Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says frontline non-border health workers will start being vaccinated this month.
Around 7000 people fall into this category.
They include - among other workers - people doing COVID-19 testing, vaccinations, emergency department workers, midwives, GPs, nurses, pharmacy workers, contact tracing personnel, non-government organisations that do health work and office staff related to these jobs.
Ardern made the announcement at a 3pm post-Cabinet press conference.
Here is the latest update from the Ministry of Health, as at 1:43pm on Monday:
There are no new COVID-19 cases in the community to report since yesterday evening when we reported the community case, Case O.
There is one new case of COVID-19 to report in managed isolation.
Auckland February cluster – one community case reported yesterday
Yesterday evening we reported one new community case, Case O, who tested positive for COVID-19. Case O is a household contact of Cases I, J, K and L – all are in the Auckland quarantine facility.
Case O had been transferred to the Auckland quarantine facility on 23 February as a precautionary measure. The person became symptomatic on Saturday and returned a positive COVID-19 test on Sunday. This means that Case O has been in quarantine for their infectious period.
As a result of the early precautionary measures carried out to contain potential COVID-19 spread from this household there are no new associated locations of interest and no risk to members of the public.
Update on Cases M and N
Yesterday evening we reported that preliminary Whole Genome Sequencing results for Case N confirmed the case is similar to that of Case M and is linked to the current outbreak.
Contact tracing for Cases M and N continues to be a focus for public health staff in Auckland. Their other household members have been transferred to the Auckland quarantine facility.
Contact tracing of the Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT) Manukau campus has identified 21 close contacts of Case M, who are being followed up and provided advice from public health staff regarding isolating and testing.
The dates and times of potential exposure events are on the Ministry’s website, on the locations of interest page. This page also has public health advice for people who were at the MIT Manukau campus at these dates and times. The vast majority of people on the campus at the same times as Case M are considered casual contacts and need to watch for symptoms. They do not need to have a test unless they have symptoms, or are a close or casual plus contact. All casual contacts should be limiting their movements and interactions with other people. Under Level 3, everyone in Auckland should also currently be staying at home.
Contact tracing of City Fitness in Hunters Plaza has identified 154 casual plus contacts. These contacts will be followed up by contact tracing teams to ensure that they get a test and stay at home until the test is negative. If you were at the gym on 20 February between 12.20pm - 1.45pm or 26 February between 3.25pm - 4.30pm and have not been contacted then please phone Healthline for advice.
Update on Cases A, B and C
Cases A, B and C are classified as recovered from their COVID-19 infections and have finished their quarantine period at the Auckland quarantine facility.
Regular wastewater testing at an Auckland site near Papatoetoe High School continues to report negative results.
Auckland February cases contact tracing update
KFC Botany Downs contacts
KFC staff - there are 11 close plus contacts who worked at the same time as Case L. Seven of these people have returned negative test results so far.
All other test results received so far have come back negative.
Detailed advice about the actions required for the different categories of contacts is provided on the Ministry of Health website.
Progress with tests at Papatoetoe High School
Case A had 31 close contacts at the school, one of these tested positive (Case D). All others have tested negative for COVID-19.
All the remaining students and staff at the school have been designated as casual plus contacts of Case A.
There are 1,519 casual plus contacts. As at 8am this morning, in addition to the three positive cases (Case E, I and J), 1,514 students and staff have returned at least one negative test result since 15 February.
All casual plus contacts have been undergoing a follow-up test on or after 22 February; more than 97 percent of results are back, and all results from the follow-up tests are negative.
Kmart Botany contacts
A total of 33 staff members have been identified as close plus contacts.
All 33 people have tested negative.
We have been contacted by 1,847 people who reported being at the store at the times of interest. They have been provided with public health advice. These people have been asked to isolate for 14 days and be tested at day 5 and day 12 after their exposure to the case. People who have symptoms will be tested at the appropriate time.
We currently have 1,794 negative test results for this group.
Dark Vapes East Tamaki
Contact tracing of Dark Vapes East Tamaki identified a total of seven close and close plus contacts. All people have returned negative results for their day five test.
What to do if you’ve recently been in Auckland
Overall, everyone should follow the Alert Level guidance relevant for where they are staying. Auckland is currently at Alert Level 3 and the rest of New Zealand is at Alert Level 2.
However, if you have been in Auckland recently, check the locations of interest page to find out if you might have been exposed to COVID-19 by being in the same place at the same time as a confirmed case.
If you were potentially exposed, follow the guidance on the locations of interest page.
Monitor yourself for symptoms of COVID-19, including some of the less usual symptoms like muscle aches and pains and fatigue. Details of symptoms to look out for are on the Ministry website.
Keep a record of where you’ve been. Use the COVID Tracer App to scan QR codes and make sure you’ve got Bluetooth turned on in the app. This helps with contact tracing.
It is important to note that Alert Level 3 means travel is restricted to those with exemptions or who are returning home.
Visit the Unite Against COVID-19 website for information about Alert Level requirements.
Up-to-date information on testing locations in metro Auckland
10 community testing centres in the Auckland region are open today, and six of these are in South and East Auckland. The centres are in Takanini, Wiri, Mangere, Otara, Pakuranga, Balmoral, New Lynn, Henderson, Northcote and Kohuora Park in Papatoetoe.
Community testing centres in Auckland are reporting increased demand today. At this time there are manageable queues at the Otara and Takanini testing sites – with times of around an hour.
A reminder that regular primary healthcare providers are also available to carry out COVID-19 tests, which may help people avoid queues.
Looking after yourself and others
We understand that this situation is difficult for many and news of Alert Level changes over the weekend can be frustrating.
The public can access free 24/7 support by phoning 1737, and there is a range of other support listed on the Ministry of Health website.
Now more than ever, people in Auckland need to look out for each other. We appreciate what you are doing is for the benefit for all of us.
New border case details
Positive test day/reason
Managed isolation/quarantine location
United Arab Emirates and Singapore
Around day 0 / routine testing
The total number of active cases in New Zealand is 67. Our total number of confirmed cases is 2,022.
The total number of tests processed by laboratories to date is 1,712,029.
On Sunday, 4,648 tests were processed. The seven-day rolling average up to yesterday is 7,101 tests processed.
Community testing centres and general practices in Auckland report a busy day yesterday in terms of the numbers people being tested. We expect to report those numbers tomorrow.
Since January 1, there have now been 37 historical cases, out of a total of 212 cases.
NZ COVID Tracer
NZ COVID Tracer now has 2,704,337 registered users, an increase of more than 112,000 users in the last fortnight.
Poster scans have reached 200,718,745 and users have created 8,024,758 manual diary entries. There have been 1,314,904 scans in the 24 hours to 1pm yesterday, and 1,315,540 scans per day on average for the past week.
It’s critical to keep track of where you’ve been and the COVID Tracer app is an easy way to do this. Please continue to scan QR codes wherever you go and turn on Bluetooth tracing in the app dashboard if you haven’t already done so.