paperwork is not correct so it is held up in customs

15
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Almost every country in Asia has a racist name for a white person and China is no exception.

wang..And I am appalled that we will not be seeing a Chinaman bowl at Lords again or another Chinese snooker at The Crucible. Lighten up and worry about the stuff that matters.

Thanks Karen

Here we go again... folks I suggest you try something like "Xi Jinping Virus" and "Boris Variant", you will end up with a laugh rather than the arguments.

Chinese media used to call this diesase "Wuhan pneumonia" until WHO gave it an official name.

A short time ago airline crew were jumping off an international fight and hopping on a domestic one to get home or stopping at the cafe or supermarket on the way home from the airport (after international travel). Did they end up stopping this and if so how is it monitored and what are the penalties for air crew who break the rules?

https://www.health.govt.nz/system/files/documents/pages/201224_requireme...

Complete basic risk analysis failure. I'm only surprised that it has taken this long for a recognized breakout to occur. Dumb luck has run out.

I agree its just been dumb luck up until now. There has been plenty of time to increase the level of biosecurity around this and its has not happened. The advent of the vaccine has just allowed us to get slack when there are no guarantees this will stop a major outbreak now or even in the future.

Swap "Virus" with "Apple" and watch the competency increase a million fold.

Yep more cases out there in the community - just heard of another first hand.

Where ? We are going to need some very rapid updates on locations and then we can decide whether or not to self isolate.

Comment deleted. Latest news is that there are no more community cases - fantastic news - yet speaking to someone who has just said 'I have just been diagnosed with Covid' does make me scratch my head.

No new cases at the update today - Would be interesting to know where you got your info from?

That is interesting. Known close contact? There was a cut off for the 1pm numbers in regular times but I got the feeling this one was held back waiting for info.

Isn't Jacinda fronting media at 4pm? If there is a positive case no doubt they'd let Jacinda announce it & consolidate the team of 5 million with PR slogans, frowns and the like.

Ha you're probably right...

There's a cutoff as to when they include the case. Expect that person to be included in tomorrow's numbers.

If it's a confirmed community transmission, it won't be held back until tomorrow, because acting ASAP is what matters in curbing community outbreaks.

Depends. We went through a period where we got good news at 1pm and 6pm and then an unexpected update at 730pm or 8pm when cases were revealed in the media and confirmed the next day. I guess if the Govt had some good news it wanted front and centre, it could rigorously enforce that cut-off...

Whatever you think about the virus and the appropriate response to it, it's hard to argue that the entry rights of inbound NZers and their dubious tag-alongs, 12 months after this thing took hold, still outweigh the cost of their quarantine to the NZ taxpayer, let alone the impact that the inevitable virus outbreaks from their collective entry has on the vast majority of NZ residents through resultant lock down or infection risk itself. The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few as Spock would say.

Exactly, if we get a nationwide lockdown for three cases. At what point do we start to look after the majority?

The lockdown is to protect the other 4,999,997 of us.

You don't say. Maybe you could grasp the point being made that maybe we could better serve the 5,000,000 of us in country by stopping those coming back?

Before you whine, I understand the legal implications around CITIZENS. But the same does not apply to the hundreds/thousands of non-citizens we are letting in. If x Citizen doesn't want to come in because their y/z dependents aren't citizens, that is their choice. But why should we constantly be putting the 5 million at risk for a few overseas dopes that didn't take the chance to come home earlier?

Just got back from countdown and strict sign in happening. Fair enough.. But handing out masks at the door saying its for your own safety. I won't wear a mask. So if your a science advocate like me A.K.A none mask wearer. Then you understand how strange it is. People wear masks based on an ideology and loyalty to our leader and wokeness.

So you can either follow the science? Or live your life based on ideology and tribalism loyalty to the state and media propaganda.

I chose science!! And the science says masks are useless..

Agreed Ponzi.
I’m confused - If this virus is so real and so deadly why is it that Joe Biden just authorized 25,000 migrants to enter the US from Mexico ?

Yes very peculiar.. Especially when Dr Bloomfield said during lockdown one masks were not necessary. Dr Bloomfield obviously is a science advocate but was reprimanded by his handlers even though the media have produced zero empirical studies proving masks work.

I thought in the states they were up to 2 masks now.

Another Fauci bureaucratic recommendation based on nothing.

I thought this thread was satire...

I really hope it is satire, because it's embarrassing if it isn't.

The same Fauci that gets royalties from the Pfizer vaccine?

Yes, the one that’s advocating for the worlds entire population to be vaccinated.

Can you back this up with any evidence? All I could find was Statesman who's source was a "a popular Facebook claim".

Politifact claims this is false. "There is no evidence that Dr. Anthony Fauci is personally financially invested in a coronavirus vaccine."
https://www.politifact.com/factchecks/2020/apr/15/facebook-posts/faceboo...

you're using Google aren't you?

Yes? What should I be using?

DuckDuckGo

Yes I use the duckduckgo browser, though find the results a lot less accurate than Google (though it's improving).

Still waiting for source/evidence of the Fauci claim though.

Oh. I thought you'd find something. Usually you type in what you're looking for and then scroll through the results and click on links that seem relevant. At least that's what I do.
Here's a cool link for you. Forget everything else for a second - it's so interesting that Fauci funded the Wuhan lab through his organisation the NIAID for gain-of-function research for Coronaviruses. Yes the same lab that apparently was the epicentre of this particular virus - and gosh thankfully through his front-running possible viral outbreaks he had already patented some IP for possible vaccines. That's superb business right there. Good guy though.
https://www.newsweek.com/dr-fauci-backed-controversial-wuhan-lab-million...

Maybe focus on your first conspiracy before leaping to the next one?

Long story short, you have no source/evidence that Fauci that gets royalties from the Pfizer vaccine? Cool got it.

Ah come on - I believe in you

So no evidence to support your claims, then.

Go on, I believe in you. It's so easy, just duck duck go it and post the links here for us! Show us how superior you are at using search engines to do research!

I'm begging you, put us in our place, show us how wrong we are! Go on, you should be able to do it in 10 seconds flat, given how confident you are that you can find evidence to support your claim.

Sarcasm! Man! Good for you :) Oozes charisma.

No, not sarcasm at all. Genuine pleading for you present this evidence that you claim to exist that shows Fauci gets money for Pfizer vaccine.

I can only conclude that the reason you haven't presented such evidence, even after I begged you to do so that you could show much more superior your are at using search engines to find information is because:
1. The evidence doesn't exist
2. You're not actually as good at using search engines as you claim

All your replies are sarcastic quips about google. Why can't you just post a link?

That's not how the conspiracy websites work. You need to keep moving to the next shocking fact without providing any proof of the previous fact, so the reader thinks "well if even one of these shocking facts is true then there is obviously a conspiracy going on"

Oh ok, well sounds like he's an... what's that word kids??? EXPERT!

The science says masks reduce transmission by 70%. Even Bloomfield has realised this, although a late convert

Send me a link to the empirical study because I'm open to changing my mind?

What's more important if you're under 40 and have zero chance of dying from COVID though? Wearing a PPE grade face mask, or saving the environment? https://www.researchgate.net/publication/343675802_Coronavirus_face_mask...

Or perhaps just do the research yourself before making such statements.

So, Ponzi, have you changed your mind about masks after being presented with 'the science'?

It was common sense that masks could reduce transmission. But my understanding is that they didn't want people buying all the masks and not leaving any for frontline staff.

Surely we could be producing them ourselves in volume by now? We have the know-how and the government has had long enough to get it underway

But what difference does it make to your life? If you're right, you've slightly inconvenienced yourself. If you're wrong, people could die or become very ill. Seems a pretty simple choice, and you choose to make a drama about something so simple.

Is wearing your seat belt a declaration of loyalty to our leaders and wokeness? Utter nonsense.

You used emotion not facts in your argument. I wear a seat belt because the studies say that its likely to save your life. Instead of providing facts you said what difference does it make and utter nonsense. That's not an argument..

There's quite clearly a couple of links of facts above.

It's extremely evident to everyone else here that you haven't even bothered to look at the evidence or facts and instead have made an emotional decision based on ideology that you aren't going to wear a mask because it's 'woke' or some other such nonsense.

Which is ironic because you say you respect the science and not ideology, but have somehow ended up exactly on the wrong side of science and are following an ideology in doing so.

Uh, 'an argument' is exactly what the above post is. We need to make decisions about what to do in all kinds of situations where we are not certain of the facts. In cases like that, a cost benefit analysis is sensible - what are the costs to me if taking the action? What are the risks? Etc. Nothing 'emotional' about it Its basic decision theory.

What difference does it make? Um being forced by the state to do something not backed by science.. So if the govt told me to bark like a dog.. Your argument would be what difference does it make. Exactly my point. Now go and polish your jacinda and Clark and neve picture in your living room. The wholly trinity..

" Now go and polish your jacinda and Clark and neve picture in your living room. "

Sure, and you go polish your tin hat

What difference does it make? How about nobody actually asking you to bark like a dog.

I wear my mask in solidarity with others who are forced to wear masks, like Batman and every dad who dresses in the cosplay leathers to ride his Harley with an open face helmet and a silk cloth covering his face.

Mask are for protecting others. You'd hope asymptomatic people do wear their mask when sneezing or coughing near you, so you don't pick up the bug from their droplets. That's the whole idea.

Breaking news!!! Pfizer vaccine arrived this morning... Wow how convenient...

This lockdown is looking more and more like a setup by the Govt to instill fear in the public. Coincidentally the first vaccine arrived in NZ today. 4pm conference 99% about vaccine rollout.

Nifty agreed

Because I bet no more community cases are found. Also I bet you will have to wear a badge if you don't get the jab..

I'd rather get Covid in the face than listen to more f'ing micromanagement at these circle jerk talkfests.

Just watched newshub at 430pm. Reporter was at mercer with crew filming police checking all vehicles. She said the lines were big because police are checking each vehicle. Reporter said police were checking that every person had the right documentation before they could leave or enter.. Ihre papiere bitte!!! This is not 1941 Bavaria!!! What the hell is going on.

I had that in Spain or Italy in 1972. "papiere" or its close equivalent in Spanish or Italian is fairly universal. Didn't know either language but knew exactly what they wanted.

Wow, the interest.co.nz comments section is getting as nutty as a jar of Pics peanut butter.

It's hard in the presence of differing opinions to execute the self restraint necessary and refrain from typecasting diversity of thought in a disparaging manner is it not?

Vaccines arrived at 9:30 this morning. Having had all this time to prepare I would have expected vaccinations to have commenced today. Why wait till Saturday? With 30 000 people to do (in the first roll out) we could have had most of it done by Saturday. And why couldn't they ensure their staff at testing stations were ready to go at 7am this morning? Wouldn't trust this lot to run my fish n chip shop.

You should submit your resume to the ministry of health's vaccination team because clearly you know how to manage a vaccination campaign and they don't.

Well they don't know how to secure the boarders...

You mean borders,surely

You can't even spell borders...

Lanthanide...I know how to spot inefficiency. But if you don't your best bet would be to start looking in any Govt department or near any Pubic Servant.
Are you really suggesting there is any excuse or reason for not being ready to start as soon as we received the vaccinations?

Last time I applied for a passport, I submitted an application at 11.20 am on Friday, entirely online. By 1.20 pm I received confirmation that my application was being processed (I still have the emails). By Monday I had received the passport. Our neutral civil service and frontline government services are actually really efficient- if you have never lived in another country (like the US where public servants change every time there is a change of govt, and it's often pretty shambolic) or europe, where bureaucracy often takes ages) you might not realize this. Not only are we a better than other countries in this respect, I doubt a private company could be much more efficient than the passport office, who must have processed and posted my application from start to finish in half a day.

al123...I had a totally different experience with INZ and my passport application. The application form said maximum of 20 working days to receive new passport overseas so I applied 35 working days before my holiday. Not received after 20 days so phoned and advised of my upcoming holiday and they said if it had not arrived I had to cancel my trip. The also said they did not care what their form said about taking 20 days max.
For most Public Servants there is a very good reason why they are public servants.

Are you really suggesting there is any excuse or reason for not being ready to start as soon as we received the vaccinations?

Yes.

And apart from inefficiency what is the reason? They did not have to wait for vaccine approval to start the (small amount of) training and preparation.

Clearly they are missing your expertise in how to administer a vaccination programme.

How many successful vaccination programmes have you run, again?

Ever heard of plan-do-check-act or crawl walk run....rushing in with a hiss and roar isn’t probably the best advice. Let the experts do what they are doing.

gnx... running in with a hiss and a roar? They have had months to plan and do whatever is needed knowing this day was coming. Some countries have already vaccinated over half their population, we were told we were at the front of the queue yet have not started and now you are defending them?

What will the government offer our school age children if lockdown is 7+ days?

Primary school should be fine. I taught more STEM stuff to my primary school age kids when they're at home.

I've noticed that Jacinda effectively puts her job as PM on hold over a few cases of covid to make announcements and give interviews, a job she could be delegating to Bloomfield, for example. Funny that. Gives her an excuse not to deal with other pressing issues

"Border staff will start being vaccinated this weekend."

Genuinely exciting stuff. Let's see how our vaccination efford compares to the slow and disorganised Europeans and Americans. 1.5m vaccinations to administer. On your marks, get set...

https://ourworldindata.org/grapher/covid-vaccination-doses-per-capita

We received 60,000 doses.

The 60k initial delivery from Pfizer was just the start of fulfilling an order of 1.5m.

the UK did 550,000 yesterday adn over 3 million in the last week - BOJO may have got everythign else wrong - but he is gettign vacination spot on -- those are impressive numbers - 14 mill had first dose already

Yaay, more QE, FLP, Helicopter money.. a sign to come of the initial plan to reduce OCR to negative. Only deficit brainwaves of governance Not to repeat the stellar 2020, pandemic distortion, responded by over measure of economic hand out distortion - so? it's really a dumb thing if the same formulae not to be used 2021-25.
Ouh, please ensure to keep that LVR off and remove that stupid bright line test, it's useless for NZ economic development.

1918-1919 we had "Hispanic" flu, in deference to its actual country name.

We can't say it like Trump did though, it's PC world - he, she, they, them etc. you name it.
So UK variants detected in NZ? no more positive case? sweet, 3 more days into lv2 for Orcland before going to lv1, the rest of country can go straight to lv1 - BAU.
Origins of that UK variants? leverage person incubation period? - Shhsh, just Shhsh..mystery unresolved yet? - nothing to worry, eventually Wealth decision will prevail over Health.. in AotearoaNZ