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Chris Hipkins says more vaccines have arrived and the vaccination programme will now be ramped up; over 9000 border staff have now had their first dose

Chris Hipkins says more vaccines have arrived and the vaccination programme will now be ramped up; over 9000 border staff have now had their first dose

There have been no new Covid cases in the community - but Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins is not celebrating yet.

He said now was the "critical period" and there were still some test results to come from people "we really want to see the results from".

Hipkins said there were 16,000 tests processed on Tuesday.

He also updated on progress with vaccination.

Over 9000 border staff have now received their first dose.

He said a third batch of vaccines, with 65,500 doses, had arrived in the country on Tuesday.

There are now over 200,000 doses in the country and Hipkins said from next week work would begin to vaccinate 50,000 family and household members of border staff.

This was the release issued by Hipkins:

More than half of New Zealand’s estimated 12,000 border workforce have now received their first vaccinations, as a third batch of vaccines arrive in the country, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says.

As of midnight Tuesday, a total of 9,431 people had received their first doses. More than 70 percent of those, which equates to 6,688 people, have been delivered in the Auckland region.

“We are well on our way to ensuring those who are most at risk of COVID-19, the cleaners, nurses who carry out health checks in MIQ, security staff, customs and border officials, hotel workers, airline staff, port authorities and vaccinators will be protected from this virus,” Chris Hipkins said.

“I’m also pleased to confirm that a third shipment of Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines arrived safely yesterday afternoon, which adds a further 65,500 doses, bringing the total number of COVID-19 vaccines in New Zealand to 200,000.

“From here, we plan to ramp up the vaccination programme, as we move to vaccinate border worker’s families and household contacts. We will then move on to front line health and emergency staff – those people who may be exposed to COVID-19 while doing their jobs.”

Border worker’s families and household contacts will start to be vaccinated in earnest next week, but in some smaller regions, district health boards have already been able to expand their programmes to include these groups.

“In places like Nelson/Marlborough, the smaller workforce has meant both the border workers and their families have been vaccinated at the same time, with the same batch of doses. This is really good news as it means they will also be protected from the virus, and ahead of schedule.

“I look forward to this rolling out in our main centres from next week.”

And this was the release issued by the Ministry of Health:

3 March

There are no new COVID-19 cases to report in the community.

There are two new COVID-19 cases to report in managed isolation. One of these cases is historical and deemed not infectious.

Testing update

There are 11 community testing centres open in Auckland today; seven of these are in South and East Auckland. The centres are in Takanini, Wiri, Mangere, Otara, Pakuranga, Balmoral, New Lynn, Henderson, Northcote, with pop-up testing centres at Kohuora Park in Papatoetoe and Barry Curtis Park in Flat Bush.

Community testing centres in East Auckland are reporting increased demand, and the other testing centres are steady. A reminder that GP and urgent care clinics are also available to carry out COVID-19 tests. COVID-19 tests are free wherever you go.

A reminder that it is important the right people get tested. Please don’t get a test if you are well, or if you weren’t at one of the locations of interest at the stated times unless you have been advised to by public health teams.

Remember the most important thing people in Auckland should be doing at Alert Level 3 is staying home.

As always, anywhere you are in the country, if you have symptoms please stay home and call Healthline (0800 358 5453) for advice.

For up-to-date information on testing locations in Auckland visit www.arphs.health.nz/covid19test, for all testing locations nationwide visit www.healthpoint.co.nz/covid-19/.

Auckland February cases contact tracing update

We thank all those affected by the latest cases of COVID-19 in our community for their ongoing cooperation with our isolation and testing requirements.

If you are a close or casual contact, please have a test as and when instructed, and follow the advice from public health officials, Healthline or the contact tracing team on what to do after your test. There will be different advice for contacts based on their exposure to locations of interest.

Our contact tracing teams are working hard to follow up with all close contacts as quickly as possible, and are in daily contact with people isolating.

For the period between 14 February and 26 February, 87 percent of close contacts of a positive COVID-19 case were contacted within 48 hours from the moment when the Public Health Unit was notified of the case.  

Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT) Manukau

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.

City Fitness in Hunters Plaza

Contact tracing of City Fitness in Hunters Plaza has identified 163 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 11.15am - 1.45pm or 26 February between 3.25pm - 4.30pm and have not been contacted then please phone Healthline for advice.

KFC Botany Downs contacts

KFC staff - there are 12 close plus contacts who worked at the same time as Case L. All 12 of these people have returned negative test results.

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 twice for COVID-19.

All casual plus contacts have been undergoing a follow-up test on or after 22 February; more than 98 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 1,868 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 1,823 negative test results for this group.

Looking after yourself and others

We understand that this situation is difficult for many and news of Alert Level changes 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.

It’s also important to acknowledge the work of those involved in the response. A large number of people are working around the clock on the health response – we thank them for their dedication.

New border case details

There are two new COVID-19 cases to report in managed isolation. One of these cases is historical and deemed not infectious.

Arrival date   From   Via   Positive test day/reason   Managed isolation/quarantine location  
28 Feb India Nepal & United Arab Emirates Around day 1 / routine testing Auckland
22 Feb USA*   Direct Around day 0 / routine testing Christchurch

*The person who arrived from the USA on 22 February is classified as historical.

Nine previously reported cases have now recovered. The total number of active cases in New Zealand is 62. Our total number of confirmed cases is 2,028.

The total number of tests processed by laboratories to date is 1,736,931.

On Tuesday, 16,019 tests were processed. The seven-day rolling average up to yesterday is 8,949 tests processed.

Historical cases

Since January 1, there have now been 38 historical cases, out of a total of 218 cases.

NZ COVID Tracer

NZ COVID Tracer now has 2,721,683 registered users, an increase of more than 85,000 users in the last fortnight.

Poster scans have reached 203,873,558 and users have created 8,114,068 manual diary entries.

There have been 1,574,883 scans in the 24 hours to 1pm yesterday, and 1,375,559 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.  

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.

17 Comments

Pleasing results but still early days.
No comment on wastewater testing which I thought would a be good supporting indicator under current uncertainty.

If they get an unexpected positive result from wastewater testing they'll tell us. They test Jet Park wastewater every day and it almost always returns a positive result - to use as a control.

For the record, we've vaccinated more people per capita than Australia. Australia has vaccinated 162 people per 100k, we've vaccinated 184 per 100k.

Hopefully we don't get more snippy comments today about how come our vaccination rate is so terrible, etc.

I know Australia is targeting their vaccination rollout to be completed by October but I don't know what New Zealands goal is?

Either way you have to allow about a month for vaccination programs to get underway in earnest.

Yes after a terrible start they have done very impressive work in the last two days. So I will be watching with interest to see if this was just a big one off push or if it is sustained. Hopefully the latter.

Not conclusive yet that we are up with Oz. They are vaccinating 8k per day.

Also Oz is way behind on their own targets. So we should be aiming much higher.

Chris Hipkins said today “It's very early days, it's not a competition. Ultimately I think New Zealand and Australia want to vaccinate as many people as possible"
Australia has administered 45,754 doses to our 9441 in the same amount of time. We are technically winning (right now) because our population is smaller. Never let a chance go by to stir up the parochial juices. But remember .What we crow about today maybe used as a stick to beat us with tomorrow. These stats are going to keep coming and now the public interest is aroused we need to hope we can maintain the momentum.
Personally I want everyone to be motivated to get the job done as soon as possible. So whatever motivates performance is good for us all.

It's a race against the virus and we are using the performance of other countries to benchmark our progress towards normality. Normality for the 1m+ New Zealanders who are living abroad, Normality for the 1.2m New Zealand residents who where born overseas, Normality 225k direct and 159k indirect people who work in tourism not to mention the many companies reliant upon overseas sales.

16000 tests in Auckland yesterday
Nil positive
Egg on face award for gov it seems

Some very faint vibes of symptoms emerging from rock concert goers, Christchurch is one, over the weekend. Given the travel out of Auckland to attend, let’s just hope that this whisper is just another baseless rumour.

Why is that mike?

Locking down Auckland for a week due to fear of.... what?
No cases found.
How ill are those who DO have virus?
Are we not permitted to ask these questions.
Media certainly do not dare it seems

Criticism of the Govt should be a criminal offence! I'm waiting for Jacinda to start wearing a shiney NZ coloured tracksuit.. And on other days business attire and a black presidential style sash with a silver fern on it.

Do some research on how fast this spreads. The impact of the virus is clear for all to see in countries around the world. We are where we are because we've kept it out. Look at science and fact.

Do some research on the current bubble. Not youtube.

Asking those questions doesn't go near science or fact, only to conspiracy theories and allusions.

Yes

Just like banks creating money is a conspiracy theory that people who push it are crazy...

Nothing like it at all. False equivalence is another pointer to conspiracy theory driven behaviour

So questions not now allowed in a democracy?
As expected
1.75 million tests
How many positive? About 2500